Renewable Energy

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Mar 9, 2005
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#1
Does anyone here support renewable energy? i.e. does anyone have their own solar panels (whether for use in the whole house or just for hot water), wind turbine etc., or do you subscribe to green energy plans with your local electricity provider?

Increases in greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, are causing increases in global temperature and significant and deleterious alterations in weather patterns. I know a lot of people don’t care enough about the environment to do something about it, but it’s time we all started giving a fuck.

How much energy does your household use? On every electricity bill there should be an energy use figure represented as kWh (kilo-watt hours) used per day. For every kWh used, approximately 1kg of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. My household uses, on average, 12kWh per day – that’s 12kg of CO2 released into the atmosphere every day or 4.4 tonnes every year!!! That’s not even including the energy used at work!

Photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, can not only greatly decrease these CO2 omissions, but they can also greatly reduce your energy bill. Although it requires a significant up-front investment, there are a lot of schemes that offer government rebates so that in the long run it works out to be cheaper. I understand that the US has a rebate scheme called the ‘Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Benefit’ whereby you receive a 30% rebate on solar panels, up to $2000. Australia has something similar to this also.

An example (based on my energy requirements):

I pay 15.2 cents per kWh of electricity (Australian money)
12kWh per day at 15.2 cents per kWh = $1.82 per day.
$1.82 per day x 365 days per year = $665.75 per year.

165 watt solar panels cost $1,440 each, 25 year warranty
Australian Government rebate of 4c per watt = $780 ($660 less)
South Australia receives on average 7 hours of full sun per day throughout the year
Each 165 watt panel will therefore produce 165 x 7 watts, or 1155 watts per day
1.155 kWh per day = 17.5 cents per day or $64 per year
25 year lifetime = grand total of $1,600 saved on electricity (all for a $780 investment).

If you purchased 4 such solar panels, it would cost you $3,120 now but could potentially save you $6,400 over the life of the panels ($3,280 ‘profit’!)

There are a few gadgets that you may have to buy, such as an inverter, but they are relatively cheap. Also, whatever energy you don’t use from the solar panels goes directly into the electricity grid and it causes your electricity meter to literally go backwards! And because you’re still connected to the grid, if your panels don’t produce enough energy to sustain your lifestyle, you can still purchase energy from the power company same as you’re doing now.

Go green, it’s cheaper for you and a lot better for the environment!!!

If you would like any more information, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you.
 
Mar 9, 2005
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I read an article about Steorn free energy - theres actually a pretty good article about it HERE if you want to read up on it.

Supposedly Steorns technology uses magnets to derive energy with greater than 100% efficiency, thereby going against the first law of thermodynamics. It definitely sounds too good to be true, but we may get the chance to find out soon whether it is realistic.

It appears as though everyone also shares my view that it's too good to be true and thus nobody has taken him seriously. To test this, according to the article in the above link, Steorn published an advertisment in The Economist challenging physics scientists and other professionals to form a jury panel of 12 experts to assess the validity of his claims. The article ends with the statement

http://www.peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Steorn_Free_Energy said:
As of Sept 9th, 2006 Steorn has therefore entered the pre-phase-1 stage, where they "Analyse list of scientists, contact and verify interest, choose twelve and negotiate terms." When this phase is over, Phase 1 proper begines, when they will "Confirm that the Steorn technology has a coefficient of performance greater than 100%."
The author of this article is obviously optimistic, claiming that they will CONFIRM that the Steorn technology has a coefficient of performance greater than 100% (little chance they will refute his claims eh?).
 
Mar 9, 2005
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I've just come across a company called nanosolar, which has designed a break-through thin-film photovoltaic system which does away with using costly silicon for their components.

Nanosolar are producing solar cells that cost less than $1 per peak watt hour (10 times less expensive than current silicon technology). They have recently received $100 million dollars in funding and are putting this toward the construction of a 430Mw (megawatt) solar cell production facility, to be based in San Francisco, making it the largest solar cell production facility in the world.

When this happens, the scale at which these cells are produced will facilitate the sale of extremely cheap solar panels which will cost less than our current energy. Cheaper power, less pollution - a winning combination in everyones eyes (except the big coal mining and oil industries!). Keep your eyes on this company, they're going places!