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Alternate Sources Of Energy?

MTbudz

New Member
I looked around a bit, but I couldn't really find anything on the topic. I was just wondering if anyone here has thought of using alternate sources of energy to save money and or grow off grid. I was looking into it and if you used several windmills and solar panels you could create your own source of off grid power for an indoor op. It wouldn't cost much to get set up and the best part is, you don't have to pay for fuel to power these generators. AND its all renewable and safe for the environment :high-five: Let me know what you think.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
You're looking at thousands of dollars to reliably supply even 1,000 watts for 12 or 18 hours a day, every day. If you don't live in a location that has a high average level of solar energy reaching the panels or a relatively high amount of wind (~10mph to start producing and ~30mph for peak) then you'd have to overbuild which would be even more expensive.

There are systems that constantly and automatically orient solar panels towards the sun to help with solar power efficiency and there is always the option to build multiple wind turbines and to build them higher where the wind is stronger, but that adds a lot more expense (and in the case of building the wind turbines higher, many locations have maximum height restrictions on constructions).

Not trying to dissuade you, but it might be more expensive than you think. For example, the wattage figures you see listed for solar panels is, I believe, at their native voltage which is far less than 120v.
 

MTbudz

New Member
Where I live its quite windy everyday, not to mention on days when its not windy the sun might shine. I agree it would cost quite a bit of money initially, but even if the conditions aren't consistant it would, over time, aleviate some cost to your power bill.
 

VARick

Member
While solar and wind power is an alternative, you would not be able to solely rely on that for being totally off grid. Planning is the big key. What would your total comsumption be on any given day?
Now start adding up the components to get to that number. Panels/turbines, storage, converters (and all of the components to move that power). Huge investment.
Now consider just supplemental. Can you use nature, ie a greenhouse? If so your power needs will decrease.
Which system to choose is now the focus. Solar is only going to be active a limited number of hours each day. Wind could be available 24 hours, but not always strong enough to provide a useable amount (ever been to the wind farm in Palm Springs?).
Now on to passive solar, my favorite. You build a greenhouse to be energy efficient and capture the excess heat for use later. I've owned a passive solar house (wish I still owned it right now) and a passive solar greenhouse and built a heat collector with a fan to move that heat.
Passive is the way to go if you have the room and the means.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Supplemental, passive, using freely available energy for things other than the generation of electricity... Sounds much more viable.

Could be as simple as building a cold frame at your outdoor location in order to be able to set out your plants earlier in the year.

Have an electric water heater? Build something on your roof (or any sunny location, but your roof is probably warmest?) that you install between your cold water supply and the inlet on your water heater. You'd want something that allows for the maximum amount of water. Use a very long piping run in a dense "S" configuration - like you might find in under-floor heat setups - as opposed to a tank. A storage tank has low surface area to volume ratio. You want surface area in this application. Paint everything flat black for maximum solar absorption. Insulate everything that is not designated as a "heating area." If the normal CWS input temperature is 54°F and your water heater heats it to 118°F, and after running through your rooftop contraption the temperature is 76°F... Then you just knocked about a third off of the initial temperature rise that your water heater must perform.

Many people use electricity to heat their water. I'm told that it can be expensive.

I just picked the 76°F number out of thin air. On a sunny winter day with a halfway-decent setup, you should be able to better it if your non-heating components are insulated and everything is somewhat protected from the wind. Perhaps boxing everything in with either an open top or a cover that stops wind yet allows as much incoming sun as possible? Be sure to leave a "cold drain," an open hole at the lowest point of your boxed in area. On a sunny sumer day, temperatures can climb much higher - which is great, but you need to install an over-temperature protection device. That could be something complicated or as simple as a pressure-activated blowoff valve. You also want to install something that will divert/drain the setup when temperatures fall - not only to protect against freezing but also because there will be times (night, overcast days) when the setup is not able to raise the temperature of your water above the input temperature or when it might even fall lower and you do not want to have to spend electricity heating the chilled water back to input temperature, lol.

Don't decide to only use it in the winter and that you'll remember to bypass it whenever the temperature of the water falls. When water freezes, it exerts a significant force - ~114,000psi(?) under theoritical "perfect" conditions which you won't see because of physics, the fact that water freezing under extreme pressure will form more than one type of ice, each of which has its own characteristics, etc. - but the amount of pressure that you will see in real-world conditions will burst concrete like it's paper-mâché, lol.
 

Bill C

New Member
A few years back I was looking very closely at wind turbines as a source of electricity. Even with the Feds kicking in 30%, it would have taken about 15 years to reach the "break even" point, and that was assuming maximum power production 24 hours a day. By far, the largest expense was the tower itself. A complete system, including controller, turbine, & tower was around $90,000. This was for a 200 foot tower with a 20kw turbine. Some states, like California, had very attractive rebates that would have helped a lot, but alas, I live in a state with no such encouragements. I live in a rural area that is zoned as Agriculture, and have to restrictions on heights (one exception to the height rule is that if the tower falls, it cannot land on your neighbors property - the tower needs to be 1.5 times its height from your property line). However, this is not the norm for most people so make sure to check with zoning & building regulations in your area. Height is critical for the turbine to have "clean" airflow.

One of the things I noticed was the wattage rating on the turbines was not consistent from manufacturer to manufacturer. One would rate their turbine at 18mph winds, another would rate them at 25mph.

One company had a 7.5kw turbine rated at 25mph. When the rebates offered by states were based on the kw produced "on the label", this 7.5kw turbine all of a sudden became a 10kw turbine (at 35 mph winds).

Another issue with a wind turbine is they do not always produce usable electricity. If the wind is too slow(<10mph), the turbine does not turn. If the wind is too strong, they shut themselves down to prevent physical damage from the blades spinning out of control. If you are on the grid and lose power from it, all electricity produced by the turbine is wasted by being shunted to ground through a resistor (this prevents electricity from being introduced to downed power lines - safety issue for the power line repair men). This last point is what turned me against it. What was the point of having a turbine producing 20kw of power, and my lights are still out??? There are elaborate transfer switches, batteries, generators, and other technologies to combat this problem, but that sends the cost much higher as well.

I consider wind turbines to be very promising to the future, but still too expensive for average consumers (or growers).
 

Twelve12

Member of the Year: 2011 - Member of the Month: Oct 2011 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2012 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2012
Need about $150,000 - $200,000 to be off the grid with enough power for the house use and grow rooms use. I asked for a quote on solar panels and that's what they gave me. Also heard about magnetic power generator, renewable but not sure how or who to hire to built one. That should be better than solar and wind since you don't need to rely on the environment, it generates its power from magnetic which is ready available at all times. I don't know much about it, or where to buy the stuff but if someone can make it they will make a fortune. The cannabis community will need something like this.
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010

johnnyb5034

New Member
i also looked at solar in summer we burn 7000kw a month for solar at 7000kw a month we needed 3000sf of panels at a cost of $ 165,000 installed fyi
 

FrankFoster

New Member
Solar still expensive the gels and things used in their production is really proprietary and they have a price fixing thing going on. Once solar panels from china come out with organic gel based solar cells or some conductive metal for backing that packs charges they will come down.

I have seen systems where the solar pannels are located on sun directional 360* pivots and there like 1000 square feet of panels powered to auto battery changeover and the whole place is on battery and solar and then diesel generator backup, automatically. And they cost $200,000. but you can be completely covered for wasteful energy useage.
 

Big Charlie

New Member
i dont know there has to be a way wind,water,or sun there has to be a way.i thought about 2 ft water wheels. i read some book in the 90's about water wheels. a couple of 2ft water wheels should be enough to power 1 room size i dont know. i could be wrong more than likly im wrong but it would be nice.keep me posted i would love to here more about this subject
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010
i dont know there has to be a way wind,water,or sun there has to be a way.i thought about 2 ft water wheels. i read some book in the 90's about water wheels. a couple of 2ft water wheels should be enough to power 1 room size i dont know. i could be wrong more than likly im wrong but it would be nice.keep me posted i would love to here more about this subject

The first law of thermodynamics states that we cannot create energy, only convert it from one form to another. Almost all commercial electrical generation is done using electromagnetic induction, in which mechanical energy forces an electrical generator to rotate. So we are always faced with the costs associated with driving the generator and managing the energy produced. If you have at your disposal a mechanical power source that costs you little or nothing (ie. stream to drive water wheels), the only other significant costs will be initial construction and energy management. Whether it's large or small scale, the costs associated with producing energy affect us all. :)
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010

GAM3R

New Member

Perpetual Motion is when you create more energy than you can consume. ie a Permanent Magnet Generator...

I tried to think of every way to lower the cost of electricity.

Unfortunatly there is nothing that works that is cheap, like a Permanent magnet generator. If there was i'm sure its classified.
 

PrairiePoet

Active Member
Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not.

Despite the fact that successful closed system perpetual motion devices are physically impossible in terms of our current understanding of the laws of physics, the pursuit of perpetual motion remains popular.
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010
Perpetual Motion is when you create more energy than you can consume. ie a Permanent Magnet Generator...

I tried to think of every way to lower the cost of electricity.

Unfortunatly there is nothing that works that is cheap, like a Permanent magnet generator. If there was i'm sure its classified.

I wasn't inquiring as to what is perpetual motion, I was wondering what you were trying to say about it.

Greater minds than you or I have been chasing the same rabbit for quite some time....
 

GAM3R

New Member
Great topic........I seen a box that plugged into the wall 110v..and on the other side(of the box) was more wall sockets. I was told that it produced more than it was consuming. Has anyone heard of or seen these?

I've heard its a gimmick. I strongly believe its fake. I don't know how to explain it. All it is, is a power strip.
 
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