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James Lemon

Well-known member
What is ROE ? A good return on energy is what I expect when it comes to utilizing energy sources. Recent studies have shown that although we have invested in energy efficient homes in the last 15 years or so, our energy consumption has gone up and will continue on, well into the future.

Nearly half of the energy consumed in U.S. buildings in 2021 was used for heating and cooling, according to modeled estimates. Although we save with energy efficient appliances we also use more on hot tubs, other gadgets and such. I personally work at conserving energy as much as possible, like turning down the heat when I leave home, and simple things like that.

Fortunately I can track my electrical usage as well as other energy consumption. The following is a graph of my electrical usage compared to my neighbors for the last billing period . Keep in mind that all these homes are are built to the same efficiency standards and I do not use any solar power or any other types of energy sources. My usage is depicted in light blue.


Screenshot 2022-06-09 141344.jpg
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Very interesting, James!

From the graphs your pattern of energy use doesn’t follow that of your neighbors at all. So you are not merely using less but using it differently.

Who give you this graph, the electric company or is there some special app you have?

How do you know whether you might, perhaps be using more gas during this period?

Asher
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Very interesting, James!

From the graphs your pattern of energy use doesn’t follow that of your neighbors at all. So you are not merely using less but using it differently.

Who give you this graph, the electric company or is there some special app you have?

How do you know whether you might, perhaps be using more gas during this period?

Asher
The company website that provides the electricity has my consumption when I log into my account. I can check my consumption on a daily basis so I can see what I used yesterday, last week ,or other types of intervals. It will also provide an estimate for my next billing period based on my usage that will change as my consumption changes.

Best, regards
James
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The company website that provides the electricity has my consumption when I log into my account. I can check my consumption on a daily basis so I can see what I used yesterday, last week ,or other types of intervals. It will also provide an estimate for my next billing period based on my usage that will change as my consumption changes.

Best, regards
James
But perhaps you are using more gas for cooking and heating hot water and heating the air in the winter?
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
But perhaps you are using more gas for cooking and heating hot water and heating the air in the winter?
Asher

We all use more in the winter but I still use considerably less. Although knowing that a dishwashing machine is a very efficient at using less water than washing dishes by hand and saves money too! Using cold water for washing clothes also helps .

Best, regards
James
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Why does your use
Asher

We all use more in the winter but I still use considerably less. Although knowing that a dishwashing machine is a very efficient at using less water than washing dishes by hand and saves money too! Using cold water for washing clothes also helps .

Best, regards
James

If one looks at stocks, the different entities of one commodity class tend to follow a similar pattern, just lower or higher.

Why is your pattern of use of energy so different from your neighbors? It seems to reflect a major difference either in way of life or else you are better insulated, protected from the sun or subject to environmental cooling from neighboring trees!
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Why does your use


If one looks at stocks, the different entities of one commodity class tend to follow a similar pattern, just lower or higher.

Why is your pattern of use of energy so different from your neighbors? It seems to reflect a major difference either in way of life or else you are better insulated, protected from the sun or subject to environmental cooling from neighboring trees!
Yes in general productivity can be increased for producing commodities except agriculture has natural limits. In my case its about away of life. When a neighbor buys a hot tub I am reasonably sure they don't consider the long term costs of their initial investment.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Do you live alone or do you have a family with children? The graph should be corrected for home occupancy.

This being said: yes, savings are generally speaking the most efficient way to reduce energy consumption; yes, anything which produces heat is a major contribution and yes, heating water is a major source of energy consumption as the specific heat of water is extraordinarily high.
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Do you live alone or do you have a family with children? The graph should be corrected for home occupancy.

This being said: yes, savings are generally speaking the most efficient way to reduce energy consumption; yes, anything which produces heat is a major contribution and yes, heating water is a major source of energy consumption as the specific heat of water is extraordinarily high.
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Jerome

You make a good point however the majority of my neighbors have the same household occupancy as mine. The reality is that many are using more energy than in previous times prior to energy efficient buildings and appliances.
 
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Just happened to have some time today so came onto this site for the fun of it.

So since we are talking ROE and Solar power, Here are a couple of pictures of my solar panels (and meter/inverters)
They were installed in Dec 2009, went officially online in Mar 2010, And paid off in Feb 2017.
I have been making a profit off them since then.

Initial Cost was $55,000 for a 8.2 kW system.
But then, timing is everything...

I actually Added panels to back porch in June 2016 (long story, but they paid themselves off quickly. I can not find the picture with those and it is too hot today for me to want to walk to my backyard neighbor's street just to take a picture because I can't find the one I did take in the archive
Now part of that pay off was I was very very lucky and was grandfathered into Wash. DC's SREC program, even though I am in Virginia. They changed it so only District folks could participate, but they were nice enough to grandfather in Residential folks already participating.

So here is my spreadsheet as of March 2017
The taxes on rebate is because I got the federal rebate in 2010, but then when the state rebate showed up I had to pay back some of that federal rebate in my 2011 taxes
Electricity is at $0.11/kWh, although it is plus taxes, I am not even counting savings on those.
Trivia Note: The peaked roof in the foreground is my Carriage House (AKA garage, AKA Workshop)

So a PROFIT to date of over $50,000 is a pretty good return on investment, so far.
And I produce more electricity than I use (usually, last year I went over a bit, due to new equipment for my small home-based business - so far staying under this year).

Up Front Cost​
55,000​
Final​
Federal Tax Credit​
-16,100​
Final​
State Rebate​
-14,000​
Final​
Interest on Loan​
5060​
Final​
SREC Income​
-$53,044.62​
Current​
Taxes on Rebate​
4200​
Final​
Increase in Insurance​
120​
Final​
Increase in Property Value​
-20,000​
estimate​
Savings on Electricity​
-11,537.24​
last time I checked​
-50,252​
(or a profit of more than $50,252 as of current)​
 

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Forgot to mention, You could get a solar system my size for likely under $25,000 upfront cost these days, with still federal rebate (although dropping) and depending on states rebates or other incentives.
And my panels are 270 watt panels, a lot these days are 300 to 320 watt panels.
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Forgot to mention, You could get a solar system my size for likely under $25,000 upfront cost these days, with still federal rebate (although dropping) and depending on states rebates or other incentives.
And my panels are 270 watt panels, a lot these days are 300 to 320 watt panels.
Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society. The law of physics and not a good return on energy.

For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.
https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check
 
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James Lemon

Well-known member
Just happened to have some time today so came onto this site for the fun of it.

So since we are talking ROE and Solar power, Here are a couple of pictures of my solar panels (and meter/inverters)
They were installed in Dec 2009, went officially online in Mar 2010, And paid off in Feb 2017.
I have been making a profit off them since then.

Initial Cost was $55,000 for a 8.2 kW system.
But then, timing is everything...

I actually Added panels to back porch in June 2016 (long story, but they paid themselves off quickly. I can not find the picture with those and it is too hot today for me to want to walk to my backyard neighbor's street just to take a picture because I can't find the one I did take in the archive
Now part of that pay off was I was very very lucky and was grandfathered into Wash. DC's SREC program, even though I am in Virginia. They changed it so only District folks could participate, but they were nice enough to grandfather in Residential folks already participating.

So here is my spreadsheet as of March 2017
The taxes on rebate is because I got the federal rebate in 2010, but then when the state rebate showed up I had to pay back some of that federal rebate in my 2011 taxes
Electricity is at $0.11/kWh, although it is plus taxes, I am not even counting savings on those.
Trivia Note: The peaked roof in the foreground is my Carriage House (AKA garage, AKA Workshop)

So a PROFIT to date of over $50,000 is a pretty good return on investment, so far.
And I produce more electricity than I use (usually, last year I went over a bit, due to new equipment for my small home-based business - so far staying under this year).

Up Front Cost​
55,000​
Final​
Federal Tax Credit​
-16,100​
Final​
State Rebate​
-14,000​
Final​
Interest on Loan​
5060​
Final​
SREC Income​
-$53,044.62​
Current​
Taxes on Rebate​
4200​
Final​
Increase in Insurance​
120​
Final​
Increase in Property Value​
-20,000​
estimate​
Savings on Electricity​
-11,537.24​
last time I checked​
-50,252​
(or a profit of more than $50,252 as of current)​
  • By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
  • https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Surprisingly the one appliance that can save energy is the dishwasher, yet it is the least used appliance in households. Also more homes today have a second refrigerator.

Screenshot 2022-06-11 055946.jpg


Screenshot 2022-06-11 055820.jpg
 

Will Thompson

Well-known member
Sadly a dishwasher will not wash dishes!

In my life I have used many dishwashers, and not a single one would give you clean dishes without your pre washing and scrubbing no matter what soap you used!

A dishwasher only rinses, sanitizes, & dries dishes!
 
  • By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
  • https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check
I don't know who came up with that, but 99% of solar panels are recyclable back into solar panels according to NREL.Gov

I had to research the author of that linked article, he gets grants from Exxon Mobile for one thing. So he MAY be a bit bias against renewable energy.
I finally found out what he was talking about concrete and solar, because no concrete was used in the production of MY roof-top solar panels. He is talking about industrial farm arrays and the concrete used to hold the poles up.
He probably doesn't know that concrete can be ground down and reused to make concrete. People have been doing that since the Roman era at least.

The only reason why solar panels are usually not recycled today is volume, not enough to make it worth it YET. But they already are in Europe at least on test basis.
At least for silicon panels, which are basically the same thing glass windows are made from. which tend to be what the covering is on panels.

So we have silicon covered by silicon (different forms), framed by aluminum, with copper wiring. There are only a couple things not recyclable. a couple of the resisters on the circuit board and the glue holding the glass seal to the silicon, and then iffy recycling is the plastic coving the wiring.
Now some of the thin film solar (like the ones used in lawn lights and calculators of old) those are not very recyclable. But the vast majority of solar panels are poly or mono-silicon panels that can relatively easily be recycled if we have enough to cover the transportation to recycling.

And in case you are not aware, Silicon is the second most common element on the surface/crust of the planet after Iron. There is NO shortage of that pretty much ever.
And then batteries, the batteries in for Example Tesla's are over 90% recyclable. They were designed that way.
Germany (along with a few other Eu countries) is mandating that batteries for cars and homes be over 90% recyclable. And then lithium, the ever popular thing complained about, is usually found in Copper mines (which is what they usually show when saying lithium mine, lithium is a byproduct of copper mining in that case. The majority of lithium is from Brine reduction, because huge quantities of lithium are in ocean salt water. There is some waste of water in Chile, but no huge pit mine (well technically there is one in Chile, but that only makes up a small portion of their exports. China does have one of the rare actual lithium mines.
However, there are already batteries in limited production (not lab, but production) that use little if any cobalt or lithium, instead using more common materials, less fire hazard and in one case can store twice as much power by volume (although they are working on one issue, which they believe is solvable to get the weight down for use in EVs, but for homes they are just slowly ramping up production already of these low-lithium batteries.

Here try these links
 
Oh and that 10 times material thing is complete bullshit. unless you are talking an instant in time, versus a 3-10 year period of time.
Solar panels have a 3 year Return on energy invested. Meaning they produce more electricity than it took to produce them by the end of 3 years, this includes transportation, mining, and refining of materials.

It takes oil to make oil and then more oil to make gas at a refinery, not to mention burning oil to transport the oil, all of which is burnt up in the process or in use. Gone forever basically.

While once a solar panel is made, additional solar panels can be made using the energy from solar panels. this has been proven at a solar panel factory in Canada over ten years ago.
So given solar panels can last up to 50 years, just going with ay 30 years, solar panels can produce enough energy to make ten more solar panels during their lifetime.
And as mentioned the poly/mono-silicon ones are 99% recyclable back into solar panels.
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Oh and that 10 times material thing is complete bullshit. unless you are talking an instant in time, versus a 3-10 year period of time.
Solar panels have a 3 year Return on energy invested. Meaning they produce more electricity than it took to produce them by the end of 3 years, this includes transportation, mining, and refining of materials.

It takes oil to make oil and then more oil to make gas at a refinery, not to mention burning oil to transport the oil, all of which is burnt up in the process or in use. Gone forever basically.

While once a solar panel is made, additional solar panels can be made using the energy from solar panels. this has been proven at a solar panel factory in Canada over ten years ago.
So given solar panels can last up to 50 years, just going with ay 30 years, solar panels can produce enough energy to make ten more solar panels during their lifetime.
And as mentioned the poly/mono-silicon ones are 99% recyclable back into solar panels.
The typical 1,000 megawatt coal or nuclear plant might sit on a few acres. To generate the same amount of electricity with renewables would require 60,000 acres for a utility-scale wind farm, or about 11,000 acres of photovoltaic cells capturing the sun's light. Digging up more earth to make more solar panels is not a good path. Coal provides half our electricity today. Wind and solar provide less than 1 percent. Where to you plan on getting the rest of your material from? The solar panel industry will sink under the weight of its own trash. Some governments may even regulate it as hazardous waist.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Oh and that 10 times material thing is complete bullshit. unless you are talking an instant in time, versus a 3-10 year period of time.
Solar panels have a 3 year Return on energy invested. Meaning they produce more electricity than it took to produce them by the end of 3 years, this includes transportation, mining, and refining of materials.

It takes oil to make oil and then more oil to make gas at a refinery, not to mention burning oil to transport the oil, all of which is burnt up in the process or in use. Gone forever basically.

While once a solar panel is made, additional solar panels can be made using the energy from solar panels. this has been proven at a solar panel factory in Canada over ten years ago.
So given solar panels can last up to 50 years, just going with ay 30 years, solar panels can produce enough energy to make ten more solar panels during their lifetime.
And as mentioned the poly/mono-silicon ones are 99% recyclable back into solar panels.
I think this is reasonable.

But in addition cattle land prices will drop in 15 years as we switch to cultured meat cells and cheap land will be available to trap more carbon or capture more energy from the sun.

Asher
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
I think this is reasonable.

But in addition cattle land prices will drop in 15 years as we switch to cultured meat cells and cheap land will be available to trap more carbon or capture more energy from the sun.

Asher
A World Bank study noted what every mining engineer knows: “[T]echnologies assumed to populate the clean energy shift … are in fact significantly more material intensive in their composition than current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems.”

Exponential growth in "global" renewable energy production capacity, is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
A World Bank study noted what every mining engineer knows: “[T]echnologies assumed to populate the clean energy shift … are in fact significantly more material intensive in their composition than current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems.”

Exponential growth in "global" renewable energy production capacity, is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production.
James,

It may be truely a report by the World Bank!

This may also be be anecdotal, the kind of proof that Tucker Carlson uses in his rants against anything progressive or to do with “green”.

Even if published, the World Bank has political guide rails and philosophies that acts as a filter.

Of published articles on environmental policy, most from all parts of the political spectrum are tainted by fixed opinions and staunch convictions.

So each article quote needs to be accompanied by a link to that article so that it’s value can be assessed.

Asher
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Awesome landscapes, James!

But where is it?

Asher
Glad you like the pictures Asher... much appreciated!

The pictures depict a small portion of one of the largest open pit mines in North America located in the southern part of British Columbia Canada. It mines copper and molybdenum. The operation runs 24 hours a day 365 a year and employs close to 1300 people. There are three active pits that are mined through blasting, loading, hauling and crushing. The extracted ore goes through a milling process which breaks the rock down into sand like particles. The minerals are then extracted through floatation and separation process to produce copper and molybdenum concentrates.

The large water body is a Tailings Storage Facility. tailings consist of finely ground rock particles left over after the process of separating valuable metals from the mined rock. The tailings facility consists of two dams: The L-L Dam and the H-H Dam. The two dams on either end of the tailings facility create barriers to contain both tailings and water that is reused in the mill.

The L-L Dam is made up of cycloned tailings sand. Tailings from the mill are transported to the L-L Dam through a pipeline and then processed using cyclones to remove fine particles.The remaining course sand particles are transported through another pipeline to the dam where it is compacted to a specific density to form the dam shell.

Cycloned sand is compacted using a method called cell construction. A dozer is used to level and compact the cycloned sand in cells. The completed cells form a strong dam shell with the density nearing that of concrete.

The water in the L-L Dam pond is recycled and pumped by barges to be reused in the milling process. Recycled water accounts for 80 % of the required process water,while the remaining 20% is provided from the mine pit dewatering, as well as precipitation and snow melt on-site. Seepage water at the toe of the L-L Damm is collected in the seepage collection ponds and is also pumped back into the tailings storage facility for reuse in the mill
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Brilliant! I am so impressed. What about the rare elements. They must be a cumulating a lot more interesting matériels too!
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
Brilliant! I am so impressed. What about the rare elements. They must be a cumulating a lot more interesting matériels too!
This would appear to be the mine seen from above:

Jerome. Asher

Thank you for the addition of the arial map Jerome ! Asher I think they may recover some small amounts of gold, and platinum.

best, regards
James
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jerome. Asher

Thank you for the addition of the arial map Jerome ! Asher I think they may recover some small amounts of gold, and platinum.

best, regards
James
As the water is recycled, those trace elements will increase. But I wonder whether environmentalists have current claims against them for pollution?
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
As the water is recycled, those trace elements will increase. But I wonder whether environmentalists have current claims against them for pollution?

I am not aware of any claims. Trogan Pond (not visible) in the pictures serves as an example of a fully reclaimed tailings facility. Through the work of environmental personnel and aquatic biologists it has been reclaimed into a naturally functioning, self-sustaining lake ecosystem, complete with healthy populations of fish. It serves an important role both in ongoing research for inactive tailings facilities and reclamation techniques, and as a location where the mine facility hosts fundraising and community events throughout the year.

Best, regards
james
 
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