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Alternative Power

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Jagged, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

    Apr 25, 2005
    Likes Received:
    It started off as a small brainstorming idea on how to deal with a power outage and keep my fish alive. Alternative power is incredibly fascinating. Expensive, but fascinating. The thing I've quickly realized is your dollar per watt goes down as you go up in wattage. Better to buy in bulk I guess.

    To keep the fish alive, I need a continuous 31.5 watts of 120 VAC. That wouldn't be too difficult with a solar cell and a couple deep cycle batteries. Only thing is a 40-50 watt solar cell is over $300 easily :(

    So then I started thinking, how long would it take for alternative energy to pay off? Say I set up my aquariums to run only on solar power. My guestimate of my current electric utility is about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. My aquariums only cost 77 cents a year in electricity. But that's just running the filters. Counting the lights, and heaters, it's only $11.70 a year. I pay more for the water doing water changes than I do electricity!

    It would be easier and cheaper to get a gas generator and be able to produce kilowatts of energy. Convert the gas generator to natural gas or propane, and never worry about gas going bad.
  2. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust

    Oct 6, 2002
    Likes Received:
    San Francisco
    Lot's of solar panels with a big battery bank is the way to go. Run off the batteries at night, sell your excess power back to the utility company by day. Here in CA the State will subsidise a portion of your costs if you put solar panels in. I donno what a typical home setup costs, but I will consider it soon, I would do all the install myself, so the only $$ I'd have to put out would be for the equipment.

    You could go with a single solar panel to keep a big deep cycle battery charged that would run your aquarium(s) in a blackout situation only. This is what I will be setting up soon at my hunting cabin,a single solar panel constantly charging a LARGE deep cycle battery, so I can run a radio and my CB off it while I am there for the weekend, then it will charge while I am not there.
  3. TSGB

    TSGB 1 ton status

    Apr 22, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Centralia, Washington
    How long an outage are you looking at? Your fish should be fine for two days, IMHO.
  4. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Jul 22, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Mesa , Arizona USA
    Didn't you watch Gilligans Island ?

    You can make a exercise bike generator that will run a radio , and I am sure some fish tank stuff , out of stuff in your yard :wink1:

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