Electrical Energy Saving – Cont.3

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Electrical Energy Saving

With a major investment. 

 Now finally option 3, Electrical Energy Saving with a major investment, in special equipment. Test all seals in the house or office space. Service people do have a meter to test for leakages.

1. Use Voltage Regulators.

It would be advisable to install a Voltage Regulator for the entire house or office if the fluctuations in Voltage are more than ±5%. You house needs some voltage optimization, which means match the voltage with that of your appliances.

In general electric motors can withstand fluctuations of ±10%, while the electronic components can in general cope with fluctuations of ±5%.

The verbs cope with and withstand are relative though, lower voltage normally causes higher temperatures, due to rise in current to compensate the demand and higher voltage cause higher consumption and malfunctions due to higher vibrations, failures of switches, overload protectors and electronic components and ultimately also higher temperatures.

On the long run, both situations result in premature failure of the equipment and appliances. But for home owners, they can consider economics and install smaller voltage regulators for their electronic equipment and hope the best for their electrical equipment, unless obvious premature failures are evident.

A regulator will cost about the same as two years of savings, so look at your situation. In all cases sudden loss of equipment may play a role in your decision.

2. Generate your own power.

In this case consider using renewable energy. Depending on your location on the globe and or facilities from your local Utility Company or climate conditions, you can select wind or solar power to provide part or all of your regular demand of power.

A popular set up is generating a certain amount of power according to your total demand, without the use of storage or deep cycle batteries. Needed are series of photo voltaic cells up to the capacity you choose. A system in capacities of 150 W up to 20 kW are readily available and cost some US$1.00 per Watt delivered to your location and consists of matching series of panels, a controller, an inverter and cables to interconnect. An intersting development came up at the end of 2012 is the black cells, which reflect less sunlight and have much higher efficiencies of over de 40%.

Now comes the interesting part. Some plans can be adopted:

  • Make a contract with the local Utility Company to arrange retro alimentation, by hooking up to the grid. All the power you produce in excess of your own demand in kWh will then go to the grid. All you need extra is a bidirectional meter and some special switching gear, which sums in the direction of your place and subtracts in the direction of the public grid.
  • In 6 states in the USA You can ask the local Utility Company to evaluate your roof and allow them to install the maximum amount of panels, the roof supports. You will get delivered power at a reduced rate, but avoid the investment. In the UK this is done by some private companies. This is a great way if you do not afford the investment
  • In the case of wind power, investigate first what the noise level of the turbines is. Also check the support of your roof or install a tower from off the ground at higher cost. This option is more reserved for those living away from densely populated areas.
  • Install panels with a corresponding set of special batteries to store all the power you don’t immediately need. The panels deliver 12 Volts and charge the batteries. For use in the house the inverter transforms this 12 Volt to whatever Volts you need in the house.

With the ever falling prices of these options the viability is coming ever closer to our possibilities, with a resulting savings of electrical energy. The systems are normally guaranteed for 25 years.

Figure an average two to three years for return of investment, depending of your prevailing energy cost. The rest of the time you enjoy free and clean energy.

Many governments are providing incentives. Ask what the possibilities are in your area. Germany is still the champion in going solar

3. Buy appliances with the special seal.

In many countries, a special agency, foundation, institute or so, manages the energy savings projects for the government, similar to Energy Star for the Department of Energy in the USA or Carbon Trust in the UK

Many of this organizations are conducting studies to compare energy consumption of appliances and other equipment. The most efficient appliances in their class are getting a special seal, to assist the buyers in their choice at the time of their purchase.

Instead of an electric dryer preferably purchase one running on natural gas or even better on solar energy.

Monitor the consumption of your appliances for a couple of days or a week. There are good plug-in meters, you can order online, for 115 and 220 Volt systems.

4. Illumination

Change all the incandescent lamps for energy savings lamps, such as compactfluorescent lamps (CFL) or even better, lamps with the new solid state technology with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
Although the latter are still more expensive, prices are coming down with major advantages over the CFLs.

  • They do not contaminate.
  • They in general are not susceptible to frequent on and off switching.
  • They have a substantial longer service life up to 50,000 hrs.
  • They have already better luminous efficiencies (lumen per Watt)
  • At the end of their life cycle they do not need to be handled as toxic waste.

Note: A new compact lamp came on the market lately, which do not contain Mercury, see a description of this product

5. Purchase a good meter.

Melectricity meter
Most of the electrical meters of the Utility Company are difficult to read for non technical people. Buy a meter of around $200.00 with an LCD screen to monitor your circuits in the house. There are really good meters which display the major parameters such as Volts, Amperes, Watts, kWh and Powerfactor.

With this you can immediately detect major anomalies in you circuits.  Leakage to the ground, for instance, may have a big impact on your bill at the end of the period as the energy runs straight into the ground

Never ever use the water circuit as a ground connection. Worst case scenario may be someone electrocuted using the water outlet, if such a ground leak occurs.

These were some of the most important ways to Electrical Energy Saving with a variable investment strategy. We would appreciate your comments. For questions please contact us via the form on the Home Page

For more information: Go to Solar Power Panels

Consider following the Guiding Principles for buildings of the Department of Energy in the US.

contact us.
WARNING!!! See the Warning in Option1

  1. Electrical Energy Saving without spending a dime.
  2. Electrical Energy Saving with small investments, under a 100 dollar.
  3. Electrical Energy Saving with an investment upfront.

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