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View Poll Results: Doom + Gloomers: what are you doing to prepare?
staying the course against your better judgement 74 66.07%
getting out of stock market 6 5.36%
stockpiling cash 15 13.39%
buying gold 7 6.25%
converting assets to another currency 7 6.25%
stockpiling food/water/guns/ammo 15 13.39%
buying'73 Ford Falcon Coupe and converting it into an impregnable fortress/killing machine (shoulder pads + shotgun free with car) 11 9.82%
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:53 AM   #121
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I live in a tropical country where you have the urge to run the A/C all year, all day and night. And I do. And all the lights I can find. And a electric stove and oven, and all the hot water I can stand... Of course, no electricity bills. When I first moved here I kept running around turning things off and screaming at people for being environmentally irresponsible... It took months for me to become an electricity hogging eco-terrorist but it gets easier every month.

Got it yet? I live at a hydropower dam site. We make the electricity.

[just couldn't resist...]
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by thaidyed View Post
I live in a tropical country where you have the urge to run the A/C all year, all day and night. And I do. And all the lights I can find. And a electric stove and oven, and all the hot water I can stand... Of course, no electricity bills. When I first moved here I kept running around turning things off and screaming at people for being environmentally irresponsible... It took months for me to become an electricity hogging eco-terrorist but it gets easier every month.

Got it yet? I live at a hydropower dam site. We make the electricity.

[just couldn't resist...]
Is this you? Probably not - a tad small for full-time AC. Microhydro is very attractive to Mr. Thrifty here.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:24 PM   #123
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Is this you? Probably not - a tad small for full-time AC. Microhydro is very attractive to Mr. Thrifty here.
Thanks for finding that calmoki, that is a neat project.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:24 PM   #124
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Thanks for finding that calmoki, that is a neat project.
We had looked at a property that had a small year round stream with a bunch of fall - here in the soggy NW hydro power makes a lot of sense - works 24/7 and it's at its best when it's the cold dark wetter season and heat and lights are most wanted.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:50 PM   #125
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Micro hydro is a very cool system-around in this area quite a few villagers use a set up that's made in Vietnam-a run a live wire from the turbine in the middle of the river to their house on the banks. Very effective, very scary when you see the kids splashing in the river over near where the turbines are!

But no, i'm BIG hydro. We generate in Laos to sell to the Thai grid.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:02 PM   #126
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Micro hydro is a very cool system-around in this area quite a few villagers use a set up that's made in Vietnam-a run a live wire from the turbine in the middle of the river to their house on the banks. Very effective, very scary when you see the kids splashing in the river over near where the turbines are!

But no, i'm BIG hydro. We generate in Laos to sell to the Thai grid.

Was actually hunting a pic i had seen much like you describe - what looked like oil barrels on the vertical in the stream and bamboo water pipes going down to them - no detail on the turbine setup. Do you have any pics of those systems?
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:10 AM   #127
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Was actually hunting a pic i had seen much like you describe - what looked like oil barrels on the vertical in the stream and bamboo water pipes going down to them - no detail on the turbine setup. Do you have any pics of those systems?
The guy we bought our first batch of photovoltaic panels from was an 80-year-old engineer. His property adjoins a drainage ditch in Nu'uanu where he has regular morning mauka showers of 30-90 minutes. (Which is one reason we got the PV panels so cheaply.) He designed a stainless-steel paddlewheel, had it built by a metalworker, and mounted it in the drainage ditch to turn a small generator and recharge his battery bank. He made electricity rain or shine.

He did the same with a small sailboat windmill, but the squeaky bearing noises annoyed his neighbors and they forced him to take it down.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:53 AM   #128
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I looked for a pic but no luck, try to remember to take a snap next time...
These Vietnamese rigs look a lot like a big (1.5ft) wide mouth funnel of tin that someone stuck out in the river, just on top of the water somehow, and then ran a string to. Took me a triple take to realize what they actually were the first time.
So they'd be smaller than an oil drum and tapered like a funnel and no pipe involved, just wire.
I would say they probably produce enough for a long florescent light or two in the wet season. They probably store to battery and also use it to charge headlamps (for night hunting) and cell phones.
Some villages also have bamboo 'piped' water systems but that's for domestic water supply...but I digress from my digression.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:47 PM   #129
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Is this you? Probably not - a tad small for full-time AC. Microhydro is very attractive to Mr. Thrifty here.
In the last energy crisis of the early 80's, I remember reading (in Mother Earth?) about a guy in Colorado who was fortunate to have a good stream flowing through his land. I do not remember what head of water he had, but from the picture, he had a good flow though a 6" pipe. The water was discharged through a nozzle to a Pelton wheel driving a generator with a V belt. As simple as can be. I do not recall the power output, but remember being impressed by his statement that in the winter, if his resistance heater made his cabin too hot, he just opened the window.

Calmloki, you must be fortunate to have access to a stream. I really like to tinker with something like that, to satisfy my Robinson Crusoe fantasy. But here in AZ, outside of the Colorado river there are few streams, and most of them are in state land or national forest.

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These Vietnamese rigs look a lot like a big (1.5ft) wide mouth funnel of tin that someone stuck out in the river, just on top of the water somehow, and then ran a string to. a funnel and no pipe involved, just wire.

I would say they probably produce enough for a long florescent light or two in the wet season.
The water must be flowing fast. I am amazed that they could get even 40W to light a FL bulb with a mere 1.5ft dia. flow.

Here is something that looks quite reasonable for a low-head stream, but more moving parts to jam, or wear out. I do not see how it costs 2000 BP, or US$4000.

John GILMARTIN: Low-Head Water Wheel
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:52 PM   #130
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The guy we bought our first batch of photovoltaic panels from was an 80-year-old engineer.
How old were the panels? I understand as they age, the output drops. Have you noticed any effects?
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:00 AM   #131
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The water must be flowing fast. I am amazed that they could get even 40W to light a FL bulb with a mere 1.5ft dia. flow.
Indeed the water is plentiful and fast in the wet season (tropical monsoons!) but I could be wrong about dimensions (1 year old memory). My staff (who has a better memory) confirms that's the most popular size and it can run 3 flouro bulbs! But that they also make smaller and bigger sizes.

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Here is something that looks quite reasonable for a low-head stream, but more moving parts to jam, or wear out. I do not see how it costs 2000 BP, or US$4000.
Yee haw! She estimates the middle sized one of my memory retails for about $40!!!
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:37 AM   #132
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Now here's a classic little hydro setup, got a nice view too. You wouldn't be bothered by the neighbors.

I could retire in a place like this.

HYDRO POWER GENERATING PLANT - TELLURIDE, COLORADO
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:19 AM   #133
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[quote=thaidyed;694219]Indeed the water is plentiful and fast in the wet season (tropical monsoons!)...

quote]

Here's the picture i was remembering: Image:Nw vietnam hydro.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
More power to them - doing with what they have.
Also have seen pictures of people in Alaska using HVLP flow to drive an old furnace blower wheel that then turns whatever old automotive alternator they had handy, thus keeping a battery bank charged and feeding through an inverter.

Wish i had a stream handy - we didn't get the property that had it - is on my list of things that make a place attractive though....
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:04 AM   #134
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How old were the panels? I understand as they age, the output drops. Have you noticed any effects?
His panels were made in 1994 and we bought them in 2004. So we can't tell if their output is dropping, even if they were on their own and not part of the other panels (of three other models) in the two strings. Half of our array's panels are from the 1990s and the other half are manufacturer's rejects from 2005.

The only reason the 80-year-old was selling the panels was because he'd broken his hip. It was healing but he was having trouble getting around to take care of his batteries, which he'd essentially beaten to crap (the batteries, not his hip) by his off-the-grid max-deep-cycle behavior. He was charging the batteries at day and then running them down at night (until the voltage regulator tripped off-line) and not adequately watering them. So he thought the system was worn out and we got the panels for not much more than the labor of removing them.

I've looked into checking rated output but there are too many variables. For example our generation this year has sucked (I expected 325 KWHr/month and we've been getting ~300) because of cloudy weather (rain in July?!?) and vog. Our inverter manual suggests checking production at local noon on 21 March & 21 September-- the solstices-- but even then clouds or windy weather (panel temperature) can overwhelm the attempt to hold conditions constant by putting the sun in the same position. The only way to truly verify output would be to isolate the panel from the string, put it into a lightbox of known lumens, and check the panel's power. Only a research lab would go to that effort.

Like buying a used car, the resale value of a used panel drops far more quickly than its functional value! Technology helps, too-- manufacturers generally offer a 25-year warranty, but every technical improvement knocks down the price of the previous generation's panels. Today's most impressive improvements aren't so much in efficiency as they are in production. Instead of growing crystals on cells the cells are starting to be "printed out" by thin-film techniques. That lets arrays be built to almost any size, configuration, or application. One solar installer at a local home show last weekend had laid the 12" squares of his plastic-wrapped rubber-backed thin-film panel string out like a sidewalk, and he enjoyed watching people freak out when he told them they were walking on the array.

I don't know anyone who's replaced their panels because of age. More power, higher power density, storm damage, a new roof, or even better decor-- sure. But not age.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #135
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My staff (who has a better memory) confirms that's the most popular size and it can run 3 flouro bulbs!
That's a lot for these folks. They can save the burning lamp peanut oil for human consumption, and stil have leftover power to watch TV. Hey, even with a cheap laptop and a bit of English, they can join this forum!

A bit of technology can drastically improve the quality of life. I love it!

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His panels were made in 1994 and we bought them in 2004. So we can't tell if their output is dropping, even if they were on their own and not part of the other panels (of three other models) in the two strings. Half of our array's panels are from the 1990s and the other half are manufacturer's rejects from 2005.

Instead of growing crystals on cells the cells are starting to be "printed out" by thin-film techniques. That lets arrays be built to almost any size, configuration, or application. One solar installer at a local home show last weekend had laid the 12" squares of his plastic-wrapped rubber-backed thin-film panel string out like a sidewalk, and he enjoyed watching people freak out when he told them they were walking on the array.
I was just curious, and thought you could look up original specs to do a rough check on performance. If they are cheap and still work, who cares?

Similar to the Prius car battery, I understand that Toyota does not provide car-life warranty, but no owners have had to replace their battery. On the other hand, I knew someone who had the battery replaced in her Honda hybrid after a few years (do not know the warranty status).

I assume the cheap new panels you mentioned are of cadmium telluride technology. Efficiency was less than 1/2 that of conventional PV. I do not know the price ratio. Did not know they could be walked on. I guess it's reasonable since they are flexible and do not crack like silicon wafers. First Solar is the premier maker. I looked into that 2 years ago, but thought the stock was overpriced. Oh well...
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #136
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I have pulled some out of the market but all my new money goes in 100% to stock index funds.

I feel fortunate that this is happening while I am only 40 and this will hopefully be a blip on the screen when I retire at 56-57.

If I have more than enough at the 52ish age I will be pulling out of the market then and finding safer inflation protection type funds.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:38 PM   #137
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I feel fortunate that this is happening while I am only 40 and this will hopefully be a blip on the screen when I retire at 56-57.
Oh man, I hope so too!

BTW, I just read the poll, and there aren't really any positive outlooks represented. The most positive is "staying invested against my better judgment." What is that?

IMO there are almost always opportunities, more now than usually.

Ha
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:57 PM   #138
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Oh man, I hope so too!
You should feel better than that, after a good day on the market as today. GE, which you own, has been slowly climbing for 2-3 weeks.

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BTW, I just read the poll, and there aren't really any positive outlooks represented. The most positive is "staying invested against my better judgment." What is that?
I missed it the 1st time too. It was phrased as a joke.
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