Seven years ago we installed a LMF 100,000 Btu Biomass furnace.
Well, it is still running — especially last night and today. The temp recorded on the solar thermal collector last night was 14.8 degrees here just outside Salisbury, NC. There is no replacement for solid fuel combustion — talk about HEAT.
It is currently running on soft-wood pellets. I took this photo today of the flame — the blue diamonds remind me of SR-71 exhaust..
Our house is so well-insulated and air tight that the big biomass furnace just idles most of the time. Over the last seven years we have saved an average of $2,500 per winter on heat, moving from propane to biomass (aflatoxin corn, barley, rye and wood pellets).
Here is a link to my post from 2007 when the furnace was installed: http://www.kenclifton.com/wordpress/2007/02/biomass-home-heating/
I gave a one hour talk to the Sustainable Communities class at the Center for the Environment of Catawba College located in Salisbury, NC today (November 11, 2013).
The slides from my talk can be downloaded by clicking this text.
Are gas prices high these days? I wouldn’t know. Most Volt owners fill up once a month, but by charging regularly, I just went 6 months without a fill up in my Chevy Volt! Learn more about how it works: http://www.chevrolet.com/voltdcapp.html
The VoltDC reports 277 gallons of gasoline saved. Running the math @ $3.30 per gallon that amounts to $914 saved in less than one year.
We could not be more pleased with our Chevrolet Volt! There is no comparison to the Nissan LEAF that I owned for one year. Chevrolet really stands behind their car and its battery!
Short answer: real far, when it comes to electric vehicle charging sites…Last summer my family took a trip to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville Tennessee. As a two electric car family, I popped up the Recargo App on the iPhone to check out near by charging stations. Here is what I saw, (notice most sites actually had TWO CHARGING STATIONS) and all this within 10 miles:
Next, lets compare those screens to a map of Salisbury, North Carolina, aka an “EV Desert” with ONE charging station total:
You be the judge. There really is NO COMPARISON. But, it actually gets worse. The one charging station for 20 miles in any direction is actually in a clean-up area at a dealership, so it is very difficult to even get to the station.
So, while the North Carolina EV desert suffers from the 13th worst air quality in the entire USA, all efforts to get any businesses to roll out a charging station have failed — even with the free ChargePoint Jumpstart Program last year. We sure did try — talking to numerous businesses and organizations. The program actually furnished a free station and an installation subsidy — not a single taker. Way to go North Carolina. Oh, I forgot to mention, NC is going to tax folks extra for driving an EV.
Credentials are an important measure of core competencies and a good validation of knowledge. Over the summer of 2013 I took several courses to prepare for the LEED-GA accreditation exam. After the last class in July, I spent about a month studying a variety of environmental and energy related materials. On July 22nd I passed the LEED-GA exam.
So, to my past and future “going green” and solar energy students, your instructor has validated his knowledge of those topics and much more. I highly recommend the U.S. Green Building Council’s work and the study of their LEED program, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
I hope to participate in several LEED projects then study for the next level of LEED accreditation.
LEED Green Associate” and the LEED Green Associate logo are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and are awarded to individuals under license by the Green Building Certification Institute.
Check out the Salisbury NC Air Quality monitoring from a new WordPress plugin that I just created. This data is collected near-real time from my own Air Quality Egg’s sensors. The Air Quality Egg is a World-Wide open-source project.
Carbon Monoxide: 18318 ppb
Nitrogen Oxide: 32.2 ppb
Small Particulates: 751 pcs/283ml
Volatile Organic Compounds: 23 ppm
Ozone: 22.642673 ppb
Humidity: 59 %
Temperature: 69.8 deg F
World Map of All Air Quality Eggs: http://adamlaskowitz.com/airqualityegg/
Interesting just how high the CO readings are here. Salisbury is on par with Washington DC and Rockville MD. Without vehicle exhaust CO could be as low as 100 ppb.
|116 ppb to 404 ppb||Very Unhealthy|
|96 ppb to 115 ppb||Unhealthy|
|76 ppb to 95 ppb||Unhealthy for Sensitive
|60 ppb to 75 ppb||Moderate|
|0 ppb to 59 ppb||Good|
Table Reference: http://www.airinfonow.org/html/ed_ozone.html
NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resources Rockwell, NC Monitoring data: http://xapps.ncdenr.org/aq/ambient/AmbtSite.jsp?loggerList=RU
The Air Quality Egg Project Wiki: http://airqualityegg.wikispaces.com/AirQualityEgg
We have two beautiful docile Babydoll Southdown lambs for sale:
Visit our lambs for sale page for more photos and information. Both are weaned and ready for a new home immediately.
Back in March, I constructed two miniature sheep feeders that work really well and minimize waste. The feeders have been published in the NABSSAR Registry newsletter this month. If you are interested in a PDF of those plans please visit the page for miniature sheep feeder plans.
The current NC Legislature is set to UNFAIRLY tax hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, and many more. Looks like folks who purchased a hybrid to save money and help the air quality will have to PAY MORE to do the right thing. I am providing links below to the latest articles at The Wilmington Star and Channel 6, WECT.
The Senate’s version of the NC budget will tax ALL hybrid and electric car owners as if they ALL drive 20,000 miles per year because a flat fee is going to be charged.
Fact: I drove 7,500 miles last year, yet with this legislation all hybrid and electric vehicle owners will pay the same amount regardless of the miles driven.
Question: Why charge hybrid and electric cars a FLAT amount? A pure gas vehicle pays a different amount of tax based upon gallons consumed and miles driven. More efficient gas-only cars and motorcycles pay much less in gasoline taxes. Gas car drivers can CHOOSE and CONTROL how much tax they pay. Under this legislation hybrid and electric car owners have NO CHOICE…
MAKE THIS FAIR: NC Legislators already know how many miles all vehicles are driven. The numbers are captured on EVERY state inspection. LETS BE REALLY FAIR and simply assess ALL vehicles a set fee per mile driven. The State already has the mileage numbers. USE THEM and be FAIR to ALL drivers. Don’t even say you can’t do this… Get real, it is all ALREADY in a computer. This legislation is nothing more than a band-aid. As gasoline vehicles get more efficient tax receipts will continue to fall. Also, next year the Legislators can get back together to tax hydrogen and cooking oil powered vehicles. Where do you stop? Use the odometer readings and fix everything ONCE.
PLEASE DON’T PUT WORDS IN OUR MOUTHS, as printed in the Wilmington Star on May 21, 2013: (Rep) Rabon said. “I don’t think anyone that owns these vehicles will balk at all.”
By the way, just mowing my yard I burn 15-20 gallons of NC gasoline per month in the summer which had GAS TAXES charged. My mower never drives on a NC road. Is that fair? Use the mileage readings for all vehicles and be fair to everyone instead of penalizing folks helping to bring our area closer to meeting air quality standards so that new businesses and JOBS can locate to our area.
WECT Channel 6, “How Hybrid Car Owners Could Pay More to the State.” posted May 23, 2013: http://www.wect.com/story/22411295/how-hybrid-car-owners-could-pay-more-to-the-state
Wilmington Star News, Draybold, W., “State Senate Targets Electric, Hybrid Owners in Budget.” posted May 21, 2013: www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130521/ARTICLES/130529908/1177
I am speaking about Solar and Renewable Energy today at the Simple Living Festival at Dan Nicholas Park in Rowan County, NC:
To register for the April 26th, Solar Electric Generation Class visit: http://www.rccc.edu/enrichment/events/event/basics-of-solar-electric-generation-2/