Showing posts from August, 2011

Energy audit and reducing consumption

Principle 4: Apply self regulation and accept feedback Principle 6: Produce no waste Small energy meter used to measure the watts used for our 23 year old washing machine Energy audit During the last 12 months we used about 2.9kWh of electricity per day, this has not varied much over seasons, which surprised me somewhat. The Jan - Mar quarter is the hottest time of year when we were running the ceiling fans frequently, electric bread maker and also an electric fruit drier which helps explain the higher usage. July - Sep 2010 (87 days) 238 kWh = 2.74 kWh per day Oct - Dec 2010 (91 days) 250 kWh = 2.75 kWh per day Jan - Mar 2011 (98 days) 315 kWh = 3.21 kWh per day May - June 2011 (89 days) 245 kWh = 2.75 kWh per day Total power usage for the year 1048 kWh = 2.87 kWh per day I purchased a small energy meter that allows me to see how much power an appliance draws and uses over time. I have been monitoring some of our major appliances so that I can see where our energy

Solar PV: Connection

Principle 1: Observe and interact It took about seven weeks before the system was actually turned on, fortunately this has been during mid-winter, the time of year that generates the least amount of electricity. The hold up was the time it took for the electrical inspection and meter change over. I have not yet received a bill for the meter change over, the total cost so far for the 1.5kW system is A$3390. I have taken a lot more interest in seeing how our power is being used since we have had the system turned on, while observing our system generate power and feed into the grid. We have generated 54kWhs, exporting 41.8kWhs and importing 18.1 kWhs over the past two weeks, using (54 - 41.8 + 18.1 =) 30.3 kWhs. This is an average of 2.16 kWh per day, which is significantly less than our average over the past year of 2.9 kWh per day. Grid interactive inverter showing watts generated over a day during mid winter The newly installed import / export meter showing power exp

Making the most of firewood

Principle 3: Obtain a yield Principle 4: Apply self regulation and accept feedback Gourmet combustion stove in full swing, cooking on stove top, drying clothes, boosting hot water, heating oven and warming our house We obtain multiple benefits from using our combustion stove , because it is designed as a stove / oven / heater and hot water booster, which helps to maximise our yields. We also get the added benefit of a glass door, which creates a fantastic ambiance and allows us to more easily monitor the fire to ensure that it burns hot, key to a longevity and low emissions. One of the inefficiencies with this style of cooker is that we use more fuel than we would for a specific task focused model, because we are performing many functions from the one task. In our case, the advantages multiple functions outweigh the disadvantages. Some of the other functions that we use our stove for is to dry clothes, dry citrus peel (in oven overnight) for use as firelighters, warm our sourd