Saturday, March 24, 2007

Electricity: Part II

Anon: I think “The Pastor” is a more appropriate search term. Here – I’ll do it for you. Remember, that’s capital T capital P – don’t be fooled by other more mundane uses of “the pastor.” Does that help?

As the inside of the home dims conservation as demonstrated in the previous post becomes less and less attractive and the compact fluorescent bulbs that I’ve heard so much about become more and more attractive. Apparently Australia has banned use of incandescent bulbs.

I installed my first CF’s quite a few months ago in my home office. A pilot experiment in arguably the most used lighting fixture in the house. During February we committed to CF’s – most of our well used lights now have them. The Boy 5 readily accepted the CF’s for his bedroom. The Boy 9 refused. They don’t fit in some fixtures and I refused to put one in a stair well due to occasional delays between flipping the switch and actual illumination.


A few weeks ago I viewed the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

While the automobile industry was petitioning the California legeslature to ease up on their law restricting carbon emitting vehicles there was no mention of electricity and the gains some companies whould acquire from electric cars.

I can’t help but wonder why the electric companies aren’t involved in the mess. It seems to me that they would have quite a lot to gain from plug in automobiles. If compact fluorescent bulbs really do take off it also seems likely they are in a position to lose some business.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and a highly placed electric company employee will read this an offer some insight…


Next up: let’s talk money again. Just how many pennies a year do my conservation efforts get me?


peddlinshutterbug said...

I know what you mean about the spousal input. Although, those bulbs, which i have convinced him into using, do not work in a dimmer device. (no, I'm not talking about MY dimnness..but those bulbs are great. We have them in most sockets of our very small, yet efficient home. We do the caulking, the efficient appliances. Now, if I can just talk him into letting me buy that bright red Mini Cooper!

Mark said...

I don't think the slow turn on time and the flickering are such an issue anymore. When LT and I bought our first ones (circa 2000 - for $15 each!) all of the above were true. But, after having just replaced all the fixtures in the house we bought wth new CF bulbs, I can't really tell the difference anymore. Plus, the price is waaay cheaper now. Besides, those ones from 2000 -- still going (makes for an easy comparison of old to new). A link to our energy company's website suggests that one bulb saves $5 in energy costs annually.

Now to get the LED technology into place for general home lighting. . .

sans auto said...

Electric automobiles... I don't think that's the answer. It just separates the consumer from the consequences. I realize that hydroelectric and other electricity sources are "renewable", but the vast majority of energy production is still coal.
What they need to produce is a car where the exhaust enters the car through the dashboard. It will effectively limit the length of drives and the major culprits of air pollution will end up either dead or chronically high on fumes. I actually had a VW that would pass emissions while the exhaust filled the bus.

Woodog said...

CF bulbs are good for power companies. They bring down peak demand which current facilities are having difficulty meeting.

I think I'm correct in saying that the best case scenario for power production (both for the companies and the ROEI - return on energy invested) is to have the facilities operating at near max, all the time.

CF bulbs dampen the load during the day, and electric cars spike the othewise low nighttime load by charging at night.

Another plus would be to have those electric cars unused and plugged in to the energy grid during the day, flattening the overall average peceived demand at the energy production plant.

A friend of mine has built an inverter for his car battery and uses it to power his home lighting needs (i.e. not much... a couple of bulbs). He recharges the battery on his 20 mile drive to work. I'm not sure how it will actually balance out entropically or economically.

That being said, sans auto is correct. Electric automobiles are not the answer. Not ultimately.


mytzpyk said...

There you guys go again. Making all sorts of sense about cars and electricity.

The argument that use of electric cars replaces a bunch of tailpipes for one longer tailpipe (the coal burning plant) is compelling.

Sans - exhausting the motor into the passenger compartment of the vehicle - brilliant. It takes a VW van driver to think of things like that.