D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

February 20, 2007

How clean is your electricity?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:22 pm

I recently signed up for a solar installation/rental service called CitizenRe. How it works is they install a complete solar system free of charge, less a $500 deposit. The system doesn’t really save any money on the electric bill, the rental fee of the equipment is supposed to be directly related to the average cost of the utility fed electric bill. There are three main reasons we’re looking into doing this – 1) we won’t have to come up with the money for the large initial cost of installation, 2) during power outages and/or brown/blackouts we won’t be affected, and 3) we will be doing something positive for the environment. It’s easy enough to justify the environment part. I went to an EPA Power Profiler web site that, when I entered my zip code, told me what types of fuels were used to produce the power I use from the local utility company. Apparently 45% of my electricity is generated using gas and about 37% is generated using hydro and solar. The rest is oil and coal.

The solar system will plug into our existing system and will be a supplement to it, not a replacement. We will still need to use some utility power for things like our A/C unit, pool pump, and other high-load intermittent devices I’m guessing. Nothing formal has been set up yet, I’ve only made the initial inquiry and hope to get the process rolling along soon.

On another electricity side note…. I bought a pocket bike about 2.5 years ago and never got the dang thing working. It has just sat and sat – occasionally I’ve tried to start it but it just won’t for whatever reason. I’ve checked spark and fuel and all seem to be okay. Who knows, maybe it’s compression. In any case I got tired of having the thing and not being able to use it so yesterday I finally got around to doing something about it. I went to a local electronics “junk yard” called Apex Electronics and picked up some small 12v 12ah batteries and a scooter motor (24v 16.5a 300W). I got home, ripped out the engine in the bike and mounted the scooter motor. I then connected the 2 12v batteries in series for 24v and it worked like a charm. The only thing I didn’t have was the controller so I couldn’t test drive it but I found an inexpensive controller online and will be testing it out as soon as the part arrives. I’ll post pictures and details when I’m done. I’ve also been drawing up plans for converting a boat to electric – but that will be *WAAAAAY* off in the future.

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