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switching to solar power .. who's next Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th November 2009
  #91
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Looks like the BBC report making things slightly less clear - since when did guitars need power anyway? (maybe a 9v battery sometimes, except for variax / moog etc.) I don't think they meant it that literally...

According to the studio's website "The studio is fully solar powered - the first in Europe - and was built using a high level of recycled materials. All equipment, including air conditioning, operates on low energy supplies."

and "Studio A is entirely powered by photovoltaic panels."
Old 27th November 2009
  #92
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thnx Oliver,

so nice this information age .. what's true and not ... :-)
if we even have to doubt the BBC ...
Old 27th November 2009
  #93
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hoi Wim,
I've found some cheap panels and windmills. I'll get the contact adress and post it later. The ones from Eneco are a complete ripoff, just like the whole "privatisation" of Eneco is planting a knife in the back of the dutch. (IMO of course)

About the global warming issue: I think it's very commendable to use available abundant energy sources, instead of fossile fuel which is polluting and running out, and of course controlled, and milked by a few. This apart from the whole massive change in world climate.
Same with nuclear. There was a very good documentary on ARTE a while back (Kosmokrator posted it in the forum below), about nuclear (fission). And that too is running out. Nuclear fission plants is like a bubble is in economics. To live big now, we push the associated problems away from us, into the future. So... getting off the grid is a very good thing for everybody.

About Bill O'reilly saying the "war on drugs" is a good thing, and pointing at the Netherlands as an example of a "liberal country" gone wrong, is total utter nonsense. Ol' Bill there can go suck on his meth. (we don't have that here, gosh I wonder why...) The opposite is true actually. Under strong pressure of the american gov. the Netherlands, with a conservative rightwing christian fundamentalist government (plus some corporate dudes posing as "socialists") have tried (and succeeded in part) to wreck the working model of end user legalisation, by outlawing magic mushrooms for instance. Everybody (police, mayor, social workers, drug specialists) was against making this naturally occurring mushroom illegal. Still it continued, with a bunch of sheeple in our parliament. The result is another victory for organised crime, who now cater for the demand of the non-addictive substance. Thank you fundamentalists, for imposing your BS on us all. Hypocrites. I'm a bit irritated, please excuse this rant, I've worked as a scientific researcher in the field for years. And there is proof legalisation coupled with education, and well informed police, medics, aid workers etc. was working. Less addictions on substances, less crime (no profit) and more self awareness among dutch, that they are responsible themselves, and taking substances doesn't change that.

Amsterdam knows, just like any city, some corruption. But what is going on is that real estate prices have risen sharply, and that the new, wealthy occupants of Amsterdam don't want clubs, bars, coffeeshops or anything but peace and quiet really. Commendable attitude, but not in a major bustling city of europe. As a result, Amsterdam is almost dead culturally, compared to the first half of the nineties. They realise this now, but it's too late. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

BTW, I'm from Utrecht, and I rent my place. It's not allowed to put anything on the roof of the building, so no solar for me yet.

Groet!
Jan
Old 27th November 2009
  #94
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Rather than the hassle and expense of generating your own power, why not buy it from a company that's building green infrastructure nationally? It's easy to switch and not expensive. Not sure what's available in other countries but here in the UK I get my juice from Ecotricity - the world's first green electricity company
Old 27th November 2009
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverV View Post
Rather than the hassle and expense of generating your own power, why not buy it from a company that's building green infrastructure nationally? It's easy to switch and not expensive. Not sure what's available in other countries but here in the UK I get my juice from Ecotricity - the world's first green electricity company
Oliver .... smart one ... also a good ( temp ) choice ... I have somekind off green energy .. but's it's a bit off a farce ...... the compagny that can guarantee me green energy like that would made me swictch ... and I'm no easy switcher .... ( I still love my Manley Vari-Mu .. heh )

But you'll still have to pay their Bill and Energy will not get cheaper in the future .. in the near future I will pay € 280-300 - $ 450 per month which is just crazy ...
how much is that on overhead and ridicilous managment cost in ****ed-up privatised E-compagnys .. where the CEO thinks he needs > 1.000.000,- a year as a salary ..

Making my own Energy is/can be cheaper ... ???
But thnx for bringing it Up ....
You'll see that trend develop fast I assume ..
Better choices for us ..

Last edited by inlinenl; 27th November 2009 at 08:44 PM.. Reason: still bad spelling going on ... sorry ..
Old 27th November 2009
  #96
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It's all solar panels above the studio here.
Old 27th November 2009
  #97
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Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
It's all solar panels above the studio here.
Awesome in sunny California .... thumbsup
Old 27th November 2009
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
hoi Wim,
I've found some cheap panels and windmills. I'll get the contact adress and post it later. The ones from Eneco are a complete ripoff, just like the whole "privatisation" of Eneco is planting a knife in the back of the dutch. (IMO of course)
Reptil/Jan ... please do ...
Old 28th November 2009
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
BACK ON TOPIC

We have been doing lots to "GO GREEN"

We are currently working with our local investor owned electric company and besides going green they have helped us save some money.

They offered a free energy audit which we did. They came out and looked at our studio and checked many things including thermally scanning the entire structure for heat losses and checking the amount of air infiltration that we had by putting a evacuation fan in our doorway and checking the entire studio for air leaks. They wrote up all their findings and presented us with some suggestions that were prioritized from the most urgent to as needed.

Following their suggestions we had new windows installed, we plugged up all existing air leaks, we had the studio insulated and new siding put on. We also upgraded our heating and AC systems. We also upgraded our lights to CFLs or LEDs and tried to replace older equipment with more energy efficient versions. The changes helped. When we moved into our studio in 1977 we were paying about $75.00 per month for gas we are now paying about $57.00 per month. Our electric bills have come down considerably and the whole operation is more energy efficient and comfortable. This is not pie in the sky this is here and now.

Currently we are looking into some roof mounted solar cells but I am told that in Northern Ohio we may not be looking at generating much electricity especially in the winter. I will have to do some cost analysis and see if it is really worth it.

It has cost us some money to do all of this but I have calculated that within 10 years the costs will be paid back and we will be saving even more as the costs of gas and electric continue to rise.

The survey and studio checkout did not cost us anything but the savings are real. Much of the information the electric company provided was well reasoned and thoughtful and they have come back three additional times to do checkouts and to confirm that what we have done is working and working well.

Good topic but the Global Warming debate has somewhat sidetracked the OP's question.
Thanks!

inlinenl, kudos for your efforts. I applaud you.
Old 29th November 2009
  #100
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I'm really sorry to go back off-topic again but this needs to be said here, considering some of the debate earlier.

I'm sure many of you have heard the news already but how many realize just how nasty/significant this is?

"Global Warming" SCAM - Hack/Leak FLASH - The Market Ticker

The leaked content can be found using google.

Cheers!
bManic
Old 29th November 2009
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
I'm really sorry to go back off-topic again but this needs to be said here, considering some of the debate earlier.

I'm sure many of you have heard the news already but how many realize just how nasty/significant this is?

"Global Warming" SCAM - Hack/Leak FLASH - The Market Ticker

The leaked content can be found using google.

Cheers!
bManic
So a healthy debate amongst leading scientists, cyber hacked by criminals, that have then hand picked information that supports their theory and put it on the web.

A child of 3 could see though that one. Brings back memories of "weapons of mass destruction" perpetuated by the witless media.

Got any credible evidence supported by science?
Old 29th November 2009
  #102
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And it's another dead link to boot, or is that the result of yet another conspiracy?

I think it's probably up to us as much as individuals to reduce our power usage. I turn off gear I'm unlikely to use in a session once it's underway and I know where I'm heading and what I'm using. I don't think anyone here disagrees we should try to use less power. I also power down the studio when not in use, after all, if your going to blow a cap it'll be on power up anyway, so it's good to cycle them as a kind of daily health check. Though I do remember a place that used to leave their mastering suites on 24/7 (no names eh Ben!).

The reason I went heat pump rather than solar was that the specs were almost identical in terms of usage, solar was much more expensive to install, and batteries are not good environmentally. That being said I will investigate panels for my studio as a heat pump will not work in this application.

Is anyone out there running their studio purely on DC? I seem to think there's one here in Oz but I'm not sure...

The King
Old 30th November 2009
  #103
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A great little studio in country NSW I've had a few projects from (and Dave there knows his stuff.. even brings his 1/4" machine to mastering sessions).
Info (including pros and cons): Sunpower studios.
Old 30th November 2009
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
A great little studio in country NSW I've had a few projects from (and Dave there knows his stuff.. even brings his 1/4" machine to mastering sessions).
Info (including pros and cons): Sunpower studios.
That is very cool. Thanks!
Old 30th November 2009
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
A great little studio in country NSW I've had a few projects from (and Dave there knows his stuff.. even brings his 1/4" machine to mastering sessions).
Info (including pros and cons): Sunpower studios.
Love the virtual tour! Looking South in the recording room

Straw walls look great.
Old 30th November 2009
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Love the virtual tour! Looking South in the recording room

Straw walls look great.
Uhm...a nonsmoking establishment, I would presume? Modern amplifiers only?

Fire in a House With Straw Bale Walls | The Last Straw Blog

"oven effect"
Old 2nd December 2009
  #107
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I'm with Adam on this one.

I would like to add the fact that the fossil fuels we're all using was a big reservoir of decaying biomass that took hundreds millions of years to build up and now at this rate it all will be gone within roughly 200 years. This has to have an impact which can be negative or positive.
And alternatives like nuclear energy has the same cutbacks since nuclear fuel isn't infinite as well.

The only long term solution is a combination of saving energy and using resources to create energy which can be replaced. Like solar, wind, thermal, tides, water, bio-mass, nuclear fusion.

It probably would be most cost effective if every house had its own fuel-cell mini power plant and create heat/electricity from that. The hydrogen that would power those fuel cells could be made in all energy plants or even at your own place. But storing hydrogen still is tricky atm.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #108
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I attended a lecture at the local college back in the 80's. The person was speaking about alternative ways to fuel cars and provide heating and electric to our homes. It was a most interesting lecture. He foresaw that in the early 2000s every neighborhood would have a hydrogen generator that would be used to create hydrogen and oxygen out of water. The gases produced could be used for fuel cells and or hydrogen to fuel vehicles. His idea that we would have small communities inside of a larger town that would generate their own power and this hydrogen generator would serve about 20 homes or less. The hydrogen could be used for heating the homes and could also be used to drive a generator that would provide electric for the 20 homes. He predicted that a hydrogen generation plant could be purchased for less than $90K making it affordable. He also said that things like water purification and waste disposal are already working well on the city level and should remain a city wide operation. He put up some pretty good figures for how much all of this would cost and how cheaply the power and the hydrogen for cars would be. The one thing that he did not cover was how the hydrogen generation was going to be done but he said that by the early 2000s someone would surely invent a way to do this cheaply and efficiently. Well it is the early 2000 and we are still stuck with gasoline or diesel for our cars and coal fired or nuclear for our electric.

About a year ago our town started looking at wind power. They did a study and decided that the wind did not blow steady enough or blew too hard and it was not feasible. There was a person in town that was pushing this wind idea very hard. He wanted the city to invest in 20 wind towers at a cost of about 80 million dollars. He wanted this to be the ONLY power source and have the residents of the town understand that they would only have electric when the wind was blowing. Yes he was somewhat of a crackpot but... After the study the wind got taken out of his sails literally and he was forced to admit to one and all that it would not have worked.

I view a lot of what is being proposed with a skeptical eye. Things like covering the states of New Mexico or Arizona with solar cells or erecting large wave generators along both coast of America or putting wind generators on every building in Manhattan are nice ideas but will never fly. Putting a satellite into space that will capture the suns rays and focus them into a receiving appliance are good for science fiction stories but how realistic are they?

I think solar, wind, wave, and geothermic power will all have their place in the future but how much we can depend on them is quite another story. I have to say that a hydrogen future looks like where we are heading and it is only a matter of time before a budding scientist figures out a catalytic way of breaking the bonds between hydrogen and water and we have literally as much energy as we need at a very low price point.

Good topic!
Old 2nd December 2009
  #109
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nice story Tom,

In amsterdam we have some busses running on hydrogen ... allready as a test for a few years .. some predict my 4 year old son will drive his hydrogen car when he's 18 ... .. but I prefer him to cycle ...
Old 2nd December 2009
  #110
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It would be nice if we could power our houses/studios with solar power. By this I mean power my dozen AC machines throughout the house, studio equipment, and all other appliances.... I really am not interested in just powering, say, the christmas tree! heh
Old 2nd December 2009
  #111
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Funny how our government is excited about finding water on the moon... "making it a future fuel stop for further space exploration" and yet with all the water on the earth we have no "hydrogen based fuel stop" here, I wonder why???

I don't really wonder of course, we got "sold down the road" of big oil back in the 70's when the first oil crunch hit. It's quite sad really!
Old 2nd December 2009
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Funny how our government is excited about finding water on the moon... "making it a future fuel stop for further space exploration" and yet with all the water on the earth we have no "hydrogen based fuel stop" here, I wonder why???

I don't really wonder of course, we got "sold down the road" of big oil back in the 70's when the first oil crunch hit. It's quite sad really!
Hey Larry!
The Government knew about the water (and a whole bunch of other stuff) long ago.

That's all I'll say because I don't want to come across as one of those crazy conspiracy guys. Y'know? heh
Old 2nd December 2009
  #113
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Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Funny how our government is excited about finding water on the moon... "making it a future fuel stop for further space exploration" and yet with all the water on the earth we have no "hydrogen based fuel stop" here, I wonder why???
It's the Helium-3 on the moon that has energy potential, not water.

Also, making Hydrogen from water uses much more energy that you will ever recover, something like 7-10 times more. Hydrogen is never made from electrolysis of water, except in chemistry class, it's made from the reformation of methane gas. But the methane has to want to reform.

Quote:
I don't really wonder of course, we got "sold down the road" of big oil back in the 70's when the first oil crunch hit. It's quite sad really!
True, but what we need is not a Hydrogen economy, imo. Wind, geothermal, and wave power are the winners.


DC
Old 2nd December 2009
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
It's the Helium-3 on the moon that has energy potential, not water.

Also, making Hydrogen from water uses much more energy that you will ever recover, something like 7-10 times more. Hydrogen is never made from electrolysis of water, except in chemistry class, it's made from the reformation of methane gas. But the methane has to want to reform.



True, but what we need is not a Hydrogen economy, imo. Wind, geothermal, and wave power are the winners.


DC
It has been proven over and over again that wind. geothermal and solar cannot, at the present time, even start to supply the energy needs of the good olde US of A let alone in the future. We would literally have to have every square inch of unused land (read deserts) covered with solar cells, take all the geothermal we can from places like Yellowstone and put up so many windmills the hills of all the states would look like a windmill convention and we would still need more energy. I agree with your premise but at present it just isn't feasible. Maybe down the road. We do need to start thinking of this NOW and not sometime in the future if we are going to survive but with the government spending billions in Iraq and now Afghanistan and with the looming health care costs - the government spending money for pure research into alternative power is going to be at a premium. Not a pretty picture for our children. It can be done, and right now someone is tinkering in their labs with something that 10 or 20 years will bring us cheap energy but I don't see that happening anytime soon.*

FWIW and YMMV

* and if the energy companies find this person we may never have the potential for cheap energy since that is NOT what they want to have happen.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #115
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Well, some disappointing news in Australia. The ETS was blocked in the senate. This means Australia will go to Copenhagen without a policy that has been passed.

Being a very hot, dry country we are going to be hit very hard with global warming. The Barrier reef will probably be the first to go with coral bleaching. It's a bit sad that the climate change sceptics have had such a huge voice, mostly due to the fact that people want something done but are not willing to change their lifestyle and expect it to be free. Plenty of money was available to bail out the banks when the economic crisis hit.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
It has been proven over and over again that wind. geothermal and solar cannot, at the present time, even start to supply the energy needs of the good olde US of A let alone in the future.
Solar is actually pretty impractical. If the efficiency was there, you would see a panel on every telephone pole. I keep hearing about breakthroughs that are just around the corner that will make it practical, though. About the time we are all in flying cars.

There is also the problem of solar cell aging. About the time it's paid off, you are getting like half the Watts you started with.

This is not the case with oceanic or wind, etc. Now, I do agree that it doesn't work everywhere, but the potential (Har!) is much better.

This one is also interesting:

Osmotic power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For now we should be increasing CNG usage, imo.


DC
Old 3rd December 2009
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Solar is actually pretty impractical. If the efficiency was there, you would see a panel on every telephone pole. I keep hearing about breakthroughs that are just around the corner that will make it practical, though. About the time we are all in flying cars.

There is also the problem of solar cell aging. About the time it's paid off, you are getting like half the Watts you started with.

This is not the case with oceanic or wind, etc. Now, I do agree that it doesn't work everywhere, but the potential (Har!) is much better.

This one is also interesting:

Osmotic power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For now we should be increasing CNG usage, imo.


DC
There is a lot of research for using chlorophyll with the solar cells for increased output and lower cost. Here is an interesting article on green dye with somewhat the same effects. The Sietch Blog » Organic Solar Cell Breakthrough

The Japanese were doing some research on using chlorophyll in the late 80s and early 90's but this information is from New Zealand.

I too think that CNG is a very good very economical fuel that is being underutilized.

What ever road we decide to take we should start doing it soon BEFORE the fossil fuel is all gone. But of course being human we will wait until it is too late and then blame everyone for not doing what should have been done years ago. I guess procrastination is built into our genetics.

I saw an article recently on CNN about some self powered electric shoes. While you are walking you are generating enough energy to charge your cell phone with some device in your shoes that works by compressing a material and generating a weak electric current. Sounds like a plan.

Now if they could only harness the energy generated during sex we would have the energy crisis solved over night. This would be especially good if they could use college student for the generators....<GRIN>
Old 3rd December 2009
  #118
My whole place (studio and the house below it) runs on solar electricity-- no connection to the grid at all.

*Yawn* And, um... here's a link to a little sax band stuff...

4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download Untitled Blues by Keith Pray - Keith Pray Soul Jazz Fusion.mp3
Old 3rd December 2009
  #119
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The key to sustainable/renewable is, and has always been, efficiency. Using less power to do the work.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #120
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Originally Posted by inlinenl View Post
Here in holland you would need to invest around € 25.000,- to make your house/studio running on solar energy ... I'm making up my mind to invest and make the step ...

now it's time to act .. not to wait .. it's there .. just do it ...
id wait there are 2 companies in New England that are going to revoltutionize the creation of solor panels and make them really really inexpensive. Should be in a year or so.
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