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Comparing Different Home Heating Fuels and Alternative Energy Systems


Comparing Different Home Heating Fuels and Alternative Energy Systems Saving Home Energy Part 3 Supplement Current Heating System Short Term Options After ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Comparing Different Home Heating Fuels and Alternative Energy Systems

Comparing Different Home Heating Fuels and
Alternative Energy Systems
  • Saving Home EnergyPart 3

Supplement Current Heating System Short Term
  • After servicing, cleaning and tuning up your
    current heating system you might consider a
    supplemental heating system
  • Electric space heater to use when you are in one
  • Wood stove or pellet stove used when you are home
    to heat one or more rooms
  • Passive solar collector attached to a window to
    provide supplemental heat to a south facing room.

Pros and Cons of Different Fuels and Energy
  • Restricted to certain sites due to sun, wind or
    water resources
  • No widespread infrastructure to service equipment
  • Complicated operating understanding
  • Physical needs to carry and store fuel
  • Insurance implications
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive to use
  • No additional equipment required
  • Minimal mechanical knowledge required to operate
  • Low risk of fire, smoke or carbon monoxide
  • Reduce carbon footprint

Compare Heating Fuels and Heat Distribution
  • Fuels
  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Electricity
  • Hardwood
  • Softwood
  • Wood pellets
  • Heat Distribution Systems
  • Hot air
  • Hot water
  • Radiant heat
  • Radiators
  • Radiant floor or ceiling
  • Space heating

Fossil Fuels
  • 80 of homes use oil heat
  • Huge infrastructure to support installation and
    maintenance service
  • Low fire potential in home
  • Emissions are low especially with new 90 to 95
    efficient systems

Fossil Fuels
  • Not a renewable source of fuel
  • Increased Carbon Dioxide in atmosphere
  • Negative impact on carbon footprint
  • Huge fluctuations in costs from 2.50 per gallon
    to 5.00 per gallon in one year.
  • These fuels must be imported into Maine

Renewable Fuels
  • Firewood logs
  • Wood pellets
  • Other formed wood products
  • Corn
  • Hay pellets
  • Etc.

Renewable Fuels - Wood
  • Firewood and wood pellets are available
    throughout Maine
  • Wood can regrow if sustainable harvesting is
  • Firewood stoves can provide heat in a power outage
  • Not dependent on sources outside of Maine for
  • New technologies are making wood burning more
  • Outdoor wood boilers less risk of house fires but
    increased air pollution

Wood Heat Safety
  • Check chimney to be sure it can support your wood
  • Insurance companies require separate flue or
  • Install with proper clearance from combustible
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to
    protect your family
  • Use dry hardwood to stoke your stove
  • Use care when closing off the damper or air
    supply to the fire. It can cause excess creosote

Evolution of Heating by wood
  • Fireplace
  • Fireplace stove insert
  • Masonry Heater Russian Fireplace
  • Wood stove
  • 1990 EPA particulate emission standards
  • Catalytic converter wood stove
  • Secondary burn wood stove
  • Wood furnace hot air
  • Wood boiler hot water
  • Outdoor wood boiler
  • Pellet stove

Other Renewable Fuels
  • Corn
  • Has a high heat value per ton
  • Needs a special corn burning stove
  • Most corn is grown in the mid-west and needs to
    be imported into Maine
  • Can be delivered in bulk or in bags
  • Hay Pellets
  • Research is currently being done on hay pellets
    for heat
  • Not readily available

  • Most Maine homes are connected to the power grid
    to power their electrical appliances
  • Using electricity for heating homes is very
    expensive, suggest use another type of fuel to
    heat the home
  • Most sources of public power are from coal or
    natural gas burning plants that negatively impact
    our carbon foot print
  • Consumers can opt to purchase green power that
    positively affects our carbon foot print
  • Maine Public Utilities Commission link

Electric HeatBetter used for supplemental space
heating needs
Heat Pump
  • Ground source systems have usually been installed
    in Maine.
  • Air source systems may not work as well in our
    cold climate but new technology is being
    developed to make it more practical for Maine.
  • Need electricity to circulate heated fluid

How Heat Pumps Work
  • Condensing
  • From a gas to a liquid
  • Collects heat
  • Evaporation
  • From a liquid to a gas
  • Releases heat

Solar Energy
  • Heating
  • Passive Systems
  • South facing
  • Thermal mass
  • Active Systems
  • Circulate air or fluid
  • Storage system
  • Electricity
  • Collectors
  • Inverters
  • Battery storage
  • Organizations
  • Maine Solar Energy Association

Passive Solar
  • Building faces south
  • Unobstructed view of sun
  • Consider with new construction
  • Thermal storage ventilation needed to moderate
    wide temperature variations
  • Supplemental source of heat for nights or cloudy

Window Passive Solar Collector
  • Small window units can provide supplemental heat
    during sunny days
  • Can be closed at night or on cloudy days
  • Larger Trombe or solar walls can be retrofitted
    to older homes
  • for more ideas

Attached Greenhouse
  • The dream of many gardeners is to have an
    attached greenhouse to start plants early in the
  • It is true on a sunny day there will be a net
    gain in heat from an attached greenhouse
  • However at night the greenhouse needs to be
    either shut off from the house or insulated to
    prevent heat loss.

Active Solar Heating
  • Whole house heating
  • Domestic hot water

Active Solar Thermal Heating
  • Need electricity to circulate heated air or fluid
  • Can be used for space heating or domestic hot
  • Need storage system

Solar Electric
  • Solar electric systems, also known as
    photovoltaic (PV) systems, convert sunlight into
  • Solar cellsthe basic building blocks of a PV
    systemconsist of semiconductor materials. When
    sunlight is absorbed by these materials, the
    solar energy knocks electrons loose from their
    atoms. This phenomenon is called the
    "photoelectric effect." These free electrons then
    travel into a circuit built into the solar cell
    to form electrical current.

Solar Electric cont
  • Replace appliances with most energy efficient
    versions assess consumption
  • Calculate electricity needs and determine size of
    system to install
  • Storage
  • Batteries
  • Grid (Net Metering)
  • http//
  • Maine Solar Energy Association
  • http//

Small Windmill for ME?
  • You have enough wind?
  • Wind analysis of your site with a years worth of
    data (at least 9 mph wind speed)
  • click on their wind
    resources map
  • Tall towers allowed in your area?
  • You have enough space for your tower
  • Certified Electrician may be necessary for loans
    or rebates or if you plan to connect your system
    to power grid

Small Windmill for ME? cont.
  • You determine how much electricity you need/want
  • Current electric bill more than 150 per month
  • Costs range from 15,000 to 50,000 depending on
    how much electricity needs to be generated and
    the average wind velocity
  • Need battery storage and alternative backup for
    windless days unless you connect to the grid
  • Determine if it works economically for you
  • A good reference for developing a home windmill
  • http//

Micro Hydro Power
  • Must have reliable running water with drop in
    height to generate energy
  • Need to obey laws regarding dam development,
    water utilization, etc.
  • Installation technicians are very rare. Need to
    be a self starter willing to learn how to manage
    this energy source.
  • Laymans Guide to Developing Small Hydro Sites

Cost Analysis of Changing Energy Source / System
in the Home
  • Reduction in annual cost for heat or Kwhs for
  • Cost of the system
  • Estimated life for the system
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Additional costs or value of time
  • How much are you spending now?
  • Oil
  • Electricity
  • Wood
  • What quantity are you using (mBTUs or Kwhs)?
  • How much per mBTU

Fuel cost per mBTU Amount used mBTU Annual maintenance cost Total Annual Cost
Current System (oil) 28 80 150 2390
New System (pellets) 18 80 250 1690
Annual savings in energy costs 700
Total cost installation 2500 or 3-1/2 years repayment Total cost installation 2500 or 3-1/2 years repayment Total cost installation 2500 or 3-1/2 years repayment Total cost installation 2500 or 3-1/2 years repayment Total cost installation 2500 or 3-1/2 years repayment
How Do I Pay For Energy Improvements?
  • Own savings
  • Low income assistance
  • Loans
  • Alternate income (renting portion of house)
  • Rebates
  • Tax Incentives

Financial Incentives
  • State of Maine
  • When Funds Are Available
  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • 2 per watt with 2,000 cap
  • Solar Thermal
  • 25 with 1,000 cap
  • Wind
  • 500 per 500 watts with 2,000 cap
  • Additional 2,000 for site and height
  • Federal
  • 30 No Cap
  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • Solar Hot Water Systems
  • Small Wind
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Conservation Efficiency
  • 30 with 2,500 cap

Rent a Room or Part of Home
  • Issues
  • Tenants
  • Insurance premiums
  • Written lease
  • Duration of lease
  • Resources for more information
  • Ten Tips for Landlords NOLO
  • Tenants Rights in Maine
  • Pine Tree Legal Assistance http//

Energy Resources
  • http//
  • http//
  • tips/
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