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Pep1: Alternative Energy/Energy Conservation  RSS feed

 
Posts: 151
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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Pep1: Alternative Energy/Energy Conservation-

The beginning of the list focuses on becoming aware of all your energy usage, and to get comfortable using less energy. The end emphasizes creating your own energy.


White Belt-
Wash all of your dishes for a month without a dishwasher
Dry your clothes with a clothesline/drying rack instead of an electric dryer for an entire summer
Make a drying rack
Install a solar panel system that powers your computer and lights for a month
Use a heliostat
Store at least a third of your food in either a cooling device not dependent on electricity from the grid (wofati freezer/refrigerator that is run off of alternative energy/root cellar)
Use a solar collector to either partially heat your home or animal shelter
Make a solar food dehydrator and use it to preserve at least 50 half gallon mason jars of food
Design a wood gasifier that runs off of branches on the lab

Green Belt-
Install a solar panel system that powers your computer and lights for an entire summer (lights have to be used every day!)
Use a rocket mass heater to heat your home. Indoor temperature must hit 65 degrees every day!
Store over half of your food in either a cooling device not dependent on electricity (wofati freezer/refrigerator that is run off of alternative energy/root cellar)
Heat all of your shower water throughout summer with alternative energy (Compost showers, rocket stove mass water heater, solar shower, etc)
Build a haybox cooker and cook with it once a week for a month
Build and use solar collector completely out of scavenged parts.
Make a solar food dehydrator and use it to preserve at least 100 half gallon mason jars of food
Make a solar oven out of scavenged parts and use it to cook a small meal/side dish

Brown Belt-

Heat all of your shower water throughout an entire year with alternative energy (Compost showers, solar shower, etc)
Make a solar food dehydrator and use it to preserve at least 200 half gallon mason jars of food
Use a rocket mass heater to heat your home. Indoor temperature must hit 71 degrees every day!
Store nearly all of your food in a cooling device not dependent on electricity from the grid (wofati freezer/refrigerator that is run off of alternative energy/root cellar)
Design an alternative energy plan that covers all of your home energy needs that would pay for itself within 10 years. (Would be cheaper to set up and maintain than 10 years of being on the grid)
Make fuel for your car/truck that covers 20% of your transportation needs on the lab. e.g. alcohol, biodiesel, wood gas
Make sure that less than half of your total energy usage is from fossil fuels

Black Belt-
Design an alternative energy plan that covers all of your home energy needs that would pay for itself within 5 years. (Would be cheaper to set up and maintain than 5 years of being on the grid)
Make fuel for your car/truck that covers 100% of your transportation needs on the lab. e.g. alcohol, biodiesel, wood gas
Make sure that less than 20% of your total energy usage is from fossil fuels


Some videos-










Resources-
Steven Harris's site



Paul mentioned how important it is to make an alternative energy system that SAVES money and energy compared to being on the grid. Anyone with money can buy their own property off grid and drop 100,000 on a pv solar system for their home. But where’s the efficiency in that? If you’re spending tons of money on materials that quickly break down, you’re probably causing more harm to the environment than you would if you were hooked up to the grid. Therefore that’s not in line with our goal of reducing emissions, as well as making our lives easier and cheaper.
 
Posts: 26
Location: Central Coast, CA
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This is a great start.

I like the fact that the first phase involves some tasks focused on energy use awareness and reducing energy consumption. I think this is the most critical step... in doing energy audits for the past 5 years, I often meet people who are chomping at the bit to install solar everywhere in order to become more "green". I always tell them - efficiency and conservation first - reduce how much energy you use and need, THEN focus on alternative production.

Perhaps there could be some other tasks that focus on this. For example:

White belt:
-learn how to read an electric bill, and perform the calculations by hand to reach the final $ total
-calculate how much energy an appliance uses by the nameplate data (watts, or volts and amps), and an estimate of how often it runs
-use a Kill-a-watt or similar device to measure the usage of every major appliance you own for an entire month
-estimate your home's energy usage for a year using the above methods (no electricity bills), and compare with historical annual usage (from electricity bills)

Green Belt
-reduce your total kW demand by 30%, by either installing more efficient lighting/appliances, or better yet eliminating them
-reduce total kWh consumption (after the above bullet is completed, which will have reduced kWh consumption already by at least 30%) by an additional 25% for three months straight, through improved habits (lower heating/higher cooling setpoints, programmable thermostats, turning off lighting, etc)


 
Acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin. This could be handy too:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
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