Archive for the 'Energy' Category

PV Solar Inverters and FCC Part 15

When you shop for a PV Solar Grid Tie inverter you are well advised to ensure the unit complies not only with UL testing, but also passes some form of Part 15 Class B test.

This gives you the best chance of not corrupting the communication ability of a licensed communications service such as FEMA and even Amateur Radio.

Even with Part 15 compliance there is a bit of risk involved with installing DC to AC inverters as they are inherently very noisy in radio communication bands. The better ones do their job and do it quietly.

Solar and Wind – When are they Energy and Financially Positive?

Recently my interests have turned again to alternative energy sources. Whenever I do this, I always find myself looking at the big picture of every energy sub-topic including sources, transmission and use.

For example…

Hybrid automobiles seem to be an interesting idea initially. However, if you take a step back and look at the entire energy equation you begin to see they don’t provide a benefit worth the extra costs frequently paid for the hybrid option. This benefit changes, of course, with the price of fuel, but generally, the market seems to price up the very benefit they claim to provide. We will examine more of this topic in another post. For now the point is the term “Hybrid Car” seems to be just a term the owner can brag about – even if the real benefit is not really there.

Getting started with alternative energy

Recently I turned my attention to alternative energy including solar, wind and hydro.

I gave no hydro possibility, but still researched some of the offerings since many of the techniques apply to wind also.

This leaves solar and wind as possible sources of energy.

Solar can be further split into two categories: thermal and photovoltaic.

In this post I will summarize the findings applicable to my own situation.


Grate Wall of Fire

If you have an old fashioned open fireplace and have always wondered “there has got to be a better way to ‘do’ fire” here is your answer.

Blueline Power Cost Meter

I ordered a PowerCost Meter from Blueline Innovations in an effort to better demonstrate to my family the overall power consumption of everyday things in a home.

The hope is by seeing the cost per hour as things are turn on and off, increased awareness will suggest to turn things off. That’s the hope of the Power Cost meter it seems.

Please understand this meter does not save you any money on your power bill. It does not do any quack technique of saving energy. It simply reports your energy usage so you will be understand where your waste might be. It is up to you to do the actual saving.

Energy Monitor for Home

I have long wanted to provide a way for the family to “see” how much energy is being used at any given moment so they can get a feel for what uses the most. I had plans to incorporate toroid pick ups in the two hot lines in the breaker panel.

Thankfully, the late overall awareness of energy cosumption has intiated the creation of many products which will “read your ac power meter” and provide a display in the confort of your home.

I have ordered a Blue Line Power Meter from Northern Tool to solve this monitoring question.

Energy from Water

In the last few weeks the spam has brought in links to this web site claiming they can improve the efficiency of your car by “unlocking” the energy stored in water.

Water 4 Gas? OK I’ll bite.

Mind you if this were several years ago I would not even bother, but the gas prices warrant a look at all possible options.

This “Water 4 Gas” site contains videos of an electrolysis device which takes current from your car or truck’s electrical system, directs the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gas to your engine air intake and, presto, free energy in the form of improved mileage.