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Soaring Energy Costs

1463 Views 38 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Jrgunn5150
So we get this notice in the mail the other day from DTE about how we now get to have choice in saving on the new rate increases. It really isn't a choice the way I see it. Maybe it is if you want to use candles to light your home during peak hours. Which are between 3 and 7 when kids get home from school and families are getting home from a day at work to come home and turn everything on in the house that uses electricity.

Dynamic Peak Pricing | Products | DTE Energy

Get ready for some big increases.
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dollar down icon
Off-Peak Rate
11 cents per kWh

M - F: 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Weekends and holidays*

home savings icon
Mid-Peak Rate
16 cents per kWh

M - F: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

dollar up icon
On-Peak Rate
23 cents per kWh

Monday - Friday

3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

electric emergency icon
Critical Peak
$1.02 cents per kWh

Rare weekdays**

3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I am one of the few who is inactive from 3pm to 7pm most weekdays and this will help.

I have an idea to reduce my home heating cost greatly next winter using only wind to heat up resistance wiring locate in my basement. It should greatly reduce my heating cost. Any time the windmill spins it directly powers the resistance wiring. The heat given off the resistance wiring acts as a radiant heater(and dehumidifier). No batteries or battery management systems and a very simple concept.

I live next to a stream and could potentially run a electric pump during off peak hours when wind was not available. when wind was available(most days) a simple belt driven pump with check valve could work.
I would fill 10 55 gallon barrels 40 feet above(over 70 feet distance) from that stream. Any excess would go to a port at the top of the last barrel and return back to the stream. This would make a 550 gallon gravity battery that could further reduce peak rates.

Also don't discount solar. I am not talking about panels I am talking about collectors. For instance using dark colored gravel or rocks can greatly reduce snow buildup around your home. If you have a seldom used room in your home that regularly sees a good amount of light making a indoor rock garden with dark colored rocks is a great way to make a indoor solar collector. Even placing pots filled with dark stones on the window sill can act as a mini solar collector.

The more area for the sun to hit the rocks the more the heat the collector will store. When the sun goes down these collectors will radiate that heat back out into your home. Now in most cases the difference is only a few degrees over around 1 to 4 hours. But that is still heat savings for very little actual work.

I picked up a book for $1 years ago called Solar Dwelling Design concepts. Tons of fun ideas and real world testing. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and because of this there is a FREE PDF linked below.
It discusses many solar methods and is worth reading through the 146 page PDF to make some cheap at home experiments to reduce heating cost.

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I actually planned gasoline on being above $5 a gallon back in 2015 and closer to $6 by 2020.

Electricity is going to go up for several reasons. Mostly greed mixed with poor planning.

I am heavily pro Nuclear as far as power goes. Acutally I am pro supercritical CO2 (sCO2) using nucular as a source.

Rods make heat inside a water tank,
Heat makes water hot,
Steam forms making pressure or in the case of critical sC02 pressure forms. The pressure drives a multi stage turbine then with steam it is mostly expelled.
With sCO2 your dealing with higher pressures in a closed system so a tube(s) inside of the rod tank that is heated. If you take liquid CO2 and heat it up it becomes supercritical before becoming a gas. In that supercritical state it has enough pressure to run a single or dual stage turbine about the size of a shipping container before being cooled back down via river water returning to the liquid state.

A 60x60 building housing 2 generatiors could power a town for the life if the rods. The liquid CO2 is natural, river water natural, and rods good for lets say 30 years. The entire thing could be frankly dang near controlled remotly.

Instead of having one massive nucular plant you have many small ones as common as water towers. This reduces grid transmission issues(power outages).

What do you do with all those pesky rods once they do become spent? Well locally here in Lower Michigan under all that fresh water is a large bowl of rock. Under that bowl is a very large (mostly unknown) salt mine. The mine is very deep and a great source for storage.

So next to your local water treatment plant(massive reserve of water) you will have a sCO2 nuclear power plant. Actually you could have one at your current water treatment plant right now. Outside of the transformer station and several lines coming off the building it could easily be overlooked as just another steel building.

sCO2 power plants are becoming more popular due to the lower initial cost, smaller size, and the fact you just need heat to power them. You could burn stuff and power a sCO2 power plant and if you stopped burning it would naturally cool making it super safe. Although burning trees, trash, waste, or using fuels like coal would be costly and bad. They could be done to power a city using a sCO2 in a safe manner. Nucular is obviously a much cleaner more effective methoud.

The idea of many small things adding up is nothing new.

Going back to that gravity battery. It can be done with water. But it can also be done with weight. Basically think of a elevator with concrete inside. You use wind, solar, or hydro to lift the large weight using a motor(very slowly via gearing) then when those resources are not available you lower that weight (very slowly via gearing) using the motor as a generatior.

Once again many apes strong.

These batteries can be placed in existing structures or in new ones like right next to your local water tower. Just like a water tower is a gravity "water battery" to help during increased demand this gravity "elevatior" battery could also be used during peak demand. The more gravity batteries you have the less the big "pumping station" needs to strain during those peak times. During low peak it can "top off" the gravity batteries. Further more by placing these gravity "elevatior" batteries next to existing structures like watertowers your not making a farm. The structures are spread out leaving less of a footprint. Maintaining, adding, and removing the remote "elevatior" batteries could be a fairly straightforward process unlike a farm structure.

We have lots of options to add capacity without limitation on demand. I dont feel the political and public incentive is there yet.

But hey gas is half what I expected so I obviously don't know what I am rambling on about.
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