Author Topic: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"  (Read 3284 times)

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
"How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« on: August 05, 2015, 05:03:43 AM »
This is a blog post by Rob Rhinehart (the Soylent guy) http://robrhinehart.com/?p=1331. Its about how he powers his apartment with just 1 100W solar panel. I think some things are a bit crazy, some of his consumption is merely outs-sourced, and some of his numbers seem just wrong. Still a pretty interesting example of low electricity usage.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 05:32:02 AM by vhalros »

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
    • My Blog
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 06:56:37 AM »
Yeah his reliance on Soylent is something I wouldn't ever do.


His outsourced energy:
Soylent production (though I don't know how significant that is)
Butane stove
Uber and public transportation (this isn't an electric bill bur still another example of how he outsources energy). Though public transportation is pretty energy efficient per person if enough people are using it.
Uses cloud computing when he needs more computer power
WTF he buys new clothes instead of doing laundry???

It's an interesting example of low electricity usage but it basically all hinges on not cooking and eating Soylent instead. That's too extreme a change for most people. 
Oh yea and he never does laundry. What a joke.

wauske

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 144
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 07:05:53 AM »
@Johnny847, yeah that's what I thought too. "Making clothes uses less water than washing them"?!
I think that may actually be true if you don't include the entire process from pumping up oil to fabric creation.

He also didn't say how often he eats outdoors, which he supposedly could afford because he doesn't buy groceries anymore...

Regarding the figures, I don't see a problem there. Mostly he'll find that his lead-acid battery is going to kill itself this way, also charging a lead-acid battery should be done in a well ventilated area because Hydrogen can be released.
Everything I say is my personal opinion which is based on my subjective experience.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
    • My Blog
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 07:17:52 AM »
@Johnny847, yeah that's what I thought too. "Making clothes uses less water than washing them"?!
I think that may actually be true if you don't include the entire process from pumping up oil to fabric creation.

Maybe. But even so, then he wants to ship them from China? I mean I guess he lives on the West coast because he's talking about the cost of shipping via boat (which admittedly is close to nothing for low volume low weight items such as clothes). But anybody who lives further inland is incurring ground shipping, which in terms of energy is not cheap.

Regarding the figures, I don't see a problem there. Mostly he'll find that his lead-acid battery is going to kill itself this way, also charging a lead-acid battery should be done in a well ventilated area because Hydrogen can be released.

Wow I did not know about this. Interesting.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7357
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 08:51:10 AM »
Yeah, he has some stuff wrong. Like coal is no longer the majority of the electric generation (around 40% and dropping last I checked). And going to restaurants could easily waste more energy than preparing food at home. And electric cars are actually much cleaner than he says even in dirtier power generation states. Plus, they get cleaner over time as we clean up the grid. I'm probably going 100% solar soon because it's really getting cheap (just have to see if I'm going to move first). And buying clothes from China and then donating them instead of washing them is just super wasteful. Someone else is just going to wash them anyway.

music lover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 657
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 09:52:42 AM »
But anybody who lives further inland is incurring ground shipping, which in terms of energy is not cheap.

A fully loaded semi getting 6 - 8 miles per gallon uses far less fuel per pound of goods taking it to the grocery store than the average consumer uses to pick up 2 or 3 bags of groceries.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
    • My Blog
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 10:59:39 AM »
But anybody who lives further inland is incurring ground shipping, which in terms of energy is not cheap.

A fully loaded semi getting 6 - 8 miles per gallon uses far less fuel per pound of goods taking it to the grocery store than the average consumer uses to pick up 2 or 3 bags of groceries.

Yeah okay the semi is going to deliver directly to your door.

music lover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 657
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 11:04:34 AM »
But anybody who lives further inland is incurring ground shipping, which in terms of energy is not cheap.

A fully loaded semi getting 6 - 8 miles per gallon uses far less fuel per pound of goods taking it to the grocery store than the average consumer uses to pick up 2 or 3 bags of groceries.

Yeah okay the semi is going to deliver directly to your door.

Of course not, but your claim was that shipping by truck is inefficient. It's not. Transporting food to grocery stores is a very tiny percentage of the overall cost.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
    • My Blog
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 11:15:31 AM »
But anybody who lives further inland is incurring ground shipping, which in terms of energy is not cheap.

A fully loaded semi getting 6 - 8 miles per gallon uses far less fuel per pound of goods taking it to the grocery store than the average consumer uses to pick up 2 or 3 bags of groceries.

Yeah okay the semi is going to deliver directly to your door.

Of course not, but your claim was that shipping by truck is inefficient. It's not. Transporting food to grocery stores is a very tiny percentage of the overall cost.

First of all why are we talking about groceries? Did I mention groceries at all in my posts?

Second of all, if you follow his logic it'd be saying that shipping to your door is more efficient than going out to the store and getting something yourself. Which is not easily defended. Yes the local delivery truck delivers to multiple people in one trip. But similarly, a person could make multiple stops at multiple stores to get the things they need.

If he really wanted to lower his environmental impact he would buy clothes that are locally made. Instead he buys them from China because they're cheap (in dollars, not environmental cost)

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
  • Age: 56
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 11:41:56 AM »
Yeah, he has some stuff wrong. Like coal is no longer the majority of the electric generation (around 40% and dropping last I checked). And going to restaurants could easily waste more energy than preparing food at home. And electric cars are actually much cleaner than he says even in dirtier power generation states. Plus, they get cleaner over time as we clean up the grid. I'm probably going 100% solar soon because it's really getting cheap (just have to see if I'm going to move first). And buying clothes from China and then donating them instead of washing them is just super wasteful. Someone else is just going to wash them anyway.

+1 forummm. You go guy.

I'd like to be able to hit these high points myself:
- high efficiency at home
- dramatically dropping power consumption
- simplifying in the kitchen and other places,
- implementing solar (both SHW and PV)

Would I switch to a butane stove? No. I mostly cook with propane on the grill outside or microwave oven inside. You can work miracles with a slow cooker/crock pot and sale meats. I'm just not going to give up that capability - I'll go "solar oven" first, with a crock pot on backup.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 12:21:33 PM by mefla »
FIRE in 2020.

EricP

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 477
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 11:33:42 AM »
Everything I need to know about this guy came from the picture of his computer.  He's playing Heimerdinger (looks like he's also playing it support, so probably a troll-pick, but I'll reserve that judgment) and he didn't bother to get off the fountain.  'Nuff said.

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
  • Age: 56
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: "How I Gave Up Alternating Current"
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
Everything I need to know about this guy came from the picture of his computer.  He's playing Heimerdinger (looks like he's also playing it support, so probably a troll-pick, but I'll reserve that judgment) and he didn't bother to get off the fountain.  'Nuff said.

OH hell. Good great catch.
Cleanup edits done.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 12:23:00 PM by mefla »
FIRE in 2020.