Category — ENERGY

Oklahoma Senate passes solar panel surcharge
by WRETHAOFFGRID on APRIL 22, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY, SOLAR, WRETHA

solar-panels

I think this falls under the “What are they thinking????” category. I am amazed, they SAY it’s not against the solar or wind power users, yet the power companies are wanting to charge an extra fee on those who generate enough power to sell it back to the power companies…

Right now, it’s apparently awaiting the governor’s signature, I would hope that the governor is smart enough NOT to sign this into law.

Oklahoma City, OK, April 22, 2014- Some Oklahoma residents who install solar panels or wind turbines on their property in the future are likely to get hit with a surcharge on their utility bill. Senate Bill 1456 passed 83-5 on Monday, and awaits a signature from Governor Mary Fallon. (more…)

Why we oppose Wind Farms
by NICK ROSEN on APRIL 21, 2014 - 2 Comments in ENERGY

onshore wqind farms, offshore wind farms add to corporate profits

Wind farms owners are rarely eco-friendly

For some politicians it is a badge of honor to come out in favor of wind farms. It allows them to suck up to green voters, while at the same time keeping in with big energy producers.

At off-grid.net we like wind turbines and solar panels, but we oppose large arrays of them. We believe in distributed power – consumed at the place of production.

Big wind farms attract big government subsidies, paid for out of taxes. Spending large amounts of public money adds to politicians sense of self-importance but in the case of solar or wind farms this money goes straight into the coffers of large companies, (more…)

New golf cart batteries
by WRETHAOFFGRID on APRIL 20, 2014 - 2 Comments in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, SHOP, SOLAR, WRETHA

gcb1

Today was the first full day on the new batteries, we had everything hooked up to them, including the new chest freezer to refrigerator conversion, about a month (or so) ago our old one smoked on us, fortunately it happened during the day and I was there to catch it, it might not have gone any further, but as far as I’m concerned, when you see smoke, fire usually comes next. I’ll do another writeup on the new fridge very soon, until then you can read about how I DIY’d the conversion here and here.

Our previous batteries were marine type deep cycle batteries, I’ve been told on more than one occasion that those types of batteries aren’t true deep cycle batteries, in fact the newer ones being sold have cold cranking ratings on them instead of amp hours, and that has little (or nothing) to do with being deep cycle, that has to do with starting motors and such. Those are a hybrid of regular and deep cycle batteries, more robust than a standard car or truck battery but not as heavy duty as a true deep cycle battery. (more…)

Direct Energy sister company gouges consumers
by VEG-HEAD on APRIL 19, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

The owners of Direct Energy – one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 5 million residential and commercial customers, has been accused of paying staff bonuses to inflate customers’ bills by up to 60 per cent.

British company Centrica is already known for playing hardball. Its boss Sam Laidlaw has long been one of the highest paid energy bosses in the UK, and unashamedly gouges the British consumer.

When the British Government regulator announced an enquiry into the running of the energy market last month, Laidlaw responded by threatening to cut investment in the UK.

Now a whistleblower has claimed that his British Gas subsidiary is paying staff bonuses to inflate customers’ bills by up to 60 per cent. (more…)

Charge your phone with this foldaway windmill
by TECHSTAR on APRIL 14, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY, MOBILE

Forget plugs – you can now charge your mobile with a portable WIND TURBINE:the Trinity propeller harnesses breezes to power up a phone and other USB devices.
Created by American electricians Einar Agustsson and Agust Agustsson, the power station folds into a 12-inch cylinder when not in use. (more…)

Off grid hiccups
by WRETHAOFFGRID on APRIL 13, 2014 - 3 Comments in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, SOLAR, WRETHA

empty

A while back my current deep cycle batteries began to get weak, they would charge up quickly and not hold much of a charge, unfortunately the batteries are the part of the off grid system that need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis. I am hard on my batteries, that has never been a secret. This next week I plan on buying four 6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. In the past I have used marine type deep cycle batteries, they are more heavy duty than regular automotive batteries, but aren’t near as hearty as golf cart batteries.

As my current batteries began getting weaker and weaker, it began creating problems with my inverter, causing it to go into fault mode for a few seconds, meaning it would cut off the power during that time, it only did it during the day when the batteries were charging or fully charged, never at night, it took me a while to figure out where the problem was. (more…)

Battery life easily exceeds manufacturers estimates
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 19, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Recent research just released from Zaragoza University, Spain, by VerticalNews show that battery life, crucial to the economics of off-grid energy – can easily exceed or heavily undershoot the manufacturers estimates.
It all depends on how well you maintain your batteries. IF you baby them along, never falling below 50% power and charnging the regularly, then you can double the life expectancy. (more…)

Electricity disintermediated
by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 7, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

The Economist report on off-grid power

Energy Bunny, Happy Bunny

Economist newspaper runs a story today on off-grid power – saying its the future and the old utility model is dying.

Utilities’ profits are under threat as never before says The Economist – bible of the financial community in London and New York.

“Who needs the power grid when you can generate and store your own electricity cheaply and reliably?”

General Electric has recently opened an off-grid division bringing together parts of its transport, aviation and engines divisions, to meet what it calls a “$100 billion opportunity”. GE recently installed 24 lorry-engine power generators in Algeria, providing 30MW of power. It took six months, “but we could have done it in ten days,” claimed Lorraine Bolsinger, the corporate bullshit artist who heads GE’s new division.

Morgan Stanley predicts that ever-cheaper solar and other renewable-energy sources, combined with better and more plentiful batteries, will allow businesses and homes to cut out the middle man — the electricity providers. (more…)

Wind power 11% of UK energy, and rising
by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 5, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

The UK’s wind power industry is breaking records EVERY MONTH after storms battered Britain this winter.

According to the latest figures, wind energy met 11 per cent of total electricity demand in February, breaking the previous 10 per cent record set in December 2013.

It is the relative supply security offered by renewable energy that the new figures underline, against the backdrop that Russia could respond to sanctions over the Ukraine by restricting gas supplies to Europe. (more…)


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