Questions about setting up an existing home

bnlfanbnlfan Registered Users Posts: 8
Hello all.

I have been doing a lot of research and found that there are a LOT of items availble that are energy efficient.
What I would like is some real world experience with high efficient items to replace what I have today.
I do realize there are going to be some major changes in my habits and I do not have a problem with that.
For certain items, I will indicate what I already plan to do different with said item.
If you have a brand, model, or source for a replacement item, please tell me.

Below are the items I currently have and will likely continue to use or use a more efficient model. If feasible I will switch to dc verses ac items. Unless there are models I can put in an AC outlet/fixture.

Wall mounted AM/FM CD player alarm clock
Uses 12 W
(Will unplug when not using radio and will use my wind up alarm clock)

Typewriter
.3a 30 W
Use this very little. Maybe an hour over a months time.

Printer/Scanner/Copier
120v 30ma .03 amps

50" Plasma TV
262 Watts (roughly 4 hours per day)

WII Game console
22 W (used with tv 4 hours)

Sony Multi Disc CD Player
14 W (used about 3 hours a week)

Fan
165W (Runs pretty much 4 hours per day)

Desktop Computer
6.3 A 120V (Runs about 3 hours per day)

Monitor
1.2a 120v (Runs about 3 hours per day)

Computer Speakers
2.5W (Runs about 3 hours per day)

Oreck Vacuum
4.0a 120V (Runs about 1 hour or less a week)

Surround Sound
67W (Runs about 3 hours a week with cd player)

DVD burner/player
20W (Runs about 4 hours a week)

Laptop
100v 1.8a (Runs about 4 hours a day)

Lights
11 light bulbs average 60 watts

Now here are the items I run that I know are not going to stay with an Off Grid system

Clothes Washer
100A 120V (This will be used with a stand alone generator)

3 window air conditioners (will use with a generator unless I find an alternative)

Hot Water Heater - building a solar water heater

Clothes Dryer - have started drying on a clothes line

Heat and cooking is supplied by gas.
I actually plan to try making a solar heater.

Upright refrigerator - considering a 12 volt Sundanzer 5 to 8 cubic foot.

I also have a blender, juicer, microwave, toaster oven, and crock pot.
The crockpot and toaster oven get used. Crockpot once a week for about 4 hours.
Toaster oven, 1 hour 3 times a week.

Thank you
Robert

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    Gt rid of the 60 watt bulbs! A 15 watt CFL will use 1/4 as much power for the same light! a 5 watt LED will use 1/10! 11*60=660 watt, burning them for 6 hours is nearly 4 kwh/day! The same load with CFLs would be under 1 kwh, LED less than .5 kwh! Not only that, but the bulbs generate so much heat, that your A/C load is increased. That is the single biggest waste issue.

    Unplug all devices or put them on outlets strips to kill the phantom loads. Consider getting rid of the desk top and monitor and go to lap tops, move from lap tops to tablets. Consider putting you CDs on MP3 and ditching the cd changer.

    Buy a P3 Kill-a-watt meter, ~$20, and actully measure the loads and thier daily draws. It can be pretty eye opening, especially with phantom loads.
    Just a start, got to run,, but welcome to the forum!

    Tony

    PS What is a typewriter?
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    In addition to what tony suggested, you could also consider replacing your TV. A plasma is about the most energy hungry flat screen available. An LED version will be much better. Also, you could consider mini-split air conditioners that are much more efficient than the window types.
  • bnlfanbnlfan Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    I already figured the tv was going to go. LCD was on my list.
    I don't plan to run the air conditioners on the system.
    I did the math online and if I tried to run everything I currently have runnng I would need around 18 230 watt panels and 113 trojan batteries.

    :0) There are going to be a lot of changes.
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 284 ✭✭✭
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    Yep just got a 32 inch led tv , uses 30 watts. refrigeration , consider an energy efficient Samsung or similar .
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
  • bnlfanbnlfan Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home
    Yep just got a 32 inch led tv , uses 30 watts. refrigeration , consider an energy efficient Samsung or similar .

    Never realized it until I looked it up based on your recomendation.

    I have a Samsung RB215ACWP refrigerator.

    It says on the Samsung website that it is Energy Star Complaint at 450KWH/ year

    I guess that is one change I won't have to make.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    don't just buy a tv as you should research it for the features as well as the power consumption. of course in general, the bigger the tv the more it is likely to draw so ask yourself if you could enjoy a tv that is smaller and just how small you would be willing to go. note that some smaller tvs may in fact draw more than a few larger tvs so the research is vital. many do have power saving features you can implement like my 32in lcd can go as low as 32w, but it has a normal and midrange setting too and i keep mine at midrange and it's about 65w there if i remember rightly. i have forgotten what it is on normal which would be what the specs would normally show.

    now the energy star rating is a good rough indicator for you, but it isn't always right on as my tv was not e star if i remember correctly and my tv can still be throttled way down.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    Whoa there BNI, slow down a bit,, especially before your anything! The biggest single mistake in RE is "Ready, Fire, Aim".

    First question, do you the grid available? If so, why are you entitling to go partially off grid? You do realize that grid tie PV is 1/2 the price of grid tie, at better than twice as efficient? Next, my guess is something is wrong with your calc. of 113 Trojan batteries!

    Personally I would suggest that you do some more reading and gain some more understanding of the issues and economics of PV and understnd why you are wishing to to do so! ((Hint, battery based Solar will NEVER save money over grid tie, and in fact, if you are looking for a large scale ups for emergencies, you are way cheaper per kwh to use a good genny.

    Tony
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home
    bnlfan wrote: »
    It says on the Samsung website that it is Energy Star Complaint at 450KWH/ year

    That's about 3 times what mine uses ;) It's a 7ft combi fridge/freezer no ice maker, Spanish made so probably not available in the US.

    So that's a difference of 300kWh/year = 800Wh/day which in my neck of the woods translates to an additional 500W of PV. If you can find PV for a dollar/Watt, that means you could spend $500 more on a 150kWh/year fridge to break even.
  • bnlfanbnlfan Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home
    icarus wrote: »
    Whoa there BNI, slow down a bit,, especially before your anything! The biggest single mistake in RE is "Ready, Fire, Aim".

    First question, do you the grid available? If so, why are you entitling to go partially off grid? You do realize that grid tie PV is 1/2 the price of grid tie, at better than twice as efficient? Next, my guess is something is wrong with your calc. of 113 Trojan batteries!

    Personally I would suggest that you do some more reading and gain some more understanding of the issues and economics of PV and understnd why you are wishing to to do so! ((Hint, battery based Solar will NEVER save money over grid tie, and in fact, if you are looking for a large scale ups for emergencies, you are way cheaper per kwh to use a good genny.

    Tony

    I am not planning to remain in this home. I actually plan to relocate to an area that does not have power available to it. I am looking at alternatives for the items that I currently use. The reference to the large number of batteries and panels was just a statement of the extremes that I would have to go through to meet my current usage. Which in itself is extreme.

    I never realized how much power my house wasted.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,867 admin
    Re: Questions about setting up an existing home

    When we have grid power available--it is amazingly cheap and can make a nice comfy life for us and our families.

    When you go off grid--It really helps to clamp down on the amount of power used. Helps reduce system costs and maintenance costs down the road (batteries every 5-10 years, inverters/charger/electronics every 10+ years, etc.).

    Battery banks tend to be the "weak spot" for most folks. Do something wrong to the batteries, and a week later, you are buying a new battery bank (why we suggest a "cheap/training" bank for first time (and second time) solar power users).

    As an aim point--See what you would do if you had ~3.3 kWH per day (~100 kWH per month) to "live on" from pure solar PV/Battery system (say for 9 months a year, the other 3 months will probably use some generator backup power/fuel).

    Again--Energy usage is highly personal. Just trying to be practical because most of us here are pretty cheap folks.

    There are a few people here that have much larger systems--But they tend to be in the American Southwest where there is lots of sun in the summer and they need A/C for their homes and they may run off grid businesses/ranches too.

    For somebody running an energy efficient home with modern electric conveniences, 3.3 kWH per day is about enough. Lights, TV, Laptop computer, Fridge, well pump, electric washer, etc... But--it does not give much room for kids with X-Boxes, 42 inch TV's, lights left on, etc.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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