31 votes
Accepted

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
13 votes
Accepted

What countries favour people who want to live a sustainable lifestyle?

If you're currently in Western Europe, then Eastern European countries may be very interesting for you to look at, because compared to Western Europe: The cost of living tends to be lower, so you ...
Dvaeer's user avatar
  • 256
12 votes
Accepted

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

I live off-grid, so I did a lot of study on this topic. All used coffee grounds make good fertilizer. Drip machines seem to use a lot of energy, and they seem to use it for a lot of time. They also ...
Maxfield Solar's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

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
Accepted

Alternatives to garbage plastic bags

Ironically, the better you are at reducing your waste, the less likely you are to succeed at replacing plastic bags for the irreducible portion. My mother throws out actual garbage twice a year - one ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 1,955
11 votes

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

Planting a large garden and covering other areas with gravel and/or stepping stones is one approach. Maybe look into rain gardens; water retention is a key concern here and why you want something ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 328
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
Accepted

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
  • 11.9k
10 votes

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

Building on the garden answer : Turn your lawn into a native plant garden. Six or Seven years ago I turned the front lawn of my house (roughly 30' x 50') into a (mostly) native plant garden. The ...
Noel's user avatar
  • 603
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 are effective ways to make a home significantly more sustainable when renting?

Thermal lined curtains would make a big difference especially if the windows are single glazed. Draught proofing using self-adhesive strip is both subtle and removable. Topping up loft insulation, as ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
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
  • 3,924
9 votes
Accepted

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
  • 3,507
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 is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Your grinder may be less efficient than a commercial unit, and shipping beans rather than ground coffee may affect the bulk for shipping. If you use extra (hot) water in washing a permanent filter you ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
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
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
7 votes

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

Some of the alternative lawn plants don't need mowing. We looked into chamomile but decided it was too expensive or initially labour intensive. You probably don't need to cut it as often as you ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
7 votes
Accepted

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
Accepted

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

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Cold brew, which is essentially soaking the beans for 24 hours would only call for energy to roast the beans and to filter them. If you used a metal filter, there wouldn't be ongoing disposable costs, ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Does it make any difference to charge my electronic devices using an USB port?

To give a definite answer would require a lot of research and it would probably be quite impossible to give a "for sure" answer because there are some variables. Some computer power supplies are much ...
Maxfield Solar's user avatar
6 votes

What are effective ways to make a home significantly more sustainable when renting?

Faucet aerators are cheap ways to help save water and you can install/uninstall them pretty easily. SmartStrips and other power-saving devices can help cut off phantom loads. Most innovations ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 328
6 votes

What countries favour people who want to live a sustainable lifestyle?

I can only tell you about my country, Chile, where I've been watching the situation closely. But since I'm living in France now (for the moment), I'm also familiar with the situation in France and ...
vaz's user avatar
  • 442

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