Net Zero (house and two cars) in Minnesota

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Zythryn, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    We’re another step closer to net zero now. Just switched out a 15 year-old natural gas water heater today for a very efficient heat pump water heater, net powered with home solar. Planning on a heat pump for HVAC next.
     
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  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Excellent!
    We have had great luck with ours. No issues with lack of hot water and it is very efficient.
     
  3. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    For those who are running net zero, do you have an old school electric resistance range for cooking or induction?

    Induction seems to match or beat electric and natural gas on all points except the price and need to upgrade to pots and pans that aren't compatible.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    We went with induction. Far less energy, far safer and far less messy and far more responsive. Our pots and pans didn't need to be upgraded (ours already had enough ferrous material.
    That said, I did find out that the Jenn-Air we bought used a constant 15W. I was NOT pleased. I called and checked, and yes, that was as intended. I advised them that would be a very bad thing for someone looking to go off grid and they should disclose that info. I also told them that amount of power, annually, would allow me to drive 350 miles.

    I'm hoping they have minimized that or make it an option for people who don't want it.
     
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  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    We stayed with a resistance range. We talked about switching, but spouse didn't want to replace the majority of our cookware. Had we been just starting out as a new household without preexisting equipment, the choice likely would have been different.

    We already have heat pump HVAC (zoned, not central) and heat pump hot water. I will consider a heat pump clothes dryer, but convincing the spouse to put up with the longer cycle time will be challenging. And the market could use some more time to mature.

    I put a submeter on the dryer a bit under three years ago, and it has averaged 460 kWhr/year. That number is not high enough to make a compelling argument to switch at this time. Outside line drying helps reduce consumption in the summer and fall, though we were less consistent about doing that this year.

    I thought about submetering the electric range too, but space constraints interfere with the meter-in-pigtail method I used for the dryer. Clamp-on metering at the breaker panel would be needed, and I haven't moved to such an energy monitoring system.
     
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  6. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Love all the many pros about induction. It would probably be the final piece to go all electric for us since we don't cook enough to justify it as the next upgrade. Our current natural gas range uses a fraction of a percent of our home energy use. Everyone seems to rave about induction and we hope to get there eventually.

    We have a standard electric resistance dryer otoh and a family of four that probably uses about 2000kwh/year with it. Been wanting a standard size heat pump dryer for a good while now, but they all seem to have relatively poor reviews so have been holding out with these.

    We're making enough electricity on the supply side for now, but will need to get more efficient (heat pump dryer, variable speed pool pump, induction range etc) when the heat pump HVAC ultimately happens and starts drawing lots of electricity.
     
  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My house is currently overproducing, with enough excess supply to allow us to get lazy on some conservation practices, such as outdoor clothes drying. PV aging and neighboring tree growth will gradually cut into that supply. But apart from an occasional unseasonably cold winter, we can probably maintain net zero without any adjustments, until I upgrade to a plug-in car.

    Racking and wiring are in place to very simply snap in two additional PV panels and microinverters, whenever needed, provided the changing electric code rules don't preclude them. And a third branch circuit is already in place, all the way out to an under-eve junction box just below the end of where the next racks would be installed. It was easy enough to install and inspect it concurrent with and along side branch #2.
     
  8. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    (continued from other thread)

    Tesla Powerwall 2.0, I take it. Nice improvements over 1.0 and best cost/capacity ratios. Liquid cooled, operating temp up to 122F, AC with built in inverter, 13.5 usable kWh per unit, whole/partial home backup gateway...

    Drooling
     
  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Oh yes, great improvements.
    Once we get it nailed down, I’ll be posting more about it!
     
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