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Author Topic: Oldvan's phantom (power) hunting adventures  (Read 1246 times)
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oldvan
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« on: April 27, 2010, 05:03:22 17:03 »


My electric bill has slowly inched upward over the years, partially because of
rate increases and largely because I keep buying more cool gadgets.  Besides,
I'm a computer addict and run my computer 24 hours a day.  The latest bill was
$125.00 for 804 KWH of electricity, or about $0.16 a KWH.

Some of the bill is beyond my control, such as the water pump which is shared
with my tenant's place where they have four kids.  Outdoor lighting is also a
necessity to help keep prowlers at bay.  Obviously there is still room for
improvement.

I have a kill-a-watt power meter I picked up a couple years ago for a project,
so decided that I'd look for ways to painlessly cut down my electric bill.  

Looking around, the analog clock on the kitchen propane cook stove caught my
eye.  The clock is too small to be of any use, and has never been set in the 20
years we've owned the stove.  Plugging the stove into the kill-a-watt revealed 3
watts of electric was being consumed.  A minute's worth of turning screws
revealed a small shaded pole motor labelled 120V 3W.  AHA!  Unplugging the wires
from the motor magically reduced the ongoing waste by the stove to zero.  It
still needs power for its electronic ignition and hot surface ignitor for the
oven, but those are not continuous waste.

SWIMBO wanted to get going on our evening exercise walk, but I managed to
check power consumption for our doorbell first.  The wall wart powering it was
an older transformer style and was eating three watts.  A quick scrounge in a
box of junk yielded a modern switchmode wart of acceptable voltage and current.
The new wart only wastes about one watt of power, a savings of two more watts.

Nothing earthshaking so far, a total savings of about 5 watts; That savings
shaves $6.81 a year off my electric bill without any inconvenience whatsoever.

As time allows I'll be examining other devices around the house to see where I
can save more.  Hopefully a few big ones jump out at me.  I'd be interested to
hear other people's results at shaving their electric bills down.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 05:08:06 17:08 by oldvan » Logged

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solutions
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 08:29:58 08:29 »

Save $600 a year by shutting that computer you use off....
 Wink

Seriously - if you simply downgrade your graphics card and pull out some DIMMs you'll save more than every wall wart in the house ever would...
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DreamCat
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 09:01:23 09:01 »

if you could give yourself more time to rest and sleep, you can save half power, your body will be healthier. if you need download file whole days, you can use a network harddisk, it also save many power instead of your pc.
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 10:56:20 10:56 »

Energy saving mentality is the most important, such as: don't turn on the light when you are peeing  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 12:12:12 12:12 »

Energy saving mentality is the most important, such as: don't turn on the light when you are peeing  Grin
And pee on the floor, then blame it on the cat "I was meaning :> DreamCat".
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 12:26:52 12:26 by pickit2 » Logged

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oldvan
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 02:01:01 14:01 »

...don't turn on the light when you are peeing  Grin
And pee on the floor, then blame the cat.

You guys are CRUEL.  Have you seen my avatar?
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 04:09:06 16:09 »

Oldvan, with a shoe on the mouth it will saves some of your electricity usage, i guess.  Grin

Edit: I hope you still can take jokes with it Roll Eyes

-ichan
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 08:19:50 20:19 by Ichan » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 07:23:31 19:23 »

Oldvan - Since I became unemployed March 4, we are looking to save all we can. (it's just my wife and I) I go to bed somewhere between 0200 and 0400, and before going to bed I turn the electric water heater on. When I get up and take a shower at 1000 - 1100 I turn it off. My electric bill dropped ***50%*** over the previous month! Why didn't I do this before? We don't notice any difference, and it's just a small inconvenience. Obviously, if you heat with gas, you are on your own.
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 08:20:05 20:20 »

i think there are alot of sutt that would need to be on 24/7  ju to have a clock on in all kinds of wierd gadgets in the home like an uWave or like oldvan said about the stove itself some other things that can be shut of is tv when u dont watch it   cable box, sat tuner,vcr, and dvd as well i think there are lots of appliances in a home nowdays is in some way on 24/7 is all that convenience needed why not make a small poweroutletbox with mcu(low power type of course) that can be used with a remote so only one things is on instead of 5 half "dead" appliances, in summer it would be easu to build and use a small heatwater converter from the sun to have hot/warm water would save on the powerbill. i would think there are some other things that can be made to save energy.
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2010, 08:22:16 20:22 »

Sell your powerfull desktop pc buy a good laptop, it will save you several hundred of watts.

-ichan
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2010, 08:31:10 20:31 »

You guys are CRUEL.  Have you seen my avatar?


I thought you was doing a charlie chaplin impression of The Little Tramp,
starving & having no electrical power & no food, having to eat his boot.

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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 03:23:02 15:23 »

Fate has conspired to save money on my electric bill; For whatever reason my
life was spared, but not by much.

I fell asleep while watching TV with my wife, either the movie was boring or
I've been working too much and sleeping too little.  Maybe I need to go to a DR
and get my thyroid checked, who knows.

I awoke some time later coughing violently.  The room was full of acrid smoke
and black sooty smoke was erupting from the back of the TV.  I unplugged the TV
and before I returned with an extinguisher the TV had mostly quit smoking.

I'm OK, other than a headache and coughing a bunch; those will pass.  The TV is
under warranty, it is a Sony 40" LCD I purchased from Sears in 2007.  I'm glad I
got the "master protection agreement" along with the set, it was money well
spent in this case. The guy at the call center tells me someone will call me
within 24 business hours to arrange to repair the TV.



Ichan:  I can take a ribbing, no worries.  I certainly hand out my share of them
too.


LabVIEWguru:  Sorry to hear your job let you down.  I'm in a similar boat as a
few of my ongoing largest clients have gone out of business or nearly so in the
past year.

That's an awesome savings with the water heater.  Propane water
heat here and I'm not sure how all to conserve there, totals about $300.00 a
year for propane. Propane is used for water heating, cooking and clothes drier.  

I'm scheming to harvest the heat from the air conditioner for heating or at
least preheating water.  We only AC the bedroom, but I'd love to get extra use
out of those KWH of electricity if I can.  I should hook in a circuit to measure
compressor run time and see how many BTUs are really available to reuse.


sphinx:  Solar hot water has intrigued me for a long time.  It is uncomfortably
hot on the roof in the summer, so there certainly are BTUs available.  Sol gives
us about a KWH per square meter of insolation and I want to put some of mine to
use.  I have plenty of space, just need the money and the gumption.  So far
money is the problem.

I was given a 25 gallon galvanized water tank a few years ago, so I used it for
a simple experiment.  I put it where the sun could hit it all day long and
plumbed it in to my hot water line, with bypass valves.  It wasn't enclosed or
anything like it should have been, but still worked for a dozen or so showers.
The rest of the time it was not adequately warm.  Western NY weather is not
terribly appropriate for solar applications.

pickit2:  Well, the picture was actually my foot in my mouth from the major
blunder on another thread, but as long as I'm familiar with the taste and the
economy keeps getting worse...  Nah, there are deer, rabbits, ducks, geese,
woodchucks, etc. living in my back yard and plenty of leeks, cat tails, berries,
apples, etc. for a side dish.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 03:38:36 15:38 by oldvan » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 05:42:27 17:42 »

i came to another idea about cooling house/appt in summer why not try to dig a deep hole close to house
and put some sort of tubing into the ground and use that a cheap a/c i could think the earth a bit down has
a bit cooler and could be used as a cheap way to save on compressor since earth cool just need for a fan and a pump some piping and antifreeze and there i would think some kWh could be saved

regards
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 10:26:09 22:26 »

i came to another idea about cooling house/appt in summer why not try to dig a deep hole close to house
and put some sort of tubing into the ground and use that a cheap a/c i could think the earth a bit down has
a bit cooler and could be used as a cheap way to save on compressor since earth cool just need for a fan and a pump some piping and antifreeze and there i would think some kWh could be saved

regards
And what is he, to do with all the bodys oldvan has planted in his yard.
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 07:49:16 07:49 »

Quote
And what is he, to do with all the bodys oldvan has planted in his yard.

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oldvan
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 01:00:57 13:00 »


No bodies, just PIC projects that didn't work out as planned.

That's my story & I'm sticking to it.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 03:28:52 15:28 »

maybe he will find someones old avatars that someone else has hidden there
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