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Thread summary:

Green electricity: solar power systems, renewable fuel, wind energy, buy a house, mortgage.

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Old 06-20-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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A good article on Scientific American Magazine titled ''Inside the Solar-Hydrogen House'' where NJ resident Mike Strizki hasn't paid a Utility or Auto Gas bill in TWO years now.

The 51 y/o Civil Engineer makes all his own fuel using Solar Panels to create Eletricity which is then used to extract Hydrogen from tap water. The Device did cost him $500,000 to create as the average person cannot afford this but he is proving that little energy is needed to power homes and cars.

Anyway there's more to the story and he tells how he created it and how it works but if a common citizen can create this why can't we as a country on a large scale create something simular.

2 Page article.
Inside the Solar-Hydrogen House: No More Power Bills--Ever: Scientific American
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:14 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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Very interesting, but not at all practical. Alternative must be easy and cost only a little more than what we do now to actually catch on and become mainstream.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6/3 View Post
The Device did cost him $500,000 to create
Ouch!

Some friends of ours spent $13,000 on a windmill, and it produces all the electricity they need. In fact, some months they have enough surplus to sell back to the power company.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
Ouch!

Some friends of ours spent $13,000 on a windmill, and it produces all the electricity they need. In fact, some months they have enough surplus to sell back to the power company.
all of these tech's are good, but not usable in every place in America. Solar is great, but a slight shadow over the cell, or a cloudy day and a PV goes from being an efficient creator of energy to not creating anything at all. PV not a good idea in say Oregon which has way to many cloudy days. Windmills may be great in the Midwest, but here in Colorado you may have wind, but it comes in gusts and changes all of the time, therefore you have large chunks of the day that would have no production whatsoever, but then again here in Colorado we have 360 or so sunny days a year, and with the 55% reimbursement up to 10kw system PV arrays are a great source of energy at a great deal.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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SInce my electric bill was $26 last month, it would take me how long to make it all back?
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Lynbrook
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I saw a show on Planet Green where a woman in California had her own wind turbine in the city. It was the first one that the city approved (not sure but I think it was San Francisco). It was tall but not as huge as the ones you usually see. They said you need an average minimum of 8 mph winds. It took care of about half her energy costs. I don't remember what the exact cost was but it was not anywhere near 500K.

In NY, you need at least an acre of land to have your own wind turbine. I'd love to do solar but I'd need to figure out how much the initial outlay would be. We're looking to buy a house this summer. It would be perfect if we could roll the cost of the solar e system into the mortgage.

Went back and read the article from OP. Very interesting but obviously not practical for most people. However businesses could do it if they wanted to go green. Thinking about local deliveries being gas-free, or taxi services gas-free, that alone could recoup costs quickly.

Last edited by KarenBo; 06-20-2008 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:47 PM
f_m
 
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
all of these tech's are good, but not usable in every place in America. Solar is great, but a slight shadow over the cell, or a cloudy day and a PV goes from being an efficient creator of energy to not creating anything at all.
True, except he is storing the energy in hydrogen and batteries, so when it's cloudy he can tap those sources.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
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Originally Posted by f_m View Post
True, except he is storing the energy in hydrogen and batteries, so when it's cloudy he can tap those sources.
what if your peak times are usually cloudy? your batteries can only last if you can produce the power to charge them. Your peak power time is from AM to around 3PM, after that your power is much lower. Any clouds, shadows or snow on the panels and you are not gonna get squat out of them to keep up. He may be in a location where that is not too much of a concern, just like I am in one of these areas as well. But people in Oregon and other northern states where winters are harsh, or your summers are plagued with rain and cloudy days PV arrays are not going to be a system of choice.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:39 AM
f_m
 
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
what if your peak times are usually cloudy? your batteries can only last if you can produce the power to charge them. Your peak power time is from AM to around 3PM, after that your power is much lower. Any clouds, shadows or snow on the panels and you are not gonna get squat out of them to keep up. He may be in a location where that is not too much of a concern, just like I am in one of these areas as well. But people in Oregon and other northern states where winters are harsh, or your summers are plagued with rain and cloudy days PV arrays are not going to be a system of choice.
I'm curious if you read the details of the article.

"The oxygen is vented and the hydrogen goes into the tanks where it is stored for use in the cold, dark winter months. From November to March or so Strizki runs the stored hydrogen through the fuel cell stacks outside his garage or in his car to power his entire house—and the only waste product is water, which can be pumped right back into the system."

While this isn't specifically something that can be done everywhere, it shows how overlapping "hybrid" systems can work. If he is connected to the grid, then any excess solar energy can be put back in the grid and pay him for it (he can then use it later as needed). The other parts can charge batteries and generate hydrogen. The batteries work for overnight, and the hydrogen powers fuel cells for longer durations of no solar power. He can generate a lot of hydrogen or charge many batteries (based on however many batteries and tanks he wants to use). Therefore based on any given known approximate amount of no solar power, the number of tanks and/or batteries can be sized to meet the necessary requirements. But since it is still important to have overlapping backup, a connection to the grid would still allow power as needed in the event of this subsystem not working.

Of course this isn't perfect, but it's far better than continually stressing the power systems and not taking advantage of solar power.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:31 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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The article said he had a dozen propane tanks where he stored the hydrogen. And he's in NJ - not a particularly sunny state so his system works very well in less than optimal PV environment. But it takes a lot of space and a whole lot of money - much more than he will ever save in energy bills, even with fueling his car with the hydrogen. He also heats/cools with a geothermal heat pump so little of the electricity goes to that.

It's a proof of concept exercise, but no where near practical for Harry Homowner.
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