Here is a guide to a more energy efficient home

Posted by

The Article below is a sponsored article with content supplied by Clamore Power. Please see our policy on sponsored stories.

As a scaling up of our understanding of power related issues, let us look at energy management and energy efficiency.

Energy Management is the process of monitoring, controlling, and conserving energy in a building. It has a physical and financial side to it.

advertisement

Avoiding energy wastage by simply switching off switches that are not in use is physical management of energy. Cooking using a pressure cooker on the other hand can be considered as physically conserving energy.

Energy Efficiency is a further application of Energy Management by reducing the power needed to achieve the same usage goal. If for example one is using an old bulb at 100 watts to light up a room and then takes measures to do the same with a 10 watt LED bulb, that person has taken an active Energy Efficiency measure. By this act alone, demand has been reduced by a factor of 10, and the power utility bill will confirm that.

Energy management and Energy Efficiency are probably the master keys to total energy independence. The more aware you are of what you need and how to use it properly, the more efficiently you will use power supply, be it grid supply, a stand-alone generator or solar power

Only when one has fully grasped the concepts of Energy management and Energy Efficiency should s/he consider taking steps to total reliance on solar power to power the home or business.

With Ohms law at the back of our minds, let us look at some numbers to give us a graphical idea of the effects of energy management and then energy efficiency.

Looking at Energy Management, let us use the following assumption:  using lighting and entertainment in the form of watching television in a traditional home. In the past, the bulbs would be incandescent and the TV would be the power consuming large tube technology. The TV could be used for its audio value but the screen would be on all the time while the light will provide a warm, lit-up feeling.

Scenario 1: Traditional home use of power over an 8hr period.

Appliance Power rating (watts) Hours Used Consumption
Light 60 8 480
TV 105 8 840
Total Power Used (watt/hours) 1,320

Scenario 2: using the same equipment as above, let us assume we are managing our power and only using what we need over the 8 hour period. In this case, let us suppose we are only in the TV lounge for 2 hours of the day.

Appliance Power rating (watts) Hours Used Consumption
Light 60 2 120
TV 105 2 210
Total Power Used(watt/hours) 330

Clearly there is a significant difference in total power used.  Let’s make it more graphic and put some US$’s to the equation.

Taking the current ZESA tariff at an average US$0.10 cents per kilowatt hour (or 1000 watt/hours), the first scenario at 1,320 watt/hours will cost you US$ 0.13 while the second scenario at 330 watt/hours will cost you US$ 0.03. That is a reduction of over 77% by simply switching on a switch when you need it and off when you do not.

Looking at energy efficiency, and taking the managed scenario above, let us  modernise our traditional home and put in a more efficient light bulb and TV, both LED appliances.

Appliance Power rating (watts) Hours Used Consumption
10w LED Light 10 2 20
32′ LED TV 53 2 106
Total Power Used (watt/hours) 126

Just discarding the old TV and incandescent bulb and replacing them with energy efficient equipment and applying basic energy management techniques reduces the demand and power utility bill by a further 62% and compared with the traditional way of using power, by a massive 90%!

In the next article, it is my wish to go step by step with you in the design of a basic energy efficient home power system. In the meantime, please challenge me by asking me about anything energy in the home related, especially aspects we have covered so far. It will be nice to arrive at solutions to power in the home problems together.

Any queries should be directed to [email protected]. You can also visit Clamore Power’s FAQ page. Between those two options, your most vexing power related issue may just be solved.

Follow us on Facebook