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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Zero-Energy Off-Grid House and Electric Car Scenario

In an increasingly crowded, complex, resource scarce, and globally
interdependent world, long supply
lines for energy, water, and food become perilous and subject to natural and
man-made disruptions. A
return to more local and self-reliant method of resource use may be a better
approach than large
centralized scenarios.

In an earlier report, see:

staff.washington.edu/larryg/Energy/housePV.doc

I compared a centralized energy scenario with a partly local scenario:
Family I versus Family II, where
both live in the same location, have the same size house and quality of
appliances, and drive one or more
automobiles the same distances per year. The differences were that Family I
possesses a conventional
house+car combination, whereas the house for Family II was built according
to the European Passive House
standard, the cars were electric, and, while still connected to the
electrical grid, the house and cars
got their power from a large (approx. 8 KW) PV array making it a
net-zero-energy house+car combination for
the next 30+ years.

Despite the large increase in the initial cost of the house for Family II,
there were no additional
upfront costs for Family II, and the annual overall savings were typically
several thousand dollars/year.
So the economics appears to work for a house still connected to the grid.

I would like to extend this concept to a small community, say 20 families,
that can operate almost totally
off the grid in terms of energy and water (perhaps later this could extend
to food). But initially I will
do so by by extending it to a single household where the house is not
connected to the grid: no pipes,
wires, or cables connect it to the outside world (other than TV/Internet).
If the economics works for that
case, then the extension to a small community should be even more economical
due to the ability to share
resources and dampen large swings in energy and materials usage.

See: http://staff.washington.edu/larryg/Energy/off-grid.doc

for an analysis of that approach.


--
Larry Gales
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Keep in mind that off the grid means either separate well/septic for each
house or a communal well/septic processing plant. Some areas still allow
well/septic, but many don't. Also, the local health department will have
restrictions for distance between a well and nearby septic system (yours or
your neighbor's). This implies a minimum lot size (around 1/2 acre in this
area).

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Larry Gales
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:45 PM
To: SEVA; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: [EVDL] A Zero-Energy Off-Grid House and Electric Car Scenario

A Zero-Energy Off-Grid House and Electric Car Scenario

In an increasingly crowded, complex, resource scarce, and globally
interdependent world, long supply lines for energy, water, and food become
perilous and subject to natural and man-made disruptions. A return to more
local and self-reliant method of resource use may be a better approach than
large centralized scenarios.

In an earlier report, see:

staff.washington.edu/larryg/Energy/housePV.doc

I compared a centralized energy scenario with a partly local scenario:
Family I versus Family II, where
both live in the same location, have the same size house and quality of
appliances, and drive one or more automobiles the same distances per year.
The differences were that Family I possesses a conventional
house+car combination, whereas the house for Family II was built
house+according
to the European Passive House
standard, the cars were electric, and, while still connected to the
electrical grid, the house and cars got their power from a large (approx. 8
KW) PV array making it a net-zero-energy house+car combination for the next
30+ years.

Despite the large increase in the initial cost of the house for Family II,
there were no additional upfront costs for Family II, and the annual overall
savings were typically several thousand dollars/year.
So the economics appears to work for a house still connected to the grid.

I would like to extend this concept to a small community, say 20 families,
that can operate almost totally off the grid in terms of energy and water
(perhaps later this could extend to food). But initially I will do so by by
extending it to a single household where the house is not connected to the
grid: no pipes, wires, or cables connect it to the outside world (other than
TV/Internet).
If the economics works for that
case, then the extension to a small community should be even more economical
due to the ability to share resources and dampen large swings in energy and
materials usage.

See: http://staff.washington.edu/larryg/Energy/off-grid.doc

for an analysis of that approach.


--
Larry Gales
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