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 Post subject: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Green/Renewable energy is becoming more widespread and I don't want to debate whether that is good or bad and the reasons behind it. What I'd like to hear thoughts on is what I call REAL green energy, which to me is alternative energy sources that are actually useful but also cost effective.
For instance, you can cover your house in solar panels if you want, but the actual payback period on that is so long that you are unlikely to actually see any real term benefits (unless there are subsidies involved etc).
We are still a good few years away from solar panels and associated equipment that is cheap enough to show real savings in the short term. Until then, what things can we do that will save money, make our lives more comfortable but also not require a lot of hard work, like installing a wood burner for instance?

At the moment the one I am thinking of actually making for myself is a solar water heater. It would be homemade from recycled/free parts. The plan is to link it to a radiator and basically use it as a way of transferring heat from outside to inside during the winter. Aside from time, it would be a very cheap project and so should produce savings almost right away, certainly faster than any commercial solution.

Would love to hear others thoughts and ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Solar water heating is an idea I just punted to someoneelse as a suggestion and one I'd like a shot at too. If you can get an old sunbed you can harvest the ribbed reflectors (it's like mirrored corrugated steel) that black-coloured copper pipework set into the focal point.

Another useful and workable one is micro hydro if you have any flowing water around you (we have loads!)

Other than those two I don't think there's any genuinely money-saving methods out there - certainly none that offer a quick return on investment without resorting to subsidies (under which circumstance you're bound by rules/regs and 3rd parties taking their cut etc).

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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:37 pm 
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It was your post that prompted me to start this thread as it's something I have been thinking about for a while now and really should pull my finger out lol.


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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Most guys I work with have at least one log burner in the house,we get as much timber offcuts as we like and free heat,I know it's not green per say as you are burning timber but it saves a fortune on gas.
Guy next door has two burners,he forages all his timber and only uses his boiler to heat his water.
So I'd say this is a method is real green energy as the offcuts are skipped on site anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:56 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
Most guys I work with have at least one log burner in the house,we get as much timber offcuts as we like and free heat,I know it's not green per say as you are burning timber but it saves a fortune on gas.
Guy next door has two burners,he forages all his timber and only uses his boiler to heat his water.
So I'd say this is a method is real green energy as the offcuts are skipped on site anyway.



Burning wood is very green, it's almost completely carbon neutral, especially if you are burning offcuts of timber from managed woodland, which construction lumber obviously is.
Problem for me is the work involved in taking care of the burner, sorting out the wood and cost. I don't have access to enough free wood for it to pay for itself very quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Rorschach wrote:
steviejoiner74 wrote:
Most guys I work with have at least one log burner in the house,we get as much timber offcuts as we like and free heat,I know it's not green per say as you are burning timber but it saves a fortune on gas.
Guy next door has two burners,he forages all his timber and only uses his boiler to heat his water.
So I'd say this is a method is real green energy as the offcuts are skipped on site anyway.



Burning wood is very green, it's almost completely carbon neutral, especially if you are burning offcuts of timber from managed woodland, which construction lumber obviously is.
Problem for me is the work involved in taking care of the burner, sorting out the wood and cost. I don't have access to enough free wood for it to pay for itself very quickly.


That's the thing about them,unless you've access to free,dry timber then I imagine they are pretty expensive to run!


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 Post subject: Re: REAL Green Energy?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:09 pm 
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I really can't understand the 'towney' attitude towards wanting a woodstove. As said, they are costly to install let alone run unless you're as fortunate as me to live in a forest - our annual heating bill is £50 :shock: for the scavenging licence (or we can buy a lorry load of trees for a couple of hundred quid) but if we had to buy prepared wood it wouldn't be worth our while.

We do also use bottled gas, two 47kg bottles/year for hot water and cooking though.

None of the savings we try to make have anything to do with environmental (green) reasons - it's all about cost, sod the environment, especially the CO2 argument :mrgreen:

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