Ecoweenie Tea Party

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by machiasmort, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    I want to start this thread by saying Merry 4th of July.

    It was a balmy 66 degrees up here in the North East. Ecoweenies brought their blankets (battery opperated) and shivered throught the Giant carbon footprint of the Fireworks displays. Rumor has it one even died of hypothermia? Me, I just snuggled up next to my nice warm (outlawed) HT engine. I quietly thought to myself:idea:, we could all protest this (low temps) and start burning tires, a Tea Party of sorts.:devilish:

    I realize the Earth is our home and realize the importance of taking care of it. So my point in this is not necessarily political in agenda. Although I don't feel we should be getting hammered on (tax wise) for energy consumption.

    Anybody out there got any good tips for saving money by saving energy?

    Anybody ever made a windmill or solar pannel?

    Might be cheaper in the comming years to generate your own power!

    We here on this board are the inovators thinkers and doers of our current society. 90% of us have assembled our own bikes that save huge and burn less gas than any car! Let's put down the ecoweenie/not ecoweenie gloves and share some ideas! It's our house and sorry to say we all have to live in it!

    I'll appollogize to the Mods now if this thread goes sour. As with many other things in life, I like to approach matters with hummor. The intent here is niether to offend or put down anybody or group, I'm sure they'll be some jabs, but I think a good spirited discussion by THICK SKINNED unsensative people would go a long way here.


  2. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I see nothing wrong with conservation and as a Conservative, I think it should be a way of life. Many things one can do to reduce utility bills short of creating your own energy generating facility. Heating cost can be reduced by lowering your thermostat to 62-63 degrees and using electric space heaters to warm the occupied rooms. Keep furnace filters clean, opening curtains on sunny days helps too. Cooling cost can be reduced by keeping thermostats at 78 degrees and using ceiling fans to stay comfortable. Keep curtains closed on sunny days and use window or whole house fans when the outside temps allow.

    Keeping the setting low on water heaters is a great way to save cost. Why heat water to 125 degrees only to cool it down before bathing. Low flow shower heads work great, the reduce the flow but boost the water velocity as it sprays out of the head by using smaller spray outlets. I like them better than conventional heads.

    Keeping cars tuned and air filters clean, along with sensible driving habits helps one pass the gas station on a regular basis. Get into a pattern of combining trips whenever possible. Go to the grocery store on a scheduled day and stop by the drug store and the hardware store on the same trip. It's called planning, no rocket science.
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    that image brought on an early morning smile !!

    that image brought on an early morning smile !!
    machiasmort and his motor bike snuggled up together
    man I thought that I was tight with mine ??
    thought would be the key word there...

    windmills -- a great simple idea
    my son wants to build a few
    but -- I tried to explain to him
    the law will not just let us
    put them up any where
    the good old law again !!

  4. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    check out this link MM - they're great and they are small... Won't power your whole house but can easily be raised and lowered on a collapsable boom.
    I though California was ecoweenie centeral!!! Private windmill illegal??? I'll B- Back!
    Tell 'em it's part of your weather station!

    Kerf chimmed in there with some great ideas also. the cieling fan thing is a must. Did you know cieling fans are 10X more efficient than box fans?
  5. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Saw several private windmills while in Denver, unfortunately none were turning at the time.
  6. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    The author of that above link I listed said his mill would work at 7mph. I have a little trouble understanding the controll concepts. Looks to be a killer idea! You could always make larger fins! Check it out Kerf, you'll be up all night reading, LOL!

    Ecoweenie exercise club forming soon, X-Country!

    Attached Files:

  7. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Looked it over, sounds fine, Now, my shop will require about 9600 watts at any one time, how many windmills do I need.
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    wife's with the program now !!!

    thank you so much machiasmort
    my wife has been having second thoughts about all of my time spent on site
    she also works out almost every day
    likes an occasional beer
    rides bicycle like -- I need motor to keep up
    I just shared that cool picture with her -- beer pusher THING
    she knows now
    this site is beyond cool !!!!

    thank you for sharing -- from - MM
  9. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    For those in colder climates exercise is more easily found in saving the environment and making sure we save the Polar Bears! Nothing like a Sunday jog to get the blood flowing! My favorite is number 4, as it demonstrates they are alot smarter than they appear!

    Somebody should share this thread w/ Alaska Van, I think he's upset with me now but I think It's more of a misunderstanding. It's my opinion that our government should be doing more to stimulate the use of alternative energy rather than screw us with penaltys for using what we have. It's a giant sham, take MM's situation w/no windmills in this part of town! If you don't like the way a windmill looks in your nieghbors backyard, go buy a dessert island and move there!

    Attached Files:

  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Good points, kerf, as regards conservation.

    I'd like to make another - energy usage can be reduced by making your residence as airtight as possible, reducing heat losses or gains. You still have to have a steady flow of fresh air through your ventilation sytem, or it gets mighty uncomfortable in there.

    Where I live, the cooling load is the major energy expense, 8-9 months of the year. Sure, raising your thermostat setting, ceiling fans, etc all help, and are all good practice. What I don't understand is why so very few utilize the greatest thermal flywheel that exists, right under their house. It is called "earth-tempered air", and it works very well indeed. It can be totally passive, or part of an active ventilation system, or a combination of both.

    Basically, put the air inlet for your residence at one end of a pipe, residence at the other end - then BURY THE PIPE. The constant temperature line is typically 3-4 feet below the grounds surface, and that temperature is (depending on location) typically in the range of 64 - 74 degrees F. All year round.

    It really is just that simple. Of course, the individual installation is all about the details - deciding if you want passive/convective flow, fan driven flow, or some combo. In summer, it is a heck of a lot cheaper to pass the incoming air stream through an air/earth heat exchanger before final cooling - far better to actively cool the incoming air stream perhaps 10 degrees than 25-35 degrees. In winter it works in reverse - cold outside air is passively warmed before it reaches the residence, and the active heating load is reduced.

    Best part of it is that it has zero emissions, and once installed, zero energy costs. The earth itself becomes your thermal sink, providing either cooling or warming of ventilarion air .
  11. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Add greater efficiency to that SS. Use a heat sync fan. They opperate on seriously low wattage!
  12. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    It's only a matter of time before AG happens across this thread... I promised him pics of a sewing machine I was restoring. It's a Singer 237 from the mid 60's that a freind of mine Garbage picked! He had it at his shop and let me adopt it. It had that old nasty tack paper on it that would gag a maggot (mildewy). A $5 belt and lots of tinkering and here she is. Took 4 coats of clear and I was supprised to find under that paper a nice cabinet that was actually spalted! This was by no means one of the exotic cars I was used to working on as a kid and I only did a quick job here... A) Sticking with theme it didn't wind up in the dump and B) If ya ain't jealous yet?, Wait till ya see the set of saddlebags I sew up with her out of old jeans!

    Kerf, that's enough power to justify your own Generator man! You could make some bigger mills, the plans are out there... How serious are you? I could point you in more than the right direction...

    How do ya like my new Avatar! LOL!

    Attached Files:

  13. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member


    Your post is very true and the ground temp is often overlooked. I had a trailer home when I lived in Machias. It got hot as blazes in there. I took it one step further and hooked up a small radiator to my kitchen faucete. In reverse flow, I let the water trickle ever so slow from the top and hooked a heat sync fan behind it. The fan I used uses less than 25C worth of electric every 8hrs! The water was from my well that never got above 45 degrees. The system worked great! Your so very right about ground temp and people overlooking!
  14. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Good design in new construction would take advantage of the huge amounts of information available through your local agricultural extension office, which will give you a temperature gradient maps, prevailing wind maps, and water table maps for your area. Properly considered, a home design will utilize prevailing winds and a rotatable cupola on a whole house stack ventilation system - which removes all need for any active fan air movers in the system at all, unless the heating/cooling load exceeds the capability of the earth-tempering system to cope with it. In such a case, the flow through convective stack can be closed or controlled by bi-metallic coil passive thermostatic dampers to maintain a specified temperature range, as is done in large greenhouses.

    The technology to reduce a homes heating/cooling load to less than 5% of current average energy costs is available, readily implemented, and actually no more expensive than current typical stick-built homes. Three things prevent its implementation on a large scale; 1) actual disincentives in current building and land use planning codes; 2) absence of incentives means the building trades are largely unaware of the options, and reluctant to attempt them if they are; 3) marketing forces are focused upon building and selling homes that are essentially identical to those our grandparents dwelt in.

    I'd like to see governmental forces brought to bear to change that - not to force anyone to change their purchasing decisions, but to make it reasonable to want to do so. For example - if your home design is such that your net predicted energy usage is, say, 30% below the average for the area, then your building permit fees should be reduced a corresponding percentage, and perhaps the first five years of your property taxes on the new residence as well. There are many potential incentives government can apply to make it worthwhile.

    As an example, here in Louisiana, the government tax rebates and outright subsidies to install a photovoltaic system that will provide 50% or more of your electricity demand is such that the net cost of installing the system is less than 10% of the full retail cost. That's for a primary residence, either new construction or a retrofit installation.
  15. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Providing tax incentives to incorporate new energy efficient systems into new or existing buildings is a very good idea. Government mandates that it be done, stink.
  16. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    I'm with ya Kerf. First they should go about seeing that their is no local ordinance preventing use of alternative energy, such as MM's caes. I understand in some places it's just not pheasible, however there are people out there that would take the leap on their own.

    I'm not likein the idea it's a flat out fight for control of what you do on your property. For cryin out loud, you paid the taxes already, now why can't you help the environment?
  17. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    kerf, I agree totally. Tax incentives, yes, mandates, no - unless that mandate is funded - even then I don't much care for the idea,but there is historic precedent for it.

    In many cases, there are deed restrictions on what one can put up on ones property, particularly in residential neighborhoods. Even where there are not, your neighbors may well object to what to them is an unsightly windmill tower, not too mention most power production windmills are downright noisy.

    In the end, it is a matter of compromise. The state has the power to require that local neighborhood associations deed restrictions that might block photovoltaic or hydronic solar panels on rooftops be set aside - it is almot purely a matter of economics.
  18. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Don't know if you checked out that link I posted? Do you think those style mills would be bothersome noise wise??? You would know better than I!
  19. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I guess the new version of Mein Kampf will be required reading.
  20. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    It is probably relatively quiet, mort. I'd have gone with a triple bladed semi-helical Savonius rotor, myself - a bit more tricky to fab up, but much, much more efficient (especially in low wind times), and has the advantage of putting the generator at the bottom of the tower. Since it is a fixed pitch airfoil, it is less likely to experience overspeed failures in gusty winds, and there is no need for the "tail" to pivot the turbine to face the wind. In veering winds there are no times when the rotor isn't face on to the wind, and the side-loading issues are less important.
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