The Four Options For Producing Homemade Electricity
PRODUCING HOMEMADE ELECTRICITY – GETTING STARTED
We are all unprotected to the whims of energy companies hiking up their tariffs and charges for all manner of reasons from harsh winters in Russia to increased duty on fuel. This not only robs us of our hard-earned cash, but also serves to make us paranoid about the kind and amount of appliances we use on a daily basis. The latter is not such a bad mindset to be in, but unless we want to live like Ebenezer Scrooge of hark back to the days of stone-age black & white living, what are we to do? Certainly, we should all be looking to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our reliance on energy from fossil fuels to help safeguard the planet’s future and slow down climate change. Without electing to go totally nuclear for our energy needs, how else should we aim to reduce fossil-fuel consumption? One way would be to generate our own electricity at home.
What are our options?
The conversion to whole or at the minimum uncompletely homemade electricity is not a simple one and there are several options to either choose or use. Your options are; solar heating systems, solar electricity generation, wind strength generator or for those of you lucky enough to have a natural running water supply, micro-hydro electricity generation. Employing one or more of these solutions will certainly permit you to reduce your annual energy bills. But what exactly does each one of these options require?
Solar Heating System
This is a method of heating your domestic water supply for either heating or hot water consumption by method of solar heating panels affixed to a South-facing roof. This is possibly the cheapest and easiest of solutions, but nevertheless requires a hefty financial investment with only a long-term return. Typically a solar heating panel will cost on average £600 and you would have to work out how many you would need per individual in the household. In addition, you have to ensure that your roof is strong enough to sustain the installation.
Solar Electricity Panels
Commonly known as PV (Photovoltaic) panels, these will provide electricity to your home. Unlike solar heating panels, they do not need to be on a South-facing roof, but can be located on a roof or wall that is no more than 90 degrees from South, provided their line of sight is not obstructed. Unfortunately, they are considerably more expensive than their heating counterparts, and installation is probably beyond the average DIY enthusiast. Both solar heating and solar PV panels can be retro-fitted easily, but installation is cheaper if considered at the planning stage of any new development.
Wind strength Generator
This is becoming an increasingly popular option, with many DIY outlets now selling units for home fitting. Initially costing around £1,500 per unit they have come down considerably in price, and can be obtained cheaper via online retailers. Their efficiency depends thoroughly upon the weather in the local area and does need a fair amount of wind to work well. Wind tends to be dissipated near buildings or amongst trees and is best found 30+ feet above all nearby obstructions. Clearly tall towers are preferable but this will depend on your local building regulations (and possible objections from neighbours).
Clearly, this is not an option for all or already most people, but if you do have a stream running by your character with a appropriate drop along its course, this can be extremely economical and provide energy 24/7/365. Unlike PV or wind generators, this kind of system can generate continuous electricity as long as the water is flowing. As with all the options, great care must be taken to ensure that this is the most viable option, and whether a cost/assistance examination is necessary or not, it will not be the answer to your total energy needs.
You have to think by you replaceable energy choices, and decide if homemade electricity is affordable, functional, or indeed for you. However, as you reduce your reliance on the utility companies, you will see a consistent reduction in your monthly outgoings in addition to reducing your carbon footprint.
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