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Forum Replies Created
July 28, 2008 at 12:00 am in reply to: Most efficient and inexpensive way to do sufficient solar #64005
Don’t forget that this isn’t something you do to “be green” or save money right now unless you really are using minimal amounts of electricity.
Solar PV is extremely inefficient (<15%) and the storage batteries (and regular maintenance with all their rare metals, lead, acid etc) will eat up more carbon than you will ever save at that size.
The CAT (Wales) put a showpiece £75,000 solar roof in.
10 years later, it’s falling to bits, and notwithstanding the maximum rated life of a panel at 25 years, it will take £75 years to pay for itself.
Just bear all that in mind – and this:
“Paint-on solar panels could boost current energy efficiency by 50 percent while making new solar panel installations virtually invisible by painting organic dyes onto windows.
By absorbing light and transporting energy to panel edges, developers of the paint-on solar panels said they could lower cost by only requiring active solar cells around a panel edges”
One THEY become available (4 years or so), that will change everything.
I’d wait and do your hot water first – 90% efficiency, cheaper, SAVES carbon etc.
Nice idea, but I have this suspicion that in the country that ZanuLabor has made for us, any idea of an inner city communal garden will see theft as soon as prices rise. Yes, it’s happened forever, but not like the sudden increases in theft were are seeing round some allotments here (and I’m talking “good” areas!).
Not that I’m against the idea at all!July 28, 2008 at 12:00 am in reply to: #64007
PV or thermal?
4 seconds pasting the title into Google shows:
A McGraw Hill / Stan Gibilisco production.
I’m afraid I have to agree a little more with this review from Amazon (I’d gone there to write almost precisely the same!)
blockquoteOne of the lesser problems with this book is that the author spends too much time talking about himself instead of the subject. For example he writes in detail about his difficulty in finding parking space when he visits one of the off- grid people. He also brags about getting gadgets for free and talks far too much about his family. He seems to brag about rather than describe his off grid place in Spain. He then says that he can not afford a house in the country in addition to his expensive 2 homes and his van.
The very worst problem is that the book is badly structured, in that the details of how each off grid community works is in a separate chapter to the general description of it and it’s inhabitants. It is hard to flick back and forth between chapters. The quality of writing is not the best.
The only saving grace is a very good tiny section at the beginning about the history of the grid. There is also possibly useful bit in the chapter about planning permission at the end.
There is also the odd thing, that Nick Rosen admits himself, about the irony of him choosing to drive a van to be “off grid”. I was disappointed.
EDIT: I give up – I’ve done exactly what it said, but it’s not block quoting, so you’ll have to imagine it!
Additionally, there are some glaring typographical and factual errors – weird things seem to happen with random brackets in several places, and p334 – energy saving bulbs do NOT cost £3.50! They are between 40p and 60p each. Well, the Philips ones do, anway.
Good that it is FSC paper though – I have first edition (2007).
I suppose it’s a good try – but it’s embarrassingly obvious that he must have been on “pay per plug” for the Vodafone 3g card