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Alternative energy information
From sdsu!usc!apple!bionet!ig!ames!lll-winken!uunet!wiley!ries%arcturus Sun Jul 23 15:27:54 PDT 1989 [I have cross-posted to sci.energy because of the
solar subjects within, and the list of useful (I
have recieved excellent material from all of them)
energy-related informational sources at the end of
>My wife and I currently live in Southern California, but plan on selling
>the house (maybe - see below) and move to Portland. We are looking at
Check your local library. Practical Homeowner magazine
had their annual "Best Paybacks in Home Remodeling"
articles in a earlier 1989 issue. Something along the
lines of kitchen and bathroom remodeling and landscaping
were good "return on investments". Never spend too much
money or incorporate too extreme designs/fixtures, as
they can either quickly become "old fashion" or turn off
the "average" buyer. In all cases, if you can
(professionally) do the work yourself, you will almost
always get a good payback.
>I'd like comments, complaints, etc regarding the following items for
>our new house:
The biggest question I have is ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A
HOUSE custom built or just buy one? Many of the things
you are talking about work best and/or work most
effectively if they are planned out with the house design
The Smart House is best implemented in new construction,
not retrofits. Solar (passive, active, PV) options
require specific compass orientation (i.e., facing solar
South), as well as proper declination. If you go PV,
where are you going to store the batteries, etc?
Crawlspaces generally lose more heat then slab
>Smart house - is it worth it? I'd like to find a couple of people who
The Smart House will probably not be available to the
average buyer until at least 1992, possible 1995. Even
then it will probably require a Smart House installer
(not necessarily because it is too technical, but because
Smart House wants to maintain "control" of the Smart
BUILDER, a trade magazine for the NAHB (the National
Association of Home Builders -- they initiated Smart
House) is the place for current updates.
There is one monthly magazine called "Electronic House"
that covers a wide area, although a large percentage is
devoted to X10 installations (just like the real world).
>Photovoltaics - worth it? What voltage 12v, 24v?
> Is it practical in the Portland area?
Electricity is fairly cheap in the NorthWest. How far
will you be from the nearest grid connection? Are you a
conservationist or environmentalist? Voltage depends on
the equipment and specific installation. Etc.
>Solar hot water
>Solar space heating
>Ground water space heating / cooling
>Slab or foundation/crawl space / full basement construction
Again. Are you trying to save a few bucks? Make an
environmental statement/contribution? Extra insulation,
a tight shell and passive solar orientation are probably
the least expensive/tramatic methods to gain alot of
efficiency at relatively low costs and with minor
If you are really interested in further information, I
1) Purchase RMI's (Rocky Mountain Institute, 1739
Snowmass Creek Road, Snowmass, CO 81654)
Research-Efficient Housing Guide (~$15). Look at
the subjects you are interested in, and obtain the
publications/magazines/books to read and gain more
2) Contact the OR Dept. of Energy (Labor and
Industries Building #102, Salem, OR 97310), the
Solar Energy Assn. of OR (2637 S.W. Fifth Avenue,
POB 1760, Portland, OR 97207) and the Bonneville
Power Administration (Office of Conservation and
Power Resources-KR, POB 3621, Portland, OR 97208)
and inquire about publications/information of
interest (e.g., Passive Solar Design Handbooks,
Energy-Efficient Housing Guides, Home Plans, Etc.).
3) Contact other leading Energy-related
organizations for their free, low-cost, or member
publications like: NorthEast Solar Energy Assn. (14
Green Street, POB 541, Brattleboro VT 05301), New
Mexico Solar Energy Institute (New Mexico State
University, Box 3 SOL, Las Cruces, NM 83003),
Florida Solar Energy Center (300 State Road, #401,
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920), The Southface Energy
Institute (Box 5506, Atlanta, GA 30307), the Georgia
Office of Energy Resources (Room 615, 270 Washington
Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30334), the Center for Energy
Research/Education/Services, Ball State University,
Muncie, IN 47306), the National Center for
Appropriate Technology (POB 3838, Butte, MT 59702),
the National Appropriate Technology Assistance
Service (POB 2525, Butte, MT 59702), the Small Homes
Council - Building Research Council (University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, One East Saint Mary's
Road, Champaign, IL 61820), etc.
4) Get involved/motivated!
"PHOTOVOLTAICS: safe/clean Electricity from the SUN"
From sdsu!usc!ucsd!ucbvax!agate!shelby!labrea!cdp!abalone Wed Sep 6 11:29:03 PDT 1989
Another aspect to this as pointed out in the first reply is the cost
of evaporating all that water. You might let go of you new fangled
washing machine and get your hands on a new old Speed Queen Wringer
washer. The wringer just like the one grandma used, gets out far more
of the water and of course these machines have lifespans of 20 to 40
years depending on how well you take care of it. They are still being
built and sold. You can get a copy of the Real Goods catalogue who
sell it by sending a note to them at 3041 Guidiville Rd, Ukiah, Ca
95482. The cat also has a wonderful selection of alternative gadgets
unequalled about anywhere else....
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