Author Topic: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...  (Read 14904 times)

ieatmeveggies

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How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« on: January 17, 2010, 02:41:21 AM »
I am an utter newbie thinking about running a generator on WVO.  I am wondering if its possible to save money doing this or not.  I have look at a couple places that seem to indicate its not - that it actually cost more to generate the electricity with WVO as opposed to the power company.
In particular this website seems to indicate its not possible to save money:

http://sites.google.com/site/martinnile/

(basically the cost of changing the oil in the engine would cost about as much as the power company would charge) 

listerengine2006

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 03:34:24 AM »
The power company is the cheapest power you can buy.  When the grid is down, being able to make power and be self sufficent sure helps keep the fridge cold.  Keeping fuel on site to pump water, run the fridge, and keep the internet link up is the worth every penny in a crisis.

Another way to think of it is, the grid is only good when its on.  When it goes out, how much are you willing to pay for power?
We have run this green monster in continuous duty for 30 hours straight, and it just lumped along without any complaints.  It runs the essentials, and has been more fun than one man should be allowed to have. 
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« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 01:58:51 AM by listerengine2006 »
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Tom

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 12:04:45 AM »
What do you pay for power and how much do you use? Prices can vary considerably around the nation. Then how reliable is your power now? And are you mechanically inclined?
Tom
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listeroil

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 10:35:45 AM »
It all depends how much your oil costs. WVO is waste vegetable oil if its free oil it will be cheaper. If it costs 50p a litre it is a lot more expensive.

Mick

ieatmeveggies

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 01:22:54 PM »
What do you pay for power and how much do you use? Prices can vary considerably around the nation. Then how reliable is your power now? And are you mechanically inclined?

I use about 500KWh on average a month now.  I think it costs on average about 10 cents per Kwh.  We will be moving shortly to "smart metering" though where it will cost maybe 5 cents at night but 15-20 during the day. (this is in Canadian funds which are about equal to US funds).
I was also looking to built a greenhouse with hydroponic lighting.  It would be prohibitive to run something like this off the grid, but I was wondering if it could be somewhat cost effecient with this sort of power.

While not particularly mechanically inclined, I know a fair bit of electricity and could program the lights to run in such a fashion as to make maxium use of the generator.  The generator could come on for aircondioning and cloths drying and run just enough of the lights to use up most of the generators power.  It could also run at night with the lights setup to draw exactly the amount the generator produces (or the maximum amount before it starts to smoke).  The only problem is this would be at night and have to compete against the lower "smart meter" rates.  This woud help deal with the problem the guy on the website had - that running the generator with low usage would cost too much in oil changes.

bschwartz

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 03:46:53 PM »
If your area allows grid-tie, the numbers might be interesting.  Run the gen during the day when rates are high and feed into the grid.  At night when rates are lower draw out from the grid. 

The changfa user who says you cant save money running on WVO has VERY off numbers from what I read.  His cost benefit analysis can't be used by anyone but him.

He gets limited amounts of fuel. (20 gallons per month)
He values his produced electricity at $.02 per KWH vs. the $.10 he pays.
       (If I don't have to pay for $1.20 in electricity, then that is what it's worth to me.)
He claims a $12.00 oil change every 100 hours.
       (I get my oil for nearer $2.50 per quart not $4.00, and I change my oil at ~500 hours)
He suggests selling his WVO to a rendering company at OVER $1.00 per gallon!!!!!!
       (I don't have a local rendering company, never mind one willing to pay $1.00 per gallon)

By my calculations, every KWH I don't buy from the grid saves me $.12
I already have the gen set up for power outages.
WVO is FREE.  I pick it up on my way to work (I don't go out of my way) once a week.  It takes 20 minutes to pour it into the cleaning barrel.  The electricity to run the centrifuge I get from the generator running on WVO so it's free.  DONE.  My real cost for fuel is 20 minutes time plus start up and shutdown of the centrifuge.

If you can net meter reasonably, GREAT.  If not, payback can still run near your cost of grid electricity.  You probably won't make money, but I believe in many cases you sure can save money in the long term depending on YOUR setup.

My $.02  take it or leave it.
-Brett

1982 300SD, 1995 Suburban 6.5, 1994 F250, R170, Metro 6/ sold :( , Witte CD-12 ..... What else can I run on WVO?

mobile_bob

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 07:13:41 PM »
to answer the question, we ought to do a thorough analysis of both utility power cost vs home produced power

on the utility side of things

how much do they charge per kw/hr or course,
factor in all added taxes, fee's, and other addon's
also factor in on average, how many hours or days does the grid go down, and what does
it cost you to rent  a generator and buy gasoline to cover the outage.

calculate all this to come up with an adjusted and true cost per kw/hr

then home produced power

how much do you pay for your fuel
how much does it cost to pick it up, be honest with yourself
how much does it cost to process, filters, pump costs, etc.
how many hours does it take to process enough fuel to make a kwatt/hr of power
what is your time worth?
what is the lifespan of your generator, what does that work out in depreciation cost per kw/hr
what does the maintenance and repairs cost per kw/hr

then compare the two, and you will find in the vast majority of cases utility power is the clear winner, however
there is another step to consider

how many btu's can you harvest from the coolant and exhaust, and have a use for that would
save you in power you would otherwise have to purchase, we need a value for that as well.

if you can use the excess heat, then the pendulum swings in favor of the home generated power in a significant number
of cases, also

if you have a detached green house, the added heat will be of definite value in cooler and cold months, as will the exhaust
CO2 and nitrogen compounds provide you vent well before any human or animal life is allowed to enter.

i don't know if i have read a complete analysis for greenhouse use, but i would not be surprised to find that such a setup
would be well under what the power company can provide.

bob g
otherpower.com, microcogen.info, practicalmachinist.com
(useful forums), utterpower.com for all sorts of diy info

Tijean

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2010, 09:18:59 PM »
I imagine very few people really do a thorough analysis of the costs involved with alternate power production as well as projected repair and replacement costs. The dollar figure on the value of their time would likely be quite fuzzy too. I didnt make any attempt at compiling all my hours and dollars spent getting standby power established.

2 days ago I just completed my installation of a new water heater connected to a coil in my wood cook stove. I think it is driven by some psychological perversity rather than economic sense and fulfills some sense of preparedness rather than perceived helplessness when TSHTF. In any case I probably pay quite dearly for this tranquil feeling, lol!  In the meantime it keeps me out of the poolroom.

It is freezing rain outside this afternoon, but the power has not been off once here since I got the generator. Got to get some justification sooner or later.
Frank

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DRDEATH

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2010, 03:09:30 PM »
Justification of not using the generator might be considered by generator = insurance if power goes out. If power never goes out then you might consider it cheap insurance. Now for what I really wanted to remark on. I just spoke to a guy last night who runs a shop and his normal monthly electric was 400 dollars. He put a system in with a 12/2 and some solar panels and has cut his monthly electric to < 100 a month. He uses a supply of WMO and WVO. He also uses some regular diesel. Somewhere he is having a saving of 300 dollars a month AND the security on not being dependant on utility company completely. I would guess he could still function if utility power was off. That seems to be a fair saving.

Now I had never thought of the CO2 being channeled into a green house. Not only would it improve the plants but it would also help heat it. With even a fair amount of ventilation someone should be able to spend short periods of time in it. If you started having a head ache then get out. CO2 is not something that normally kills you instantly. There is usually other symptoms that happen first. Great idea Bob.
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lowspeedlife

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 01:10:35 AM »
Justification of not using the generator might be considered by generator = insurance if power goes out. If power never goes out then you might consider it cheap insurance. Now for what I really wanted to remark on. I just spoke to a guy last night who runs a shop and his normal monthly electric was 400 dollars. He put a system in with a 12/2 and some solar panels and has cut his monthly electric to < 100 a month. He uses a supply of WMO and WVO. He also uses some regular diesel. Somewhere he is having a saving of 300 dollars a month AND the security on not being dependant on utility company completely. I would guess he could still function if utility power was off. That seems to be a fair saving.

Now I had never thought of the CO2 being channeled into a green house. Not only would it improve the plants but it would also help heat it. With even a fair amount of ventilation someone should be able to spend short periods of time in it. If you started having a head ache then get out. CO2 is not something that normally kills you instantly. There is usually other symptoms that happen first. Great idea Bob.
CO2 with a little ventilation is not going to be your problem in this scenario, CO or carbon MONOXIDE is the problem, it collects in your system & prevents the transfer of oxygen to the blood, even after you have been removed from the area where the CO is present. anything that burns hydrocarbons produces both CO2 & CO. CO & CO2 are offten confused with deadly results. in short, I would not do this.
Scott R.

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LowGear

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 04:32:39 AM »
Some of us are in a war against the oil cartels.  In war, cost affectivity is not a valid concern. 

I live on an island where almost 90% of all electricity is produced with something somewhere between diesel and light crude.  If you really want to get a handle on how much of this world runs on petro oil come to our island and just imagine what would happen if the oil stopped.  Yeah, we'd miss toilet paper but no electricity or transportation - Holy Moly.
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DRDEATH

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 04:35:05 AM »
OK I know it is CO and not CO2. Sometimes my fingers and brain don't cooperate. But as far as being exposed to CO, limited periods of time is not deadly. If you are exposed to CO the first symptoms you would experience would be headache and confusion. If symptoms like these exist you simply remove yourself from the source and it will resolve. As far as how it complicates the oxygen transfer is CO binds to the Hg (red blood cells) which prevents O2 from binding. This limits the amount of O2 delivered to the cells in the body. When you remove yourself from the source the CO is eliminated through normal respiration's and O2 is taken back in through the lungs and the problem will be corrected. CO caused death almost always occurs when people are asleep and they have a faulty gas heater or hot water heater. People with mild cases of CO poisoning are just treated with fresh air and treat the symptoms, like the headache they will have. In more serious cases are treated with O2. Unless you worked several hours and ignored the headache and nausea you would be feeling someone working in a greenhouse would never get to this point.
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cashflo

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 09:43:19 AM »
I think most greenhouses have decent methods of ventilation to control excess heat.
Just vent the place out when you are going to be working in there and let the CO fill the place back up when your done.

Tom

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Re: How much does it cost to generate electricity with WVO ...
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 06:27:14 PM »
DD, One must be careful about repeated exposure to CO as it will cause hardening of the heart and arteries. As a firefighter we're taught a lot about it.
Tom
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