Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
24

I use PVGIS calculator to estimate photovoltaics energy gain to my satisfaction. It contains realistic Europe and Africa weather data. Although this would be only a far estimate, let's assume you face south and you're based in Rome, Italy (instead of Chicago, IL), and we get: a maximum of 1260 kWh a year with an optimal inclination of 34° and almost south ...


22

Mythbusters featured lightbulbs on Episode 69. The conclusions they came to were There is no appreciable lifespan impact from turning them off and on There is no cost savings from leaving them on to "warm up" Edit, FTFA: Bulb Longevity They tested one final element of this myth: frequently turning lights on and off decreases their life span, thus ...


17

Although there is a definite allure to generating your own energy on-site, if you do not have good solar access then it is hard to get around that reality. Instead, there are other ways to have renewable energy captured on your behalf: If you have a choice of energy suppliers, buy 100% wind or solar generated energy. Look into group solar. Perhaps you ...


8

tl;dr: Yes, lowering the room thermostat at night will generally help save energy, assuming we are in the heating season (winter), rather than the cooling season (summer). Let's take two points in time, one before the night, one after it. Let's choose them so that the dwelling has the same amount of heat energy contained within it at each point, so all the ...


8

One option which may well become more popular in the future is photo-voltaic double glazing - a form of Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Although low cost thin film PV generally has a lower efficiency than crystalline silicon cells - since they are layered on top of transparent glass, any light not converted into electricity passes through the ...


7

Continue to push for sub-metering if you can - it really shouldn't be hard for your building owner or facilities manager to implement. And on your own account, if you've got access to the main junction box, you should be able to install a clip-on electricity monitor and remote meter. In the Efergy example shown below, the three clips go one on each phase. ...


7

It sounds like the Kill A Watt wireless might be what you are after. For more alternatives keep reading. There is another product line called the Watts-Up that has USB connections to computers on some models, and a built in web server on the high end one. The high end one can be made to work over wireless with an adapter. The USB only versions could be used ...


7

There is very large uncertainty on this, and one should not attach much credibility to reports that do put a specific number on it. Early work suggested that easy availability of real-time energy-use data led to quite high energy savings. Later work suggested that this had been significantly over-estimated. Whether time-of-use pricing has any effect in and ...


5

I'm going to assume you'e in the USA since you're using Imperial units. 1) Is 3 phase power more efficient to generate/use? In bulk, yes. Three phase (or sometimes 6 phase/3 phase 220V in low-voltage countries like the USA) has more options for direct driving motors and generators, and the higher voltages mean lower currents and hence lower losses. This ...


5

One argument in favor is load balancing: If you can manage to shave off request peaks, your systems can be smaller and/or have to scale up and down slower and less frequently. That all pays itself back in building and maintaining your infrastructure. It does not matter if the customer changes hours, he is paying for the electricity anyway.* If the consumer ...


5

There is a very detailed and interesting document of the British Government (Impact Assessment DECC0009: "Smart meter roll-out for the domestic and small and medium non-domestic sectors") where the saving in costs (divided in a lot of categories, as a saving of £1.21bn in carbon related activities) and in emissions is explained carefully. In that document ...


4

To answer this portion of your question: "But what other ways can one use one's own body energy wisely, and in general what principles / themes can one explore to put it into practice? " You made mention of using your body for transportation but you can go beyond just transportation. You can use peddle power or a rowing machine to power your cell phone, to ...


4

"Is there no significant consequence to how we use our bodies' own generated energy - from a resources sustainability point of view - or are there considerations one can put into use in terms of harnessing one's body energy for external power consumption purposes?" I feel like this one question you asked fairly neatly sums up your entire overall question. ...


4

Lets check the pros and cons on flywheel energy storage and whether those apply to domestic use (source): Compared with other ways to store electricity, FES systems have long lifetimes (lasting decades with little or no maintenance;[2] full-cycle lifetimes quoted for flywheels range from in excess of 10^5, up to 10^7, cycles of use),[5] high specific ...


4

Domestic flywheels are unlikely to happen for 3 reasons: They must be heavy to store significant energy. If you need a crane to install one at your house it’s never going to be super cheap, even with high volume manufacture. The risk of the spinning mass fracturing requires special safety precautions - commercial operators put them in the ground but that ...


3

Moss takes a while to grow, but when it fills in it makes a beautiful interior or exterior wall covering. If the concrete has moisture that will actually help the moss grow without need of misting like you would on a dry surface. Check out these pictures to get some ideas. Here is a guide to growing moss. It focuses more on lawns, but the ideas are just as ...


3

Others have touched on this too, but if it's purely about economic or environmental concerns, then saving energy is better than creating new energy just to turn around and waste it. If you spend money (energy) on heating and/or cooling, double glazing your windows and add insulation to external walls floors and ceilings if you can. In an apartment it may be ...


3

It depends on your motivation for producing your own energy. If you simply like the engineering challenge then it doesn't look like you have many choices. If however it's because you want "to do your bit" and transition to using renewable energy as much as possible then I'd suggest a shift in mindset away from owning the means of producing energy. Half a ...


3

The problem is not the pipeline itself. Large pipelines are standard engineering. The disruption is fairly short term. The problem is that it would make a ready market for Canadian Oilsand oil to get to the gulf coast refineries. This drops the price of oil on a long range basis. (The Athabasca tar sands have more oil in them than ALL of the known ...


3

A long-term consideration is increased condensation from cooler air in the far corners of rooms, which encourages fungal colonies. These are bad for health and eventually expensive to treat. Keeping a constant temperature diminishes the problem.


2

is it really worth it.. can mean something else as well: During the wintertime: Lowering the temperature has (sometimes) a nice side effect - you will lose weight. The amount of heat given from the body to the room will increase (lowering the temperature from 21 to 19 °C) by 15 % (in comparison for a normal adult person in a resting phase). This energy is ...


2

You should find the best time to lower/raise the thermostat. The more thermal inertia your house has (the better it is thermally isolated), the earlier you should lower the thermostat. The faster the heating gets the room warm, the later you can raise the thermostat. Both are best done automatically.


2

I see the human body as an energy consumer rather than producer. I would agree that controlling your diet (quantity and quality) will have energy benefit on the overall system by making him run smoothly and more efficiently, so that will be a definite gain of energy, but not a way to harvest the body energy. To simply exercise is I think a waste of energy, ...


2

Another option: Generate single phase. Run your house on this. Wiring your electrical system is much simpler, and can be done by anyone who can read and understand the equivalent of "Alberta Electrical Code Simplified" In the shop, buy 3 phase equipment, and get a VFD (variable frequency drive) unit for each one. These have the advantage that you can set ...


2

My knee jerk reaction: From what I know of mechanical systems, anything mechanical introduces losses due to friction in the form of heat, sound, and vibration. How would you even begin to use the mechanical energy stored in a flywheel? Simply storing the energy induces massive losses. Transferring the energy to its appliances introduces transfer problems ...


2

It may be technically feasible. But in reality, for places that do desalination, it's never going to be economical, because there's already an easier way to do things. Storage on the grid is useful because it enables more supply to be matched to more demand. It does that by shifting energy from the time it is generated to the time it is used. There is ...


1

TL;DR - Because of how flywheel energy storage scales it is unlikely that significant efforts will be made to develop the technology for home use. This is similar to the case for windmills, where the power output increases as the square of the diameter, and the cube of the wind speed (which itself doubles roughly every 20m of elevation). From the ...


1

Importance of Three Phase Electricity Three phase motors are known to have significantly higher radial power output than a single phase motor of similar design for the same electrical power consumption. [1] Nicola Tesla demonstrated the math behind that and built corresponding devices to demonstrate the benefits of alternating current multi-phase ...


1

They're mandated and/or sponsored by government. The companies are slightly motivated to use this money well to appear as friendly, neighbourhood, we-have-your-interests-at-heart companies, i.e. generate customer goodwill, since someone else is funding it. E.g. Imporoving Energy Performance in Canada. And this works because it reduces energy costs per ...


1

No, because with this limited data you cannot separately estimate the three components that make up a building's energy signature: the base load the base temperature the energy efficiency Even if we assume the base load (i.e. the part of the energy used for other things than heating) is zero, there's no way you can estimate the base temperature (i.e. the ...


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