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31 votes
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Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

It could be that the system will spend such little time providing above 5 kW, once shading and losses are taken into account, that it's not worth the cost of getting the next-largest inverter. ...
410 gone's user avatar
  • 14.7k
20 votes

Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

Standard Test Conditions vs Real life Photovoltaic panels are rated at "Standard Test Conditions" (STC): Irradiance = 1000 W/m² Cell temperature = 25°C Air Mass = 1.5 Those conditions are achieved ...
Eric Duminil's user avatar
14 votes

Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

Solar systems are rated at peak power. It's normal for inverters to be rated less since you will very rarely have ideal conditions to reach peak power. For example, my inverter is rated at 80% of peak ...
WhiteFang34's user avatar
12 votes
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Mismatched socks? What to do with hundreds of them?

Just about anything you would normally do with rags, but these ones are already in tube and bag form: Use for washing, polishing and cleaning - just put your hand inside Use to keep stuff in - small ...
RedSonja's user avatar
  • 425
11 votes

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

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 ...
Ghanima's user avatar
  • 496
11 votes
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Is working from home a more sustainable choice?

Here's a piece of the answer for the U.S. Hopefully others can provide additional details covering other countries or regions. MAJOR EDIT: Comments pointed out that something seemed fishy. I double-...
LShaver's user avatar
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10 votes

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

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 ...
Ian 909's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

I think you're right that building your own is likely to be necessary (we're in the same position). What I've discovered in Australia is broadly applicable in the global north, so: An earthship can't ...
Móż's user avatar
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9 votes
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How much could the US reduce its electricity demand if people moved from Texas back to Ohio?

Original answer (which had a long explanation): I proposed using degree days information to determine a baseload value for consumption of electricity and natural gas by region, and assume anything ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
9 votes

Is heating with candles economically and/or ecologically worthwhile?

A related question was asked on SE Skeptics - Is this tealight-flowerpot heater more efficient than just tealights? In the third answer, it is claimed the heat produced by one tea light candle is 0....
Fred's user avatar
  • 3,517
9 votes

Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

There already are some answers addressing the fact that you probably will not reach or will rarely reach the rated power of your panels. That explains why you don't need a higher rated inverter. Now, ...
AVee's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

I suggest that you question some of your assumptions. Difficulties of off-grid. Off-grid is HARD, and generally isn't worth it unless you are a long ways from the power lines. If you are looking at ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
8 votes

How to reduce humidity in the home?

The outside relative humidity may be almost as high but the absolute amount of water held in the air is lower. So removing the most humid air is effective. That's the principle behind shower extractor ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
7 votes
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Environmentally friendly alternative to salt for de-icing walkways?

This is a question that many Departments of Transportation have struggled with as well! There are other chemicals that you can use, but all of them will have at least some impact on the environment. ...
Courtney S.'s user avatar
7 votes
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Reusable alternatives to plastic wrap?

You don't need a perfect seal in the microwave - in fact the reason your plastic wrap doesn't explode is that the seal isn't perfect. So placing a plate or saucer on top of your microwave container (...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
7 votes

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

We were looking into flywheel UPSes for my company and I read up on this a bit. Of note in recent developments: Instead of traditional bearings, they're using magnetic bearings to mostly eliminate ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

How to choose between an electric, natural gas, or heat pump clothes dryer?

You need neither a tumble dryer nor a drying cabinet. I haven't used either for years, and we are a two person household in a 36m² studio apartment in England (so winters are rather humid). By far ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 2,649
6 votes

Prevent concrete roof from absorbing too much heat during summer

I live in Chennai, a place which has only three seasons, hot-hotter & hottest. I had tried this coolroof solution, where a white so called chemical solution is painted on the concrete roof. We did ...
Wilson's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
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For overnight heating, is it more efficient to use an electric space heater in a bedroom or a whole house natural gas furnace?

In terms of energy-efficiency within your own home (i.e. when we ignore energy losses outside the home), it will almost certainly be more efficient to use the electric space heater. It will be close ...
410 gone's user avatar
  • 14.7k
6 votes

Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

In some jurisdictions (like Flanders, Belgium), you have to pay a fee based on the maximum power your inverter can deliver to the grid. As EnergyNumbers notes, slight undersizing won't necessarily ...
AI0867's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
Accepted

What is the most environmentally friendly way to paint/preserve wooden art or construction outdoors?

Our preferred solution here (on land and for seagoing wooden boats) is linseed oil based paints, or just plain (raw) linseed oil. The oil soaks in the wood and therefore prevent water to soak into it ...
Gwarems's user avatar
  • 146
5 votes

How to reduce humidity in the home?

I agree that at least a couple extractor fans or vents are a good idea, in both the kitchen and bathroom. (And does the clothes dryer vent outside?) Look into Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) and ...
Courtney S.'s user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Hotel communal living

Since you don't indicate in which country you're thinking of implementing this plan, I'm going to write from my perspective in the US, considering chain hotels (Marriot, Holiday Inn, Hilton,, etc) ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes

Being a sustainable Digital Nomad in a Van - First Steps

Three routes: A: Your van has all your worldly possessions. B: In addition you have a place you can store stuff. C: Use a car towable R.V. A: Everything is in your van. Consider removing the ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Are machine-washed rags more sustainable than paper towels for any & all household messes?

Your assumption seems to be correct -- consuming paper towels demands about eight times more energy than machine-washing and hang-drying reusable rags made from discarded textiles. In order to ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 2,909
5 votes
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Any electric vehicle that can be used as a home energy storage?

You would need an EV that supports bi-directional loading, so that means one that uses the CHAdeMO charging system of Nissan and Mitsubishi. The CCS charging system that's popular in Europe and the US ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes
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Temperature for hot water cylinder

Yes, higher thermostat temperatures mean more electricity consumption. Also your thermostat manual is right, bacteria growth is a valid concern. The ideal conditions for the Legionella bacteria to ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

TL;DR Get your coffee beans with rainforest alliance certification Drink it black or with non-dairy whiteners Full answer: I think the points you mention are relatively trivial compared to the big ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 348
4 votes

How do I set myself up to not have to mow the lawn?

There are of course robotic lawn mowers available, probably best suited for the smaller suburban yard. I have considered the same problem, as I have quite a large area (1/3 hectare / 0.8 acres), half ...
frIT's user avatar
  • 271
4 votes

Reusable alternatives to plastic wrap?

My better half found a set of silicone lids. Three in the set, about 6, 8 and 10 inches across. They are heavy enough to stay put, and make a reasonable seal, an sticky enough that they don't slide. ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar

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