DIY Energy

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Flo
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DIY Energy

Post: # 294745Post Flo »

Seems we have a bit of a problem on our hands here in the UK. We seem to have a spike in wholesale gas supplies and a fire at one of the French undersea cable terminals in France so that's out of commission - one less source of energy. Anyone using Gridwatch can see that ICFR3 is not supplying. Cloudy weather and lack of wind haven't provided back up energy.

Small energy suppliers seem to be going out of business in numbers or possibly in a crowd. That means that a new supplier has to be appointed to take over the customers of those companies who have gone out of business. None of the big companies want to take on customers with a credit on their present account - well the big companies are stretched suddenly as well.

There are a lot of us who have a problem with providing alternative heating in our homes - my social landlord would not be happy for me to install a wood burner. Those folks up the road in the next outlying village with no gas won't be bothered of course - up there it's all oil, wood burners or air source.

So any suggestions for diy energy in a social bungalow?

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Green Aura
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294746Post Green Aura »

We had a very strange situation last night. We're fairly used to power outages and have lots of back ups ready but last nights was different.
OH has a small back up power supply to enable him to save his work (software developer) in the case of loss of power. It started alarming, at about 10pm, but all the lights were still on and fridge etc. Anyway he tested the power supply to the aforementioned gizmo and it was down to 140 volts, which was why the alarm went off.
I have a power outage tracker on my mobile (it's a very good idea as we can't always tell if it's just us/village or wider area affected) and SSE had us down as a complete power cut and figured it would be fixed by about half twelve.
At that point we decided to go to bed, as it was likely to become a complete outage and sure enough the lights went out about 15 minutes later.
At 1am I woke as OH came back to bed, having run round turning everything off that was on his smart circuit. :lol:
Maggie

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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294747Post Green Aura »

It's not just direct gas supply, electricity generated from gas power stations is at risk too.

In answer to your question, though, there are a few things you can do. The first thing is to shut your living area down to just one room, so any heat you can create will be optimised. Aim to live, cook and sleep in that one area. You'll probably have to run the gauntlet of going to the toilet though. :lol:

For cooking, and some heat
1) A camping stove, size appropriate to your requirements. There are lots of different types, mainly not very environmentally friendly but in an emergency are a good thing to have on hand. And some can be stored away easily.
Place on a baking tray on the floor in your room for safety. Camping kettle and thermos flasks. Have regular hot drinks and make and store soups. (I've even baked bread on ours in a cast iron casserole).
2) Have lots of candles to hand, and safe candle holders. In a small area they can provide some heat, as well as light obviously. We have some eight-hour tealights which have proved very useful. We even made one of those plant pot candle heaters although I'm not entirely sure how much of an advantage it is, to be frank. Usual caveats apply about not putting near curtains etc. I also made some oil lamps for more light (Mr Google has many tutorials).

You obviously can't start creating energy but you can conserve what heat there is.
1) Thermal lined curtains - keep closed even during the day, unless it's really sunny
2) Readily accessible blankets/ duvets/jumpers etc. Thermal tights, for under jeans - yes, even for the men, and wooly socks. Thermal underwear of any kind is a boost.

All of these are for emergencies obviously, but we survived a seven day outage with just a two ring calor gas camping stove and some candles, in January on the North coast of Scotland, so it is possible . Four of us lived in the one room. It was not easy and we learned a lot of lessons from it. We're now much better prepared.

There is one thing we have invested in - a "briefcase" generator. It isn't powerful enough to run things like freezers etc but it can be used to charge mobiles, charge batteries, power a radio or laptop and run a few lights, if necessary. We have a 20l jerry can which we fill around October. Anything that's left by March gets chucked in the car - it stays good for about 6 months.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

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Flo
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294748Post Flo »

Green Aura wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:12 am
At that point we decided to go to bed, as it was likely to become a complete outage and sure enough the lights went out about 15 minutes later.
Yep been there and know that one well. This is the time when I look back at the 8-18 year old years with heating being a bit of coal and a lot of wood off the farm. And the later years when we lived next to a beach where sea coal could be collected and work provided logs and knackered wooden fences.

If things get "interesting" it's not as if we'll be able to go sit in a café for warmth or the local library to read - they'll be in the same situation as the rest of us.

Going to work isn't an option either due to age. I'm an antique that's really not needed anywhere in particular.

Candles I have and matches. Camping gear the local family might still have and be able to share as they have a house that came with an ex-barge stove installed.

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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294749Post Green Aura »

Flo wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:48 pm
If things get "interesting" it's not as if we'll be able to go sit in a café for warmth or the local library to read - they'll be in the same situation as the rest of us.
No, although it may be a time to pay/receive visits - more bodies warm up the space a treat! Think pot luck lunches or suppers. Cuts down on cooking too. :cheers:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

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Flo
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294750Post Flo »

Think we can add DIY water (very dry in Northumberland), DIY petrol and at the rate the local bus company is having trouble finding drivers - DIY buses.

ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294753Post ina »

I run everything on electricity. Ever since I've moved into this house (council bungalow), I've only used the storage heaters (oldfashioned type) very few times; otherwise I have a dehumidifier (which makes the place a bit warmer, with being less damp), and a very small fan heater that I place close to where I am. Oh, and a mobile heated towel stand in the bathroom.
The council wanted to persuade us all to have gas installed a few years ago - I am glad I refused! It would have meant major disturbance in my garden, plus the loss of storage area in the house; and now the gas is so expensive, I really don't think it would have meant cheaper heating for me...
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Flo
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294754Post Flo »

Wise decision ina - landlord can do the upheaval when the bungalow is empty before the next tenant can't they? It was total chaos for a day when landlord here installed a replacement gas boiler which has had a good few hiccups since it was installed. Mind you I think I got the maverick boiler and the engineer doing the installation was not really up to the job.

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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294759Post Weedo »

Here is the ultimate solar power set-up

Proposal (mainly foreign investment)- 12,000 Hectares of solar panels in Australias Northern Territory generating around 30 gigawatts, 80% of which will be exported to Singapore
Don't let your vision cloud your sight

ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294760Post ina »

Considering they even have solar meadows here in Scotland, I think that is the way electricity generation will go... I still think they should concentrate on using less rather than producing more.
Ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294762Post Green Aura »

Hmm, not sure I like the idea of exporting energy. I'll have to think about that!.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294763Post ina »

In a way it's been done for ages... Maybe not always over quite that distance.
Ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294769Post Weedo »

apparently this is about utilising "waste" and "unallocated" sunlight ??????? Also, what is the environmental impacts of putting 200 Ha of near natural land in permanent shade?
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ina
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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294770Post ina »

That will be interesting to find out. Reduced evaporation might even be beneficial... Wonder whether they've done an impact assessment?
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Re: DIY Energy

Post: # 294771Post Viper254 »

I can't deny the looming gas issues worry me a little bit. We're on a fixed price for energy, which expires in... January. Something to look forward to.

Thankfully our main working/living area is heated by a wood stove, and our bedroom is a very well insulated room where the heating pretty much never comes online.

Knowing what's coming, however, is making me take a long, hard look at insulation; I'm replacing a duff window, removing a couple of dodgy radiators and fitting some more thermostatic valves. It all needed doing, and I guess this is the kick up the backside I needed.

It's what the insulate Britain group are saying, though; I'm relatively well-off and can afford to make changes and buy insulation. For the poorest in our society, I'm just hoping for a mild winter.
AKA Simon.

Trying to get to grips with a Staffordshire allotment (UK)

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