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Alternative energy?

Writing4Fun
September 19th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Hi folks. Has anyone seen these (http://www.canadiantire.ca/assortments/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444328 1868&FOLDER%3C%3EbrowsePath=2534374303517494&FOLDER%3C%3EbrowsePath=2534374303517530&FOLDER%3C%3EbrowsePath=1408474396670123&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1408474396670123&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474396670271&bmUID=1127154092298)? Any experience with them? My neighbour was telling us that you can actually buy an "adaptor" to hook it back into your hydro meter, so when your consumption is low enough (say, when you're out of town or in spring/fall when the heat/air isn't pumping) it will actually feed extra energy back into the system, reversing your hydro charges. Any thoughts/ideas/experiences to share?

raingirl
September 19th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Yeah. They've had them for years (I couldn't get to the exact link there, but I assume you mean those solar panels or now they have wind power too!) I plan on getting a bunch when I buy a house. All you need is a converter, and you can get it set up so that all your household needs use it first, then move to pay hydro. Aparently you can get enough sun during the day while you are at work to run your house for the rest of the night!

Prin
September 19th, 2005, 04:17 PM
We used to have solar collectors on the roof (HUGE ones) when I was little. They took care of the hot water heater. If you have a sunny roof, I'd say they're worth it. :)

melanie
September 19th, 2005, 04:45 PM
SOLAR to me is one of the main alternative energies that could save our butts from the mess were in, and its time ppl started investing seriously, hey the worlds kidding itself if it thinks coal will last forever.

you dont need great hot sunny days to generate energy using solar, you dont get alot out of it on cloudy days, but you do produce energy even then and on all types fo days. you just wont produce huge amts on cloudy days, but you will generate some. the amount you get is not based on heat, its based on sunlight. and you can run it all night long and party every day, i assure you. some govt agencies even give rebates when you install them.

basically you will generate eneergy that is stored in your battereis, this is for use at any time. a normal solar set up can run an entire house with no worries, my in laws have thier entire house on it, its a fancy normal house, fans, heating, lights, washing, tv, dishwasher you name it they use it, even a computer. and they produce so much energy that they have jsut started selling back to the grid, it does not take much time to get your monies worth out of em and then when you sell back your making cash. but you can be hooked up so fi you dont produce enough say in a rainy event, you can just switch to the grid and buy coal power.

another fried of mine has a child, her house is totally solar, she lives in a very tropical area where heavey rains are experienced for weeks on end. now even in the recent month long rains up north, she was still producing in the days, not a huge amount but enough to have lights, the washing machine and the child was watching tv and videos all day. during that time i rang her and she stated it was the first time in 2yrs she had to watch her use, but was still producing, its fantastic and if a mother with kids can live on it with all the mod cons then anyoen can really.

and if you own your house you can do alot to make it more heat and energy effecient anyways which would greatly assist your energy use, such as those pink batts in the roof and making sure you ahve good curtains and such.

oh i love this stuf and could go on all day about it....

and the more ppl that support it the better it becoems and more popular, our future is in alternative energies, wind, solar, hydro it will sve our butts big time, coal cant last forever and eventually we will pay a huge price for it making soalr a very cheap alternative.


have fun with it and pat yourself on the back for helping the environment, this action would go along way to reducing your eco footprint i assure you, yay for you :D .

Prin
September 19th, 2005, 04:59 PM
I still find it funny that people use coal. Growing up in Qc, we were always taught that coal was something used way back when, before hydro... Hydro is all I have ever known... Coal is archaic to me.. :D

melanie
September 19th, 2005, 05:24 PM
i heard they have big hydro in canada, nah not here mate, we burn coal like its going out of fashion. and i live near the coal mines, so i spend alot of time yelling things at passign trucks and trins, bloody planet killers.

no australia is pretty arcaic, really we are, its sad, but poor old green peace have jsut started a new campaing to stop aussies using so much coal. and boy are they getting stick for it, but hopefully it will have some impact.

see the prob is our govt does not support alternative energy, there is too much money in coal for them, and many aussies are ignorant twits that think that is jsut find and dandy, when i speak of future generations to ppl in relation to coal use, the most common response i get is 'so what, i wont be around then'. i ahve heard that so many times, stupid rednecks, ahhahahhahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh. it just boggles the mind :eek:

Writing4Fun
September 19th, 2005, 07:23 PM
I was watching the Discovery Channel today, and they were talking about the wind farms in Alberta and out in the middle of the ocean (I think it's out by the Netherlands?). What a fantastic idea, and I'd love to see more of them come up. But, like you said, Mel, there's too much money in fossil fuels for governments to do anything about it right now. :evil:

Last night on Discovery, they were showing how this multi-billionnaire decided to build a bunch of man-made islands shaped like palm trees. These islands would be posh resorts for the use of the rich, powerful and famous people of the world. While the mechanics of the project were impressive, it was yet another shining example of man's supreme arrogance. I'm just waiting for Typhoon Zach to take back that patch of ocean.

I'd love to get that windmill, but I'm wondering if it'll be worth it once they develop that farm field back there. :mad: Maybe solar panels will be the wiser choice after all. Definitely something to ponder...

melanie
September 20th, 2005, 01:38 AM
hydro and wind are amazing stuff, not to mention solar and wave energy, and wild energy sources, i jsut hope we move there sooner rather than later, but im dreamin this is australia, not fairy land mel, sheesh get a grip girly:eek:

forgot to mention over here solar panels are used for electric fencing, you will see small solar panels about the size of two A4 pages, at the farm gates, one panel can cover several paddocks of electric fencing. so it has great appliciations for a huge variety of ppl and needs. :D

Dogastrophe
September 20th, 2005, 07:05 AM
I still find it funny that people use coal. Growing up in Qc, we were always taught that coal was something used way back when, before hydro... Hydro is all I have ever known... Coal is archaic to me.. :D

Canada (at least Atlantic Canada) has quite a few coal fired generator stations.

Prin
September 20th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Really? We're so spoiled in Qc...

Schwinn
September 22nd, 2005, 09:18 AM
Quebec has quite a few coal fired generation plants as well.

Prin
September 22nd, 2005, 11:15 AM
HAHA really?? We NEVER learn about them in school. Only about the hydro dams. Selective teaching you know. Are you saying then that all the fights in Canada didn't involve the English killing tons and tons of French unnecessarily and the French winning anyway??

Oh, I have stories to tell...

Writing4Fun
September 22nd, 2005, 02:40 PM
Got something you want to get off your chest, Prin? :D

Has anyone noticed the gas prices? Hubby tells me he filled up in Schomberg today at $1.05. He was talking with the attendant and was told that the price at that station is going up to $2.50 tonight! He also heard on the news that a station in Scarborough is already selling at $3.00!! :eek:

Here's another I learned on Discovery (Daily Planet, actually)...you can buy a conversion kit for your diesel engine to accept used cooking oil instead of diesel fuel. Just go to your local McD's or Wendy's, ask for their used oil when you pick up your large fries, filter it a little, and then pour it into the tank. Only side effect is that your car will smell like whatever they were cooking that day ... and you might find yourself with the munchies from time to time. ;) Guess what my next car is going to be!!

melanie
September 22nd, 2005, 04:50 PM
oh prin my lovely, not to worry love :o :angel:


Biodiesel/biofuel is brilliant stuff and it does not really smell that much, and you dont need to use fish and chip oil or such, you can use otehr waste oils that dont have a smell and there are now systems using other organic waste products such as corn residue and sugar cane waste. our local council are currently trialing it in the garbage trucks and they say its brilliant.

but your right, you can set up your own biofuel plant at home, there are some great books out there on how to do a home set up.

but other alternatives for our normal cars includes higher octane fuels with a good ethanol mix, ethanol is actually great for your car if it is done in the right doses, it is very effecient and gives of little if no excess particulate pollutants. i will only use fuels with a high octane rating with ethanol mix, recently the petrol companies tried to destroy ethanol sales by claiming it was bad for cars and such, well if its in high amts maybe in the very long term , but it is certainly fine in a good mix and is brilliant for the environment, your health and your car.

and if it makes me feel a little less guilty for eating hot chips, well i say bring it on, as i could eat lots of other junk food too to help the environment and the sustainable fuels industry :D :angel:

Prin
September 22nd, 2005, 05:10 PM
I was told we can't have more than 5% biodiesel here in Canada because it hardens in the cold if it's more than that...

I don't understand gas prices. There is no logic. Crude hasn't gone up higher than it was during Katrina, so why would the gas be double what it was in Katrina?? Bunch of losers taking advantage. :mad:

BMDLuver
September 22nd, 2005, 05:16 PM
I was watching the Discovery Channel today, and they were talking about the wind farms in Alberta
They are amazing, you are driving along then all of a sudden on a hill is a row of them. They look majestic. You see a lot of them when you drive down to Pritchard Creek area of ALberta.

We have friends who exist solely on solar energy and windmill power. Where they live, there is no hydro.. they like remote. You go in by ATV or skidoo as there are no roads. He built his home himself as a retirement project. Quite amaxzing really. :thumbs up

mesaana
September 22nd, 2005, 05:39 PM
Schwinn,

I'm just curious what plants you are talking about. A friend and I were quite surprised by your comment and we have been looking for information on this for a while now and we cannot find any record of an electricity generating coal plant in Quebec. There might be some very small privately owned ones. I presume those are the ones you are talking about. But both the Canadian government and the Québec (including Hydro-Québec) government sites make no mention of them.

Thanks

Lyne

Prin
September 22nd, 2005, 05:50 PM
LOL I don't know if they would mention them... You know?

mesaana
September 22nd, 2005, 06:00 PM
The Canadian site lists the ones in the other provinces... I'm just curious, that's all. I got the same story as you, Prin so I want to know if I've been lied to! ;)

Lyne

Prin
September 22nd, 2005, 10:21 PM
I found this site that has a breakdown of energy in North America, but it only says the West produces coal in Canada... It also says Qc exports 4 times the power that it uses... :crazy:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/canada.html

This one says the Arctic circle, the plains and Cape Breton... http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/scho-ecol/main_e.htm#coal

This one could have it, but when you click on "Coal mining", you get an error screen... http://www.quebecweb.com/planang.html

I think there is a conspiracy to keep it really, really quiet if there are any coal mines around here... :eek: :evil:

oooh I found this:
Assessment of Coal Fired Prospects in Canada: Quebec
• Recent RFP for 1200 MW of new generation attracted bids for 4700 MW
• Bids were gas and hydro with small amount of biomass
• Would be extremely difficult to permit a coal plant
• Low probability of coal opportunities in foreseeable future
Here: Coal Conference pdf (http://www.coal.ca/events/44cconf/conf/speakers/gunn.pdf)
And in his conclusions:
BC and Quebec are areas that will have extreme difficulty in permitting coal

So I don't know if that answers "are there any coal plants?" as much as "Will there be any more?"

Prin
September 22nd, 2005, 10:27 PM
Here's a cool David Suzuki energy map of Canada... On that map, Quebec ROCKS!!!! (poor Manitoba- clean, but sandwiched between two dirties...) http://www.davidsuzuki.org/files/WOL/GreenMap.pdf

Schwinn
September 23rd, 2005, 10:40 AM
Schwinn,

I'm just curious what plants you are talking about. A friend and I were quite surprised by your comment and we have been looking for information on this for a while now and we cannot find any record of an electricity generating coal plant in Quebec. There might be some very small privately owned ones. I presume those are the ones you are talking about. But both the Canadian government and the Québec (including Hydro-Québec) government sites make no mention of them.

Thanks

Lyne

Well, I could be mistaken (I've done that once or twice). My understanding is there were coal plants all over Canada, and I understood that while Quebec has an impressive amount of hydro-electric, that not all hydro came from that source. I apologize, as it appears that isn't the case. I also find it surprising that not only can Quebec produce enough electricity for themselves, they can export so much!

BMDLuver
September 23rd, 2005, 10:50 AM
http://www.coal.ca/pubs/Coal_Kit_mod2.pdf

This discusses coal production in Canada. It notes the provinces that use coal further along in the article to create electricity and Quebec is not one of them. It also has a map indicating active coal mines and where. Just for information for those interested. :)

Schwinn
September 23rd, 2005, 11:03 AM
but other alternatives for our normal cars includes higher octane fuels with a good ethanol mix, ethanol is actually great for your car if it is done in the right doses, it is very effecient and gives of little if no excess particulate pollutants. i will only use fuels with a high octane rating with ethanol mix, recently the petrol companies tried to destroy ethanol sales by claiming it was bad for cars and such, well if its in high amts maybe in the very long term , but it is certainly fine in a good mix and is brilliant for the environment, your health and your car.



The problem with high octane is two fold. First is that the higher cost of premium fuel is not off-set by the savings in fuel efficiency. I used to use a higher grade myself, but I can barely afford the cheap stuff now. The other problem is with the newer vehicles, some engines can not handle the higher octane fuel (I know my truck has a warning that higher octane should never be used as they can damage the electronics in my vehicle). Ironically, most of the older cars have no problem handling the higher octane. If you have a vehicle that can handle the higher octane, the best thing to do if you want to off-set the benefits vs risk is go with a mid-grade fuel (assuming that they have three grades everywhere as they do in North America). High octane fuels will eventually burn out your valves, which will in turn increase your fuel consumption, and also cause your vehicle to become less enviromentally friendly.

mesaana
September 23rd, 2005, 11:33 AM
Schwinn,

it's quite alright, I'm wrong all the time ;) But actually, you are right. There's not only hydro. We also have one nuclear plant and a few thermal plants. If you're interested, the info is here:

http://www.hydroquebec.com/generation/index.html

Lyne

Prin
September 23rd, 2005, 04:10 PM
I also find it surprising that not only can Quebec produce enough electricity for themselves, they can export so much!
Yeah, that's because Quebec is screwing the pants off of Newfoundland and Labrador. We used to even have Labrador on our drivers' license... They pay a fixed amount from a contract from I think 1966, so you can imagine how cheaply Qc gets their hydro.

They have a "guaranteed power" deal with Vermont and New York, hence, during the ice storm, while we did not have power, the reinforced hydro pilons made sure the Americans did. On the cover of the Gazette during the storm, they showed three rows of pilons and only the centre one meant for Qc consumption was all collapsed.

melanie
September 23rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
quote' The problem with high octane is two fold. First is that the higher cost of premium fuel is not off-set by the savings in fuel efficiency. I used to use a higher grade myself, but I can barely afford the cheap stuff now. The other problem is with the newer vehicles, some engines can not handle the higher octane fuel (I know my truck has a warning that higher octane should never be used as they can damage the electronics in my vehicle'

so for the average new car your saying cleaner, more effecient fuel is not a good thing?? interesting theory that. i would have thought cleaner fuel is a big bonus, adding to the longevity of the car. man you msut work for the fuel companies, you only ever seem to tout their glories and their products. :o

personally, i think water quality, air quality, human health, env health, and such far outweigh an extra year of life on a car. cause realistically that is all you will get i would imagine, its not like if you use dirty low octane fuel you will get a long life out of a car i imagine low quality fuel wil ahve the same effect of high quality in such a case., so using clean effecient fuel could not impact that greatly on the life span of the car.

either way i certainly think that is a dangerous argument to put forth in this sort of issue, personally human health and the env far outweigh my desire to save a buck in the super long term, as humans we need to consider our impact in terms other than our own personal space and that on our wallet. as humans we should be a bit more responsible than that.

Quote ' High octane fuels will eventually burn out your valves, which will in turn increase your fuel consumption' really?? what level of rating is that, 10000octane :D and how long you driving that car for, 200yrs. comon how does this relate to the normal life span of the car??

sorry but my mechanic (hubby) would not let me put it in my imported engine if this was the case, he assures me that it will only add to the longevity of my fuel consumption, burn cleaner in the car, be more effecient and al l that stuff i said before and certainly wont damage my car, and that is 98 oct. but i will go over again jsut to double check..... :rolleyes:

either way, if we keep doing what we do now, our children and theres will be very unhealthy living in a dead env. i personally woudl like to offset that by using effecient greener fuels and makeing a concerted effort to make it better for them through my actions and my concious choice of products. rather tahn killing the planet and future generations to save a quick buck.....

jjgeonerd
September 23rd, 2005, 05:32 PM
Since it has been mentioned in 2 separate threads...see the "how are you planning to cope" thread for the lowdown on octane.

melanie
September 24th, 2005, 05:40 PM
have jsut found out that all modern cars, but not all modern working vehicles such as the one schwinn mentions above, but all mod vehicles have hardened valves, i can only find it from 1992 models onwards... not sure before that.

Prin
September 25th, 2005, 12:27 AM
All I know about higher octane is if I put it in my car (acura 1.6), I get 100kms more per tank. That's my car, maybe not other people's cars.

melanie
September 25th, 2005, 05:01 PM
hey solar must not be a difficult technology, im not up to date on how it exactly works inside or how it is installed. but hubby came home yesterday with a stack of small PV Cells (the little cells that make up the big solar cell on your roof) and he is makeing a little solar genertor to take camping, he seems to be generating power through it, which is odd, its jsut a little blue disk, about 10cmsquared, so it mustnot be that hard, and i would imagine if its not that hard, they probably are easy and cheap enoug hto maintain and such, well i just thought it might anyway.

its jsut weird were having this chat, and he brigns that home. boy i wish i was as clever as him sometimes, asi f i were in that spot, i would have thrown them out not knowing what the heck to do with them.


yay so now we have solar for camping, should be interesting.... :D

Writing4Fun
September 26th, 2005, 11:32 AM
This is funny .... hubby and I were seriously discussing alternative energy yesterday, what our best options would be, how to pay for it, where to pick up the equipment, yadda, yadda ... doesn't the power go out for 6 1/2 hours right in the middle of our conversation? I swear, it was like a sign from God. :D

Even funnier ... my neighbour (the guy who got us thinking about alternative energy in the first place) owns two generators. One he had lent to a friend who was going camping for the week. The other he had brought in for servicing because it was humming slightly. So, while we were under the impression that he was living large last night and laughing at the rest of us poor slaves to hydro, he was actually in the same boat as the rest of us. :p

Actually, he had a deep cycle battery in the garage that he hooked up to an inverter and plugged a lamp and his alarm clock into. We have a deep cycle battery too. It's in our garage. When the power's out, though, we can't open the garage door. Use the back door, you say? Well, that would have been an option, if hubby didn't block it off with ladders so that bad guys can't break in to steal his toys. Works like a charm, hun. :rolleyes:

jjgeonerd
September 26th, 2005, 11:41 AM
If my wife and I ever build a custom house we are going to use alternative materials. I did the geotech engineering for a house that was built from fiberglass and high density foam. The walls were about 6 inches thick and were made of high density foam sandwiched between 2 pieces or 1/8 or 1/4 inch fiberglass. They house was something like 5-10 times more energy efficient than the typical wood framed house. we will also use solar panels on our roof extensively. We just need more money. :rolleyes:

Another benefit of the house was you could choose any architectural style since the whole thing was made in a factory...and window can also go absolutely anywhere since they just entail cutting a hole in the wall! The house sat on a standard concrete foundation, and showed up on-site in a semi-truck and was pieced together like legos. Took like 2 weeks to build!

Really cool :thumbs up

Prin
September 26th, 2005, 01:09 PM
I like the one in PEI that's in a hill. "Honey! I'm going to mow the roof!" :D

Schwinn
September 26th, 2005, 09:35 PM
so for the average new car your saying cleaner, more effecient fuel is not a good thing?? interesting theory that. i would have thought cleaner fuel is a big bonus, adding to the longevity of the car. man you msut work for the fuel companies, you only ever seem to tout their glories and their products. :o

personally, i think water quality, air quality, human health, env health, and such far outweigh an extra year of life on a car. cause realistically that is all you will get i would imagine, its not like if you use dirty low octane fuel you will get a long life out of a car i imagine low quality fuel wil ahve the same effect of high quality in such a case., so using clean effecient fuel could not impact that greatly on the life span of the car.

either way i certainly think that is a dangerous argument to put forth in this sort of issue, personally human health and the env far outweigh my desire to save a buck in the super long term, as humans we need to consider our impact in terms other than our own personal space and that on our wallet. as humans we should be a bit more responsible than that.



Actually the reason is quite simple...modern cars are designed to burn a set octane rating the most efficiently possible. Because of such tight specifications set by the engine, using a different octane rating causes those systems to run into flaws, and causes all the enviromental restrictions on the vehicle to break down, long before your car will cause you problems. Don't believe me? I don't know about the rules across the pond there, but here we have to take a car in to have the emissions checked every three years. Take a look at someone's car who runs the proper octane vs. someone who runs higher octane. They may not notice the difference in the way thier car is running, but the emmisions sheets will show otherwise. Higher octane=higher burning, which causes the catalytic converter to break down faster, and PCV valves to clog faster, all things which you won't notice until it is too late. Unfortunately, it is the 3-5 years you've been running your car without noticing that the envirmental damage is done.

As for working for the car companies or the gas companies, I'm not the one pushing more expensive gas so that cars will need to be replaced more often. ;)

Quote ' High octane fuels will eventually burn out your valves, which will in turn increase your fuel consumption' really?? what level of rating is that, 10000octane :D and how long you driving that car for, 200yrs. comon how does this relate to the normal life span of the car??

Actually, in North America, that rating would be 93, and in some cases, 91. And no, if I'm putting the higher octane in my car, I'm not driving it for 200years.

sorry but my mechanic (hubby) would not let me put it in my imported engine if this was the case, he assures me that it will only add to the longevity of my fuel consumption, burn cleaner in the car, be more effecient and al l that stuff i said before and certainly wont damage my car, and that is 98 oct. but i will go over again jsut to double check..... :rolleyes:

either way, if we keep doing what we do now, our children and theres will be very unhealthy living in a dead env. i personally woudl like to offset that by using effecient greener fuels and makeing a concerted effort to make it better for them through my actions and my concious choice of products. rather tahn killing the planet and future generations to save a quick buck.....

And if you're driving a car that has the same strict emmision systems as here, and it is a newer car, you might want to get a new mechanic (but keep the hubby! :D )

I personally would like off-set that by driving an efficient car that remains that by driving it the way it is designed to be driven. That's why I buy more expensive oil, to keep the gas mileage down and avoid having an engine that starts breaking down and causing more emmisions.

Schwinn
September 26th, 2005, 09:37 PM
have jsut found out that all modern cars, but not all modern working vehicles such as the one schwinn mentions above, but all mod vehicles have hardened valves, i can only find it from 1992 models onwards... not sure before that.

Hardened valves have been around for years. They, too, can burn out.

Prin
September 26th, 2005, 10:00 PM
I think in a lot of ways, comparing cars from different countries is like comparing apples and oranges. When I was in Ireland, everything was different. Even the steering was sharper, and the turn radius of cars was smaller. They're just different cars.

That's why I'm anxious to see if "bringing the Yaris" here really means "bringing the Yaris" and not some north americanized version.

We put up with crap mileage and even crap reliability here. In Europe, they make half the salaries, the cars cost double and the gas costs at least double what it does here. They HAVE to be reliable. They have to be fuel efficient. They just don't have the money to throw around like we do.

Some of you might not agree, but let me tell you- life is so expensive over there and people manage their money so well. They still have new cars on their tiny salaries. It's crazy.