What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby bradley.jarvis » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:08 am

conklinc wrote:DocI,
Prolly the best option and cheapest in the long run, would be to increase the size of your array so that you have the juice to run the cooler, and could then even use AC. Hey, if the sun is shining you've got electricity to use.

If your getting solar power to be green and save the environment then this is not a good solution, although you are generating the power yourself there is still embedded energy in building the panels and then recycling at the end of the 20year life (which is very short term) to then be replaced. The greener option to have a smaller system to run the things that you require, remember that people have survived for a long time with out air conditioning in hotter climates than we have now although the urban jungle is probably a hotter place too with all the concrete and tar with very small amount of vegetation

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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby conklinc » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:25 am

Brad,

Let me use the proverbial "I read somewhere" . . . that most Chinese panels produce enough energy here in the Australian sun to generate what it took to make them. Glass and aluminum are eminently recyclable. I think your point is spot on though, it is a shame to waste solar power on cooling the house down. OTH, I don't tolerate heat very well. I'm prone to heat stroke--thrice in my long and storied life. Even Melbourne in January and February is too hot for me. Hence, I'm in the States during those months . . . in two feet of snow. :lol:
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:54 am

conklinc wrote: We replaced our windows with low UV glassed ones and that really made a difference too.


eh? what did you have before, quartz crystal windows? :? Thats what you have to replace CCD camera glass windows with if you want any UV transmission. Common window glass transmits minimal UV.
Perhaps you meant low IR transmittance glass?
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby conklinc » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:09 am

yup, you got it. My bad. It was 5 years ago. I was re-siding the house as it was cedar shake
and after 30 years there we found out Muh Luvly was allergic to cedar! So I went ahead and
pullout all the paper insulation, replaced it with batting, then sheathing and finally a wrap of
tyvec to seal out the wind and dampness, as well as the new windows. The new windows
really made a difference too.
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby DoctorI » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:49 am

Hi Guys
Thanks again for your input.
I would like to comment on a couple of the suggestions and comments that have been put forward since the last time I posted.

In my experience an evapourative cooler can cool to within a couple of degrees of the 'Wet Bulb' Temperature. The Bureau of Met use dry and wet bulb thermometers for 'measuring' the relative humidity and dew point of the air. So in Alice Springs when the air temp is 40 deg C and the wet bulb is 20 deg C I can cool my house to approximately 23 deg C -- yes this is extremely dry air, which is why adding humidity is a good thing.

I would love to add extra panels to my system but cannot at this stage because it is currently subsidised via the Solar Cities program and is already at the maximum size allowable. I was planning to add panels when this scheme finishes in 2013, but alas I am moving to Perth next week and will be selling this house complete with solar panels etc. -- Anyone want to buy a fantastic house in Alice Springs for $550000??

The other good option that has been mentioned is to increase the shading on the house either by verandahs or trees. This house already has some good shading but yes a little more would not go astray.

The new house in Perth is a blank slate. So I will be looking to put 3 or 4 kW of PV panels on the roof (leaving room for a solar hot water service for when the off-peak electric one eventually dies) and again will have to work on reducing the amount of electricity 'consumed' by the house.

Bye for now -- I expect to be in transit for about six weeks before getting on-line again in the new home.

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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby fergi1948 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:08 pm

i know some of you say not to run aircond so as it saves power,you can quite happily live when the temp is 35/40 deg, i appreciate the fact that you can either put up with the heat or it doesnt effect you, but some people cant tolerate much heat so they do need to have air cond, you have to do what your body is telling you,,its in your genetic makeup as to whether you feel the heat or cold,just the same as genes either make you good looking or just plain ugly, not much you can do about it,

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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby bradley.jarvis » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:19 pm

fergi1948 wrote:its in your genetic makeup as to whether you feel the heat or cold,just the same as genes either make you good looking or just plain ugly, not much you can do about it


Actually its not really to do with genetics but acclimatization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acclimatization#Humans

Although an overweight person would have more trouble with heat I would guess. It is a bit disconcerting that we are breading the next generation to be used to an environment that is not natural and consumes a fair amount of power just for the sake of a little sweat and discomfort.

Believe it or not I know someone who had an air conditioner on but then was getting a bit cold so they put the heater on!!!

I personally am not altogether against air conditioning and in some cases it is quite useful, however when it is 40degrees+ outside and then have to go into a building with the temperature set to 24degrees(ie supermarket) then there is something wrong.
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:42 pm

bradley.jarvis wrote:... however when it is 40degrees+ outside and then have to go into a building with the temperature set to 24degrees(ie supermarket) then there is something wrong.


There would be something very wrong with some non-refrigerated products such as eggs of it was 40C in the supermarket too!

However, I dont find it very pleasant going in and out of such huge temperature changes in summer.
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby Smurf1976 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:51 pm

There's always plenty of people saying that air-conditioning isn't really necessary, but very rarely do I hear anyone say that heating isn't necessary.

Just something I've noted and I suspect it has something to do with heating in some form having been around for centuries whereas air-conditioning was uncommon within the lifetimes of most people who are making such decisions today.

Personally, I somewhat prefer the summer days of old (and I'm only talking about pre-1990's here not 50 years ago or something like that) when everyone had the front door wide open in the evening and kids played under sprinkers etc. Sadly, these days few would risk leaving the door wide open or the kids alone outside no matter what the weather.
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Re: What to do about my energy hungry airconditioner?

Postby bradley.jarvis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:55 pm

Smurf1976 wrote:There's always plenty of people saying that air-conditioning isn't really necessary, but very rarely do I hear anyone say that heating isn't necessary.

Just something I've noted and I suspect it has something to do with heating in some form having been around for centuries whereas air-conditioning was uncommon within the lifetimes of most people who are making such decisions today.


I did not say that air-conditioning is not necessary and I put heating in the same category as air conditioning. It is over used, it is not necessary to have the heating so high that you can walk around the house in a t-shirt in winter for instance.

From an energy conservation point of view heating and cooling should be used to make the living area slightly more comfortable, the bigger the difference between inside and outside temperature the amount of power used goes up exponentially.
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