[mythtv-users] [Slightly OT] solar power for all our gadgets

Johnny jarpublic at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 13:12:53 UTC 2009

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:14 AM, Simon Hobson <linux at thehobsons.co.uk> wrote:
> Johnny wrote:
>>  > Compact flourescent lamps are actually a net loss to the planet, once
>> the
>>>  energy to make them and transport them is taken into account,
>>>  notwithstanding the mercury problem.
>> I see this idea promoted frequently, but when the numbers are actually
>> analyzed the assumption proves to be quite inaccurate. I have seen
>> studies showing that CFLs break even when compared to incandescent
>> bulbs (including manufacturing energy) in the first 50 hours of use.
>> That analysis didn't look at shipping cost but I highly doubt that a
>> CFL using 20% of the energy couldn't cover its shipping energy in 5-7
>> years.
> But if a study starts by noting that a CFL uses only 20% of the energy of an
> incandescent, and therefore there is an 80% saving, then in many markets any
> further analysis is (almost) totally invalid.
> Over here in the UK, few properties won't be without heating - certainly for
> the winter months when the lights are used the most. So there will certainly
> be a balancing between lower thermal input from the lighting, and increased
> thermal input from the heating. In our house the heating is gas, so it'll be
> more efficient than electric, quite a few homes have electric heating of
> some sort.

Again this claim that CFL aren't efficient because you have to use
your heat more are anecdotal at best. This stems from a statement made
by a Canadian energy administrator, and has been debunked many times.
You are using energy to heat your home either way. So essentially this
claim is that incandescent bulbs are more efficient at heating your
home than whatever system you use which is designed for that purpose.
Since this isn't the case, you would actually be saving total energy
on heat by heating your home with your more efficient heating system
than the heat that was produced by incandescent bulbs. So while energy
used to heat your home will increase it will be less than the energy
gained by the more efficient lighting. Also we turn our heating system
on and off depending on whether we need heat. Incandescent bulbs
produce heat all year regardless of whether you want the extra heat or
not. In much of the world the extra heat in the winter will be offset
by less A/C in the summer. Trying to bring this back on subject, this
is why we often see folks on the list joke about continuing to use old
inefficient hardware for the myth system because they like the extra
heating in the room. It is a joke to think that is a good idea in
terms of total energy consumption.

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