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RE: [hreg] Solar info from WISE

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  • Ewert, Mike
    Kevin, I hadn t heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build solar
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 16, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked
      some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
      solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
      things. Here is what one said.

      Personally, I think there are cases when you should remain DC too. I'd like
      to see more DC appliances mass produced so they don't cost twice as much as
      AC counterparts.
      ____________________________________________________________________________
      __________
      This gentleman is talking about two things, PV power and clean power.

      PV power:

      By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric energy
      when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
      eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
      inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
      the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their investment.
      The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
      bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
      buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
      (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even, the
      utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).

      Clean Power

      PV inherently isn't clean by itself, it takes a stable source (batteries)
      and a high quality inverter. The cases that need very clean power (cleaner
      than the grid) are very few. If you have one of these situations, you don't
      need PV, you can go to battery backed, off grid system (UPS) that powers the
      critical loads. The batteries can be charged by the grid and/or PV (or
      other supply, diesel generator). If charging these with PV is desired, then
      undersize the PV and use the grid for the rest of the energy. This will be
      much more cost effective than sizing the PV for worst case which greatly
      under utilizes the PV the rest of the time. Another way to go is to use an
      on/off grid controller that allows the PV to charge the batteries, when they
      are fully charged, then the excess power goes to the grid (in this case the
      array can be oversized). The off grid inverter (vs. on grid) is usually
      less expensive per watt, but you need to size it significantly larger than
      your array power in order to handle the surge loads. This makes it more
      expensive. A 1000W array would need a 1000W grid tied inverter, but would
      need at least a 4kW off grid inverter to handle motor starting loads (pumps,
      washer, dryer).

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Kevin L. Conlin [mailto:kconlin@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 8:57 PM
      To: hreg@egroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


      Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative, and
      while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for
      mainstream consumers, we should not overlook specific tasks within the home
      that solar is well suited for. For example, a power system dedicated to the
      home computer and other sensitive electronics that may be damaged by spikes,
      sags, brownouts, etc can be economically justified by avoiding expensive
      crashes or other damage that occurs because of "dirty" utility power. I've
      always thought that just dumping clean solar power back into the grid is a
      waste of a valuable resource. regards, Kevin

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Steve Shepard <sbtdesigns@...>
      To: <hreg@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 3:56 PM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


      > The only problem with a DC home is that it is totally incompatible with
      > 99.9% of the homes on this continent. A DC home also cannot be intertied
      > with the electric utility grid and requires unique hardware that is also
      > incompatible.
      >
      > We don't recommend them.
      >
      > SBT Designs
      > 25840 IH-10 West #1
      > Boerne, Texas 78006
      > 210-698-7109
      > FAX: 210-698-7147
      > http://www.sbtdesigns.com
      > sbtdesigns@...
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Becky Merritt" <bmeritt@...>
      > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:26 AM
      > Subject: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
      >
      >
      > > I thought this was particularly interesting, so I'm passing it along.
      > > Becky Merritt
      > >
      > >
      > > One of the ways to reach greater efficiency is to use DC electricity
      where
      > it is most efficient. DC is especially efficient for motors (fans,
      vacuums,
      > blenders, tools...). Laptop computers, and in fact any appliance with one
      of
      > those big fat boxes that plugs into the wall, are DC, and are converting
      > your AC power at the plug. DC also works well for lighting.
      > >
      > > Briefly, our homes and appliances generally use Alternating Current
      (AC).
      > This is because AC travels well over long distances without dropping
      > voltage, and our generating facilities are usually far from our homes. PV
      > panels create Direct Current (DC). You don't get much voltage drop,
      because
      > the panels are right near the point of use. However most solar systems
      have
      > an inverter to convert the DC to AC because our appliances are AC. Remote
      > systems, such as boat or RV, will often use the current as DC without
      > inverting it, because DC appliances are already popular in those markets.
      > >
      > > One of my partners in Emerald Resource Solutions, Cari Spring, lives in
      a
      > super-efficient off-the-grid home powered by sun and wind. The house is
      > adobe and takes advantage of passive solar design. She has four 75-watt
      > solar panels, a wind generator, a batch solar water heater with propane
      > on-demand backup, and a solar heated radiant floor heating system. She
      uses
      > a small propane-powered refrigerator. Despite having only a 1/3 kW system,
      > she and her partner have more electricity in the winter than they can use.
      > (Summertime cooling loads are bigger here in Arizona than winter heating.)
      > >
      > > She has two wiring systems with receptacles. She runs the house mostly
      on
      > DC -- lights, fans and computer. When she wants to watch TV or listen to
      the
      > stereo, she turns on the inverter. This has the added benefit of having
      the
      > house free of electromagnetic fields most of the time. She was told that
      DC
      > lights were not as efficient, but found that the loss of efficiency in
      > inverting DC to AC was equal, and she preferred to leave the inverter off.
      > For more on Cari's house, I will send a PDF article attached to the next
      > e-mail.
      > >
      > > Emerald Resource Solutions also has done a DC retrofit to an in-town,
      > on-grid house. We installed one 120 watt panel on a super-efficient old
      > adobe to assist the owners in moving off grid. Unfortunately, Annie, it
      > wasn't as simple as a panel to a plug. It's a full system of conduit,
      > batteries, monitors, shut-offs, etc., and took a full weekend to install.
      > But the residents have fans, lights, and a car stereo they power with the
      > panel.
      > >
      > > The closest thing I know to "plug and play" right now is the Ascension
      > Technologies "AC panels" that have the inverter built right onto the
      panel,
      > so you don't have a separate component for that. I do know that at the
      > recent brainstorms conducted by the Utility Photovoltaic Group for the
      > Department of Energy, the idea of "plug and play" solar systems was one of
      > the crucial ideas for popularizing solar. I hope the industry is paying
      > attention.
      > >
      > > Lisa
      > >
      > > Lisa Stage
      > > Emerald Resource Solutions
      > > lisa@...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Kevin L. Conlin
      Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative, and while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for mainstream
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 7, 2000
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        Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative, and
        while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for
        mainstream consumers, we should not overlook specific tasks within the home
        that solar is well suited for. For example, a power system dedicated to the
        home computer and other sensitive electronics that may be damaged by spikes,
        sags, brownouts, etc can be economically justified by avoiding expensive
        crashes or other damage that occurs because of "dirty" utility power. I've
        always thought that just dumping clean solar power back into the grid is a
        waste of a valuable resource. regards, Kevin

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Steve Shepard <sbtdesigns@...>
        To: <hreg@egroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 3:56 PM
        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


        > The only problem with a DC home is that it is totally incompatible with
        > 99.9% of the homes on this continent. A DC home also cannot be intertied
        > with the electric utility grid and requires unique hardware that is also
        > incompatible.
        >
        > We don't recommend them.
        >
        > SBT Designs
        > 25840 IH-10 West #1
        > Boerne, Texas 78006
        > 210-698-7109
        > FAX: 210-698-7147
        > http://www.sbtdesigns.com
        > sbtdesigns@...
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Becky Merritt" <bmeritt@...>
        > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
        > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:26 AM
        > Subject: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
        >
        >
        > > I thought this was particularly interesting, so I'm passing it along.
        > > Becky Merritt
        > >
        > >
        > > One of the ways to reach greater efficiency is to use DC electricity
        where
        > it is most efficient. DC is especially efficient for motors (fans,
        vacuums,
        > blenders, tools...). Laptop computers, and in fact any appliance with one
        of
        > those big fat boxes that plugs into the wall, are DC, and are converting
        > your AC power at the plug. DC also works well for lighting.
        > >
        > > Briefly, our homes and appliances generally use Alternating Current
        (AC).
        > This is because AC travels well over long distances without dropping
        > voltage, and our generating facilities are usually far from our homes. PV
        > panels create Direct Current (DC). You don't get much voltage drop,
        because
        > the panels are right near the point of use. However most solar systems
        have
        > an inverter to convert the DC to AC because our appliances are AC. Remote
        > systems, such as boat or RV, will often use the current as DC without
        > inverting it, because DC appliances are already popular in those markets.
        > >
        > > One of my partners in Emerald Resource Solutions, Cari Spring, lives in
        a
        > super-efficient off-the-grid home powered by sun and wind. The house is
        > adobe and takes advantage of passive solar design. She has four 75-watt
        > solar panels, a wind generator, a batch solar water heater with propane
        > on-demand backup, and a solar heated radiant floor heating system. She
        uses
        > a small propane-powered refrigerator. Despite having only a 1/3 kW system,
        > she and her partner have more electricity in the winter than they can use.
        > (Summertime cooling loads are bigger here in Arizona than winter heating.)
        > >
        > > She has two wiring systems with receptacles. She runs the house mostly
        on
        > DC -- lights, fans and computer. When she wants to watch TV or listen to
        the
        > stereo, she turns on the inverter. This has the added benefit of having
        the
        > house free of electromagnetic fields most of the time. She was told that
        DC
        > lights were not as efficient, but found that the loss of efficiency in
        > inverting DC to AC was equal, and she preferred to leave the inverter off.
        > For more on Cari's house, I will send a PDF article attached to the next
        > e-mail.
        > >
        > > Emerald Resource Solutions also has done a DC retrofit to an in-town,
        > on-grid house. We installed one 120 watt panel on a super-efficient old
        > adobe to assist the owners in moving off grid. Unfortunately, Annie, it
        > wasn't as simple as a panel to a plug. It's a full system of conduit,
        > batteries, monitors, shut-offs, etc., and took a full weekend to install.
        > But the residents have fans, lights, and a car stereo they power with the
        > panel.
        > >
        > > The closest thing I know to "plug and play" right now is the Ascension
        > Technologies "AC panels" that have the inverter built right onto the
        panel,
        > so you don't have a separate component for that. I do know that at the
        > recent brainstorms conducted by the Utility Photovoltaic Group for the
        > Department of Energy, the idea of "plug and play" solar systems was one of
        > the crucial ideas for popularizing solar. I hope the industry is paying
        > attention.
        > >
        > > Lisa
        > >
        > > Lisa Stage
        > > Emerald Resource Solutions
        > > lisa@...
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Chuck Wright
        As he says, Net Metering provides a nearly ideal storage mechanism for a grid-attached PV. Highly efficient and free, other than the additional cost of an
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 17, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          As he says, Net Metering provides a nearly ideal storage mechanism
          for a grid-attached PV. Highly efficient and free, other than the
          additional cost of an inverter that can handle this. If you have
          extra power, you pump it into the grid and your meter runs backwards.
          Effectively, the utility provides you, for no charge, a place to put your
          surplus, to take it back whenever you want.

          I attended the TREIA meeting yesterday in Austin, where there
          were discussions of the new utility deregulation legislation that
          is in progress.

          John Hoffner spoke about the future of Net Metering. As things
          stand, it looks like Net Metering could go away. The problem is
          that with the new system, the company that controls the lines
          is separate from the company that generates power. So, it is
          unclear who you would be selling power to.

          The utilities mostly dislike net metering, saying they are providing
          free storage for people. They are right. Some utilities favor having
          2 ratcheted meters, one for the electricity coming in, and one for the
          electricity going out. There would doubtless be different rates for
          the two.

          It should be pointed out that the times of PV's peak output
          in the summer correspond to times of peak demand, when the
          value of electricity is actually above average. This effect should
          to some degree offset the "free" storage service that the utility
          provides.

          The worst of all possibilities would be that you would have a single
          meter that would be ratcheted to only run forward. You might
          generate a surplus, but it would just go to onto the grid without
          compensation. At this point, the grid is worthless as a storage device
          (except for altruistic motives).

          John is trying to formulate a TREIA position/strategy on net
          metering. I think that this is a rather critical time. If anyone has
          good ideas or creative ways of looking at the problem, now would
          be a good time to speak up.

          > Message: 1
          > Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:25:05 -0600
          > From: "Ewert, Mike" <mike.ewert@...>
          > Subject: RE: Solar info from WISE
          >
          > Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked
          > some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
          > solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
          > things. Here is what one said.
          >

          <snip>

          >
          > PV power:
          >
          > By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric energy
          > when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
          > eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
          > inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
          > the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their investment.
          > The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
          > bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
          > buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
          > (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even, the
          > utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).

          --
          Chuck Wright
          http://www.chuck-wright.com
        • Kevin L. Conlin
          Hi Mike, Thanks for your response, the points are accurate, but I don t agree with their position. My point was that if you are running sensitive loads such
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 17, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Mike, Thanks for your response, the points are accurate, but I don't
            agree with their position. My point was that if you are running sensitive
            loads such as computers, phone systems, etc you will have to invest in
            power conditioning equipment anyway, such as surge protectors and UPS
            modules, which contain batteries and inverters. If you limit the use to
            electronics, you do not need surge capability. And while an AC-UPS system
            will be cheaper if you simply use the grid to charge the batteries, a solar
            charged one will utilize the clean solar power tp provide clean AC power. I
            don't agree that solar in not inherently clean, it is. What makes it dirty
            is sending it through the typically cheap solar voltage regulators which,
            because of poor quality and swithcing frequencies, create electronic noise
            that can disturb sensitive electronics. We have even had problems with the
            better regulators such as Morningstar.

            As for inverter sizing, keep in mind that with a battery charging system,
            the inverter has to be sized to the load, not the PV array, and although
            batteries have their limitations and drawbacks, they are still the best way
            to back-up critical loads. As you know, I don't recommend PV when you have a
            grid connect anyway, but stand by my position that by utilizing solar for
            critical and sensitive loads is just as economic as dumping it back into the
            grid, because you are in effect net metering by using it for a dedicated
            purpose. The difference is somewhat philosophical, but I think solar is
            more cost effective when used in this fashion, and people would be more
            willing to use it for small systems such as UPS rather than trying to power
            their home or offset their utility bills with it. I have one customer who
            has backed up his AC sites for years with a small solar system, and he
            reports that they are the most reliable sites in his network (he has
            thousands). The Solar/AC sites are much more reliable than either AC alone
            of stand alone solar. Thanks for an interesting perspective and dialogue.
            Best regards, Kevin

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Ewert, Mike <mike.ewert@...>
            To: <hreg@egroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 9:25 PM
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


            > Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I
            asked
            > some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
            > solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
            > things. Here is what one said.
            >
            > Personally, I think there are cases when you should remain DC too. I'd
            like
            > to see more DC appliances mass produced so they don't cost twice as much
            as
            > AC counterparts.
            >
            ____________________________________________________________________________
            > __________
            > This gentleman is talking about two things, PV power and clean power.
            >
            > PV power:
            >
            > By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric
            energy
            > when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
            > eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
            > inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
            > the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their
            investment.
            > The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
            > bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
            > buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
            > (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even,
            the
            > utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).
            >
            > Clean Power
            >
            > PV inherently isn't clean by itself, it takes a stable source (batteries)
            > and a high quality inverter. The cases that need very clean power
            (cleaner
            > than the grid) are very few. If you have one of these situations, you
            don't
            > need PV, you can go to battery backed, off grid system (UPS) that powers
            the
            > critical loads. The batteries can be charged by the grid and/or PV (or
            > other supply, diesel generator). If charging these with PV is desired,
            then
            > undersize the PV and use the grid for the rest of the energy. This will
            be
            > much more cost effective than sizing the PV for worst case which greatly
            > under utilizes the PV the rest of the time. Another way to go is to use
            an
            > on/off grid controller that allows the PV to charge the batteries, when
            they
            > are fully charged, then the excess power goes to the grid (in this case
            the
            > array can be oversized). The off grid inverter (vs. on grid) is usually
            > less expensive per watt, but you need to size it significantly larger than
            > your array power in order to handle the surge loads. This makes it more
            > expensive. A 1000W array would need a 1000W grid tied inverter, but would
            > need at least a 4kW off grid inverter to handle motor starting loads
            (pumps,
            > washer, dryer).
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Kevin L. Conlin [mailto:kconlin@...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 8:57 PM
            > To: hreg@egroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
            >
            >
            > Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative,
            and
            > while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for
            > mainstream consumers, we should not overlook specific tasks within the
            home
            > that solar is well suited for. For example, a power system dedicated to
            the
            > home computer and other sensitive electronics that may be damaged by
            spikes,
            > sags, brownouts, etc can be economically justified by avoiding expensive
            > crashes or other damage that occurs because of "dirty" utility power. I've
            > always thought that just dumping clean solar power back into the grid is
            a
            > waste of a valuable resource. regards, Kevin
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Steve Shepard <sbtdesigns@...>
            > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
            > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 3:56 PM
            > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
            >
            >
            > > The only problem with a DC home is that it is totally incompatible with
            > > 99.9% of the homes on this continent. A DC home also cannot be
            intertied
            > > with the electric utility grid and requires unique hardware that is also
            > > incompatible.
            > >
            > > We don't recommend them.
            > >
            > > SBT Designs
            > > 25840 IH-10 West #1
            > > Boerne, Texas 78006
            > > 210-698-7109
            > > FAX: 210-698-7147
            > > http://www.sbtdesigns.com
            > > sbtdesigns@...
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: "Becky Merritt" <bmeritt@...>
            > > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
            > > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:26 AM
            > > Subject: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
            > >
            > >
            > > > I thought this was particularly interesting, so I'm passing it along.
            > > > Becky Merritt
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > One of the ways to reach greater efficiency is to use DC electricity
            > where
            > > it is most efficient. DC is especially efficient for motors (fans,
            > vacuums,
            > > blenders, tools...). Laptop computers, and in fact any appliance with
            one
            > of
            > > those big fat boxes that plugs into the wall, are DC, and are converting
            > > your AC power at the plug. DC also works well for lighting.
            > > >
            > > > Briefly, our homes and appliances generally use Alternating Current
            > (AC).
            > > This is because AC travels well over long distances without dropping
            > > voltage, and our generating facilities are usually far from our homes.
            PV
            > > panels create Direct Current (DC). You don't get much voltage drop,
            > because
            > > the panels are right near the point of use. However most solar systems
            > have
            > > an inverter to convert the DC to AC because our appliances are AC.
            Remote
            > > systems, such as boat or RV, will often use the current as DC without
            > > inverting it, because DC appliances are already popular in those
            markets.
            > > >
            > > > One of my partners in Emerald Resource Solutions, Cari Spring, lives
            in
            > a
            > > super-efficient off-the-grid home powered by sun and wind. The house is
            > > adobe and takes advantage of passive solar design. She has four 75-watt
            > > solar panels, a wind generator, a batch solar water heater with propane
            > > on-demand backup, and a solar heated radiant floor heating system. She
            > uses
            > > a small propane-powered refrigerator. Despite having only a 1/3 kW
            system,
            > > she and her partner have more electricity in the winter than they can
            use.
            > > (Summertime cooling loads are bigger here in Arizona than winter
            heating.)
            > > >
            > > > She has two wiring systems with receptacles. She runs the house mostly
            > on
            > > DC -- lights, fans and computer. When she wants to watch TV or listen to
            > the
            > > stereo, she turns on the inverter. This has the added benefit of having
            > the
            > > house free of electromagnetic fields most of the time. She was told that
            > DC
            > > lights were not as efficient, but found that the loss of efficiency in
            > > inverting DC to AC was equal, and she preferred to leave the inverter
            off.
            > > For more on Cari's house, I will send a PDF article attached to the next
            > > e-mail.
            > > >
            > > > Emerald Resource Solutions also has done a DC retrofit to an in-town,
            > > on-grid house. We installed one 120 watt panel on a super-efficient old
            > > adobe to assist the owners in moving off grid. Unfortunately, Annie, it
            > > wasn't as simple as a panel to a plug. It's a full system of conduit,
            > > batteries, monitors, shut-offs, etc., and took a full weekend to
            install.
            > > But the residents have fans, lights, and a car stereo they power with
            the
            > > panel.
            > > >
            > > > The closest thing I know to "plug and play" right now is the Ascension
            > > Technologies "AC panels" that have the inverter built right onto the
            > panel,
            > > so you don't have a separate component for that. I do know that at the
            > > recent brainstorms conducted by the Utility Photovoltaic Group for the
            > > Department of Energy, the idea of "plug and play" solar systems was one
            of
            > > the crucial ideas for popularizing solar. I hope the industry is paying
            > > attention.
            > > >
            > > > Lisa
            > > >
            > > > Lisa Stage
            > > > Emerald Resource Solutions
            > > > lisa@...
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Robert Johnston
            Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents? They tend to be expensive up-front, so I d like to buy them as cheaply as possible.
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
            • 0 Attachment
              Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
              They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
              as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find online.
              For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W dimmable
              spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer free
              shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go this
              route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you recommend
              as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
              enclosed
              glass fixtures?

              Thanks!

              Robert Johnston
              rjohnsto@...
            • Marjorie N Wood
              I think a bunch of us should get together and get a huge batch of CFs and sell them at cost to ourselves. I heard that Home Depot has them but haven t been
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                I think a bunch of us should get together and get a huge batch of CFs and
                sell them at cost to ourselves. I heard that Home Depot has them but
                haven't been lately. In New York, their utility made some sort of deal
                with a couple of mfrs of CFs and sold them to their utility customers for
                $1 and $2. It was part of their promo for energy efficiency.
                Marge Wood

                On Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600 "Robert Johnston"
                <rjohnsto@...> writes:
                > Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact
                > fluorescents?
                > They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as
                > cheaply
                > as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
                > online.
                > For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
                > dimmable
                > spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also
                > offer free
                > shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should
                > go this
                > route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
                > recommend
                > as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used
                > inside
                > enclosed
                > glass fixtures?
                >
                > Thanks!
                >
                > Robert Johnston
                > rjohnsto@...
                >
                >
                >
                > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                >
                >
                >
              • ChasMauch@aol.com
                Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the power company in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and approach HL&P (aka
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the power company
                  in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and approach HL&P (aka
                  Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the same thing. If
                  they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                  publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is beyone me) they
                  should be able to do this.

                  Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars there converted
                  to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than gasoline and
                  improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000. Also heard that
                  you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you have a friend
                  who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if this is true?
                  Charlie Mauch
                • Robert Johnston
                  It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind. Incidentally, I m still looking for the best place to buy CF s. I just found an even better
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind.
                    Incidentally, I'm still looking for the best place to buy CF's. I
                    just found an even better deal online than the one I mentioned
                    before. Looks like www.energyguide.com has them really cheap. I
                    can get a dimmable CF for half the cost of what RealGoods charges
                    for the same thing. A 23W TechnaBright dimmable SpringLight
                    (1500 lumens or close to a 100W bulb) is only $12.75. A Harmony
                    20W standard CF (non-dimmable) is equivalent to a 75W incandescent
                    and only costs $7.25! If you figure that during its 10,000 hr lifetime
                    you would buy 10 incandescents at $0.25 each, that means the cost is
                    only $4.75. You'll recover that in energy savings at $0.08/kwh in
                    just 1080 hours, or probably in less than one year. The other 9000
                    hours worth of savings will be gravy.

                    At the www.energyguide.com website, they say that several utilities
                    offer 2 for 1 instant rebates when you purchase from them. However,
                    HL&P was not one of them. Perhaps this is something we could interest
                    them in doing, if they don't want to do the same deal as the New York
                    utility? From my calculations above, it is obvious that if they do
                    a 2 for 1 instant rebate, then consumers can buy these bulbs for almost
                    the cost of the equivalent lifetime incandescents. The energy savings
                    will all be pure profit then--for both the consumer and the environment.

                    I like the idea of HREG buying in bulk if there are enough interested
                    members. I don't know if we can do any better than www.energyguide.com.
                    Does anyone know of better deals?

                    If we really wanted to be ambitious, we could import them. I see that
                    they are mostly made in China. I looked at some China websites and see
                    where they sell what looks like the same bulb as I bought labeled
                    SpringLamp. They are sold wholesale in cases of 100. I have no idea
                    what the markup is, but if www.energyguide.com is selling them for half
                    of what RealGoods is, then perhaps we can estimate another 50% reduction
                    possible if we imported? I have no idea what would be involved in
                    importation, but suspect it might be more hassle than it is worth. On
                    the other hand, maybe a useful fundraiser?

                    Anyway, again, I'm still interested in suggestions from others as to the
                    best
                    places (online or offline) to buy CF's cheaply.

                    Robert Johnston


                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
                    > Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:10 PM
                    > To: hreg@egroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                    >
                    >
                    > Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the
                    > power company
                    > in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and
                    > approach HL&P (aka
                    > Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the
                    > same thing. If
                    > they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                    > publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is
                    > beyone me) they
                    > should be able to do this.
                    >
                    > Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars
                    > there converted
                    > to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than
                    > gasoline and
                    > improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000.
                    > Also heard that
                    > you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you
                    > have a friend
                    > who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if
                    > this is true?
                    > Charlie Mauch
                    >
                    > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                    > -------------------------~-~>
                    > eLerts
                    > It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!
                    > http://click.egroups.com/1/9699/0/_/58590/_/974696997/
                    > --------------------------------------------------------------
                    > -------_->
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • drocketman@juno.com
                    Robert, I have a house full of compact fluorescents: three types of globes, a bullet, some sticks, spirals and floods. The highest equivalent wattage being a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Robert,
                      I have a house full of compact fluorescents: three types of globes, a
                      bullet, some sticks, spirals and floods. The highest equivalent wattage
                      being a spiral wound at 150w equivalent output for 32w expense by Lights
                      of America sold at Walmart. None that I have are dimmable. The bullets
                      are in ceiling fans and some wall mounts and globes are in bathroom
                      lights and hanging lamps for their aesthetic match. The floods are in
                      recessed lighting. The sticks are in shaded lamps and the spirals are
                      the most recent additions in covered ceiling fixtures (being the only
                      ones that fit with a high enough light output for me) garage and closets.
                      I put the 75w equiv bulb in place of 60 watt incandescents. The spirals
                      seem to be the best deal on cost. Walmart has sold all 4 sizes
                      (60/75/100/150watt equiv.) for the same price, $7.96 each. Though I did
                      get a couple of them clearanced inexplicably for $5 each. My
                      conservative count puts the total number of compact fluorescents in my
                      house now in use at 53 bulbs. The initial installation was 28 globes and
                      8 to 10 bullets about 6 to 8 years ago. This only includes the compact
                      fluorescents and does not include u-tubes, circline or regular
                      fluorescents. In the eight years of operation, I have replaced about 6-8
                      globes, 2-3 bullets, 3 sticks, a couple of floods and one spiral. The GE
                      90w equiv. sticks have been the least reliable. I have no experience and
                      so no suggestion on the dimmables other than I see no need to complicate
                      the design of the bulb most probably at the expense of life and
                      reliability, and instead, suggest turning only part of the bulbs on
                      instead of dimming all. I have recently appreciated the spirals because
                      of their low cost and small size, fitting into enclosed glass fixtures
                      and hidden behind standard open glass ceiling fixtures. I still rely on
                      globe types as a drop in for globe type bulbs like in bathrooms and
                      hanging lamps. I especially like them for the bathrooms where I have
                      banks of 6, 8 and 12 globes and the low heat and increased light (60w
                      equiv compared to the 40w incandescent) is really a plus. My favorite
                      globe is the GE brand FLG16/E also sold by Panasonic as the Light Capsule
                      EFG16LE. I don't know how available these are now since I haven't bought
                      any in several years... haven't had to because none have failed. I have
                      two spares still in their boxes and they are my most reliable compact
                      fluorescent. They are very lightweight and compact making them more like
                      the incandescent 40w they replaced. Because of this, they do not stress
                      the bathroom fixture near as much as the other globe types. They are
                      almost instant on, much more silent and longer life than any of the other
                      globes I have used. It was typically $16 a bulb, but in my estimation,
                      worth it over the others. I did get some of them for $5 each clearanced.

                      Dennis

                      On Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600 "Robert Johnston"
                      <rjohnsto@...> writes:
                      > Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact
                      > fluorescents?
                      > They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as
                      > cheaply
                      > as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
                      > online.
                      > For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
                      > dimmable
                      > spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also
                      > offer free
                      > shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should
                      > go this
                      > route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
                      > recommend
                      > as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used
                      > inside
                      > enclosed
                      > glass fixtures?
                      >
                      > Thanks!
                      >
                      > Robert Johnston
                      > rjohnsto@...
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Jim & Kathi Syzdek
                      Robert, In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea. They are the cheapest I have seen locally. Jim ...
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Robert,
                        In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea. They
                        are the cheapest I have seen locally.

                        Jim


                        >From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                        >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                        >To: <hreg@egroups.com>
                        >Subject: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                        >Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600
                        >
                        >Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
                        >They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
                        >as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find online.
                        >For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W dimmable
                        >spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer
                        >free
                        >shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go
                        >this
                        >route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you recommend
                        >as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
                        >enclosed
                        >glass fixtures?
                        >
                        >Thanks!
                        >
                        >Robert Johnston
                        >rjohnsto@...
                        >
                        >

                        _________________________________________________________________________
                        Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

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                      • Steve Stelzer
                        Robert, check out the CF s at IKEA. They may not be exactly apples to apples for the unit you are talking about. IKEA is basically subsidizing CF s because
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Robert, check out the CF's at IKEA. They may not be exactly apples to
                          apples for the unit you are talking about. IKEA is basically subsidizing
                          CF's because they are in the $5.00 range.

                          Steve Stelzer

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                          Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:41 PM
                          To: hreg@egroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents


                          It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind.
                          Incidentally, I'm still looking for the best place to buy CF's. I
                          just found an even better deal online than the one I mentioned
                          before. Looks like www.energyguide.com has them really cheap. I
                          can get a dimmable CF for half the cost of what RealGoods charges
                          for the same thing. A 23W TechnaBright dimmable SpringLight
                          (1500 lumens or close to a 100W bulb) is only $12.75. A Harmony
                          20W standard CF (non-dimmable) is equivalent to a 75W incandescent
                          and only costs $7.25! If you figure that during its 10,000 hr lifetime
                          you would buy 10 incandescents at $0.25 each, that means the cost is
                          only $4.75. You'll recover that in energy savings at $0.08/kwh in
                          just 1080 hours, or probably in less than one year. The other 9000
                          hours worth of savings will be gravy.

                          At the www.energyguide.com website, they say that several utilities
                          offer 2 for 1 instant rebates when you purchase from them. However,
                          HL&P was not one of them. Perhaps this is something we could interest
                          them in doing, if they don't want to do the same deal as the New York
                          utility? From my calculations above, it is obvious that if they do
                          a 2 for 1 instant rebate, then consumers can buy these bulbs for almost
                          the cost of the equivalent lifetime incandescents. The energy savings
                          will all be pure profit then--for both the consumer and the environment.

                          I like the idea of HREG buying in bulk if there are enough interested
                          members. I don't know if we can do any better than www.energyguide.com.
                          Does anyone know of better deals?

                          If we really wanted to be ambitious, we could import them. I see that
                          they are mostly made in China. I looked at some China websites and see
                          where they sell what looks like the same bulb as I bought labeled
                          SpringLamp. They are sold wholesale in cases of 100. I have no idea
                          what the markup is, but if www.energyguide.com is selling them for half
                          of what RealGoods is, then perhaps we can estimate another 50% reduction
                          possible if we imported? I have no idea what would be involved in
                          importation, but suspect it might be more hassle than it is worth. On
                          the other hand, maybe a useful fundraiser?

                          Anyway, again, I'm still interested in suggestions from others as to the
                          best
                          places (online or offline) to buy CF's cheaply.

                          Robert Johnston


                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
                          > Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:10 PM
                          > To: hreg@egroups.com
                          > Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                          >
                          >
                          > Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the
                          > power company
                          > in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and
                          > approach HL&P (aka
                          > Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the
                          > same thing. If
                          > they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                          > publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is
                          > beyone me) they
                          > should be able to do this.
                          >
                          > Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars
                          > there converted
                          > to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than
                          > gasoline and
                          > improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000.
                          > Also heard that
                          > you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you
                          > have a friend
                          > who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if
                          > this is true?
                          > Charlie Mauch
                          >
                          > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                          > -------------------------~-~>
                          > eLerts
                          > It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!
                          > http://click.egroups.com/1/9699/0/_/58590/_/974696997/
                          > --------------------------------------------------------------
                          > -------_->
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • paul breaux
                          Please remove me from this email list. Paul ... _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Please remove me from this email list.
                            Paul


                            >From: "Jim & Kathi Syzdek" <jksyzdek@...>
                            >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                            >To: hreg@egroups.com
                            >Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                            >Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 09:59:07 CST
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                            >
                            >Robert,
                            > In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea.
                            >They
                            >are the cheapest I have seen locally.
                            >
                            >Jim
                            >
                            >
                            > >From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                            > >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                            > >To: <hreg@egroups.com>
                            > >Subject: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                            > >Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600
                            > >
                            > >Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
                            > >They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
                            > >as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
                            >online.
                            > >For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
                            >dimmable
                            > >spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer
                            > >free
                            > >shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go
                            > >this
                            > >route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
                            >recommend
                            > >as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
                            > >enclosed
                            > >glass fixtures?
                            > >
                            > >Thanks!
                            > >
                            > >Robert Johnston
                            > >rjohnsto@...
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
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