Kristen H's posts

Posted by Kristen H on Jun 7, 2007 10:53 am

#1 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: what alt energy source is right for me
Hi James,

It sounds like you are looking for a solar electric (PV) or wind system with batteries and a utility intertied inverter.  The premise being that energy is stored in the batteries.  If more energy is produced than used, it goes back into the grid.  If you use more energy than you produce, then the grid supplies you energy.  If the power goes out, you draw power from your batteries.

All that being said, you have a very large load to power!  Any time you use the words 'continuous usage,' it's going to add up to a lot of energy.  My understanding is that your 120 VAC circulating pump draws 2.8 amps.  That's 336 watts continuous.  (120 x 2.8 = 336).  If the pump runs for 24 hours, that's 8064 watthours per day (8 kwh).  If you choose to use PV power, in Michigan, your insolation (good sun hours) are about 5.5 in the summer and closer to 2 hours in the winter.  Which means to power that pump alone, you would need more than 1500 watts of solar electric modules to power it in the summer.  Probably close to 3 times that amount to provide power in the winter. option is to find out if you have a good site for wind - better than 10 mph average wind is what you are looking for, and you'll need to have a tower 30' higher than any obstruction within 300' of the turbine.  You will likely need about 1/2 an acre of space to accommodate a turbine and guyed tower.  Another option is to see if their is a DC powered circulating pump you can use that would draw significantly less energy.  A more efficient pump would allow you to use less solar modules to power it. 

Finally, if you haven't already, check out our "Learn" section to read more about each technology.  There is a good article about determining the right RE source for you.
I hope this helps!

Posted by Kristen H on Apr 17, 2007 01:13 pm

#2 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Grants for renewable energy
Great idea!  You may have already checked out the following, but just in case, here are some sites to start:
Energy Smart Schools Initiative -,1607,7-154-25676-163876--,00.html

"A maximum of $6,000 is available to purchase energy efficiency and renewable energy instructional materials from the National Energy Education Development (NEED) "
I didn't get to read over everything, but I noticed a May 1, 2007 deadline for something.  So you may want to get started soon! 

Good luck with the project!  We'd love to see pictures.  kristen 

Posted by Kristen H on Jan 25, 2007 12:00 pm

#3 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Micro-hydro power from large midwest river.
Matt - If you have a good site for a micro-hydro application, then you are definitely in luck!  At appropriate sites, these systems have efficiencies of 65% or better.  (As opposed to solar electric modules which have efficiencies closer to 13-15% in converting sunlight to electricity.)

Site assessment and location of turbine will be very important.  Be sure to read up about that.  You might find it helpful to start with our "How-To" section.  (Here's a link.)

An overview:

We have also found this book pretty helpful:

Keep in mind local regulations regarding the river as well.  Again, research and site analysis will really pay off.  Good luck!

Posted by Kristen H on Jan 8, 2007 01:32 pm

#4 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Supplemental Energy Source
Solar air heating works on a principle similar to that of how your car heats up when left out in the sun with the windows closed.  So you may be able to use that as a relative comparison.  "Recirculating" air heaters take the air from inside your house and then heat it up in the collector before venting back into the house.  These collectors can often raise the temperature of the indoor air by an additional 50 degrees.  If you have a well insulated house, it will help retain the heat throughout the day.  It sounds like you have a sunny location, and that is what is most important.  Both the Cansolair Solarmax 240 and the Solarsheat 1500G from Your Solar Home are manufactured in Canada - where they know cold!

So to answer your question, "Is this a viable alternative?" I would say it could well be.  For under $2000 you would have a supplemental heating source that would allow you to utilize your main heating system less often during the day.    Additionally, there are some product reviews on the Alt-E website, so there is real feedback about these systems in place.

Good luck and send some of that chilly weather to us in New England!  Kristen


Posted by Kristen H on Dec 12, 2006 02:16 pm

#5 -  Renewable Energy > Wanted > Re: Small Solar Panel: 10-15W
Hi Pat - You used the words 'solar panel' and 'cheap' in the same sentence!  Not sure how true that may be these days, but if you are looking for a new solar panel, here are some options to consider:
E-Village 18 Watt - $149

10 Watt framed glass module - $121

More expensive, but perhaps more versatile are flexible or foldable panels:
Global Solar Sunlinq 12 Watt - $168

Iowa thin film rollable 10 watt - $215

I hope that gives you a start!  Happy hunting.

Posted by Kristen H on Nov 30, 2006 12:52 pm

#6 -  AltE > Discussion > Cansolair Air Heater
We are often asked if the Cansolair solar air heater can be used horizontally.  While I think the optimal orientation is vertical, I received this great feedback from Keith in NY:

"The Lexan panel on the front of the RA-240 acts as a one-dimensional lens, bending early morning or late-afternoon light so as to hit the heating tubes at a less tangential angle.  This adds to your effective heating time.  According to Jim Meaney (the owner/inventor at CanSolair), mounting the panel horizontally should work fine, although you might lose 15 minutes on either end of your heating day.   Probably a more important fact to consider is which configuration intercepts more sunlight during the heart of your heating day (around 10:00am to 2:00pm for a south-facing panel).   At my location, roughly 41 degrees N latitude, wall mounting looks to be the best compromise between efficiency and convenience.  I am currently designing a roof-mount system for a client site where wall-mount is impractical.  In this configuration I calculated the optimum angle as 30 degrees off vertical.  Mounting directly on a shallow roof will probably cost you too much in efficiency due to the shallow intercept angle with the sun's rays, averaged over a typical winter day.

Remember too that your closet may be part of your insulating dead air space.  You might consider using divider panels or ducts so that your inlet air comes from the main room, rather than the closet.   You will have to make a judgment call as to whether this is worth doing in your particular case."

Thanks Keith!

Posted by Kristen H on Aug 16, 2006 12:00 pm

#7 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Wind noise and vibration of wind generators roof mounted
This has certainly been a popular discussion.  I noticed a recent article on Renewable Energy Access addressing wind turbines on roofs of residential and commercial buildings.  There are some interesting comments as well.;jsessionid=38C608712BE605F0621D06D27B119C7D?id=45725

Disclaimer and Disclosure

The Alternative Energy Store, Inc reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse or delete any posting or portion thereof, or terminate or block the access to this forum.

The opinions and statements posted on this forum are the opinions and statements of the person posting same, and do not constitute the opinion or act of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc (AltE). The Alternative Energy Store, Inc does not endorse or subscribe to any particular posting. No posting shall be construed as the act or opinion of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc.

Click here for BBB Business Review

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Desktop Website | Mobile Website


Click on an icon to share! If you don't see the method you want, hover over the orange "+".


What can we do to help you?

Please enter a summary
Sorry, the copyright must be in the template.
Please notify this forum's administrator that this site is using an ILLEGAL copy of SMF!
Copyright removed!!