HOW TO CONSERVE WATER – SAVING TIPS

Infographins on HOW TO CONSERVE WATER and WATER SAVING TIPS

How to conserve water – saving tips : This article will guide you to locate which area of house consumes the most. Once you have clear idea about consumption, savings can be easily achieved, usually with quite small investment.
Did you know that showers consume typically over a quarter of the average home’s water use?

In order to achieve reduction of consumed water volume, a low-flow shower heads can be installed to ensure nice showers with much less hot water. Efficient low-flow products use around 5 liters of water per minute (or 1.5 gallons per minute – gpm), which is almost 40% less than average.

model carla houston - how to conserve water saving tips

model carla houston on water conservation tips

What experts are saying on how to conserve water and energy: Installing and using more efficient products in all parts of the house can help to additionally reduce water demand , like, for example low-flow taps (or so called “faucet aerators”), dual-flush toilets and the washing machine. By replacing or upgrading your existing taps with efficient ones, it is possible to save additional 25-40% of your home’s water use. Additional benefit is that efficient products will also ease demand on home sewer systems.
Also have in mind to closely look and pay attention to the “Water Efficiency Labeling Scheme” rating of each product when purchasing or deciding what to install in the house.

Energy impact of how to conserve – water saving tips

Any use of hot water in your home requires certain amount of energy to heat that water. So, if you do the math, it is clear that water efficient products that reduce consumption have additional benefits in terms of saving energy needed for water heating as well.

Finally, efficient low-flow shower head not only saves water – it also reduces the amount of energy required to heat that water. In case if you install low-flow taps and shower heads throughout the home, you`ll be using 40% less hot water, which brings additional saving in energy bills because of 40% less water heating.

In addition to our water saving tips, using shower heads like the low-flow could save us another couple of hundred dollars in energy bills each year.

Another product that saves energy are the taps we’ve installed throughout the home. They have a twin-lever mixing system that separates the control of cold and hot water, meaning hot water is only demanded when it is needed. This results in less hot water and, again, less energy used.

Conservation is important even if we’re heating the water using solar thermal panels, the lower the volume of liquid for hot shower is required, the smaller solar thermal system can be.

For example, total energy used during a hot shower can be the equivalent of running an oven for well over an hour.
The average household spends between $400-$900 of its annual energy bill on water heating, and the bulk of that is used in showers. Even if you do not care about the environment, lower energy bill is a good reason to think about how to conserve water – saving tips…

WATER STORAGE TANK AS PASSIVE THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE

blue water tubes for solar heat storage

There are numerous examples of water storage tank being built into home interiors to form a solar thermal energy storage unit. Primary role of such unit is to act a as a buffer to the daily-nightly swings in temperature. By storing excess solar energy using water filled tanks, it is possible to control indoor air temperature and minimize huge temperature swings in hallways, living rooms or even greenhouses.

Solar storage tanks placed near the south side window can provide not only a cool, sculptural centerpiece for your home but can also drastically cut down on your heating bills and save both electrical energy and money. Beside their main role, solar tubes often serve as attractive accents or room space dividers. As you can see in the picture, dyes can be used to additionally increase solar gain (efficiency) and to provide a desired color effect.

The most interesting thing about this innovative tube is that passive solar heating & cooling can be implemented without any solar charge controllers, wires or solar panels. Instead, you simply need to take several transparent fiberglass tubes, fill them with water and place them next to the south window or wherever they will get a maximum exposure to sun light so that they can absorb and store energy from the sun to fill your room with heat . And that`s it, once established – the system will work on its own from there.

Passive Thermal Energy Storage – How does it work?

Well, it`s very similar to Trombe walls. Water tubes form a thermal mass machine with no moving parts and a completely maintenance-free solar thermal energy storage system. Basically, the system stores heat during the day and keep warm at night. The sun is a very powerful energy source, yet mankind allows this heat to be wasted or dissipated. Thermal mass provides us with an inexpensive, non-mechanical way of storing the sun’s heat.

It is known that radiant heating and cooling is most comfortable for a man. Water storage tubes represent a low-tech form of radiant system which prevents wide temperature swings by absorbing and diffusing solar energy. The radiant energy of solar storage tanks will naturally regulate home temperature, but it can not be used as a substitute for heating/cooling needs.

HOT WATER STORAGE TANK AS PASSIVE SOLAR THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE UNIT

When installed to face the south window, solar tubes function as a Direct Gain Water Wall. Water absorb and store solar energy, while allowing natural daylight to pass through. Solar tubes temper both the light and heat from the sun by removing wide temperature fluctuations while also helping to reduce glare from the south facing windows.

Water Storage Tank as a Thermal Mass – What is it?

By definition, thermal mass is equivalent to thermal capacitance or heat capacity, in other words it is the ability of a body to store thermal energy. If you check the Specific Thermal Capacity value for various materials, you will notice that water has a remarkably high thermal mass. This means it can store more heat for a given volume. For example, water has a volumetric heat capacity more than double comparing to concrete or bricks. Also it naturally absorbs and releases its heat to the surrounding air. Another important factor is that convection currents in water allow heat to travel around more quickly than in a solid object, like concrete or brick. Thus, water is able to add or remove heat from our home without the external supply of electrical energy.

You can easily build your own DIY thermal reservoir and place it in your living room. Water storage tank (or so called “heat storage tube”) can range from 4 to 10 feet (1-3 m) in height with 12 to 18 inches (30-45 cm) diameter. That kind of tube holds a lot of water inside, which equals to a lot of free heat. If you plan to construct the tubes yourself, also have in mind that the structure needs to hold and sustain huge amount of water with all the weight and pressure that comes along with such volumes.

It is also possible to install such thermal energy accumulation tubes into a greenhouse. Imagine how much energy and money you could save by utilizing this simple solution.

green house hot water storage tanks for efficient solar thermal energy storage

green house water storage tank for solar thermal energy storage

Plug It On The Window – AC Solar Panels with 110/220V Power Plug

window socket 110V/220V- solar prototype

Have you ever wondered how to turn your windows into solar electricity source with AC power plug? Just to mention, this invention has nothing to do with Microsoft company, design is completely done by Korean tandem Boa Oh&Kyuho Song!

Simple in design, yet very effective, this unique product offers a cool way to collect sun energy and use it instantly, or use it later (there is a battery inside) as a regular mains socket, supplying any small electrical device with needed power (US 110V / Europe 220-230V). The plug attaches easily to any window.

On one side of this solar powered device is a suction plate absorber constructed to be easily attached to, or removed from window surface by using vacuum. Behind suction plate there is the heart of this device – small network of solar panels which are harvesting sun`s energy converting it into electricity. Electricity generated by solar panels is then passed on to a small charging unit which stores the energy into small 1000 mAh on-board battery. Battery is then further connected to a mini step-up transformer which brings the voltage up to 110/220V AC onto the socket located on the opposite side of this solar device.  It takes 5 to 8 hours of sunlight to fully charge the battery. Unfortunately, this elegant solar powered socket wouldn’t be able to supply power to a device like vacuum cleaner, microwave oven but for small gadgets like mp3 player, tablet, ipad or smart phones, it is a perfect solution. You can even turn off the device without unplugging the cable, simply rotate the plug anti-clockwise and the power supply is instantly cut-off.

During laboratory stress test (one solar-plug-it prototype has actually been tested), sample unit behaved quite well. After laying solar panel in the sun attached to a window from 9AM to 5PM, battery has been fully recharged. Testing engineers were able to extract electricity from it and to power small FM radio receiver for almost 8 hours! This is quite good result, even though manufacturer claims max 10 hour of continues power supply!

These direct plug-in AC solar panels are quite rare in the market, usually there are only products that act as a solar battery charger or solar cell/mobile/smart phone chargers.  “Plug It On The Window” solar panel was constructed first with simplicity in mind and then with maximum convenience for you to use electricity freely outdoors, in a plane, boat, tent or in a car. In other words – you can use your favorite “grid” hungry devices and gadgets while you are “off-grid”…

Keep The Heat In With Bubblewrap

bubblewrap as window insulation

Windows provide our homes with warmth and light, but they can also be major weak spots of your home’s thermal efficiency profile. If you want to improve energy efficiency with a very limited budget, there are some very simple and cheap techniques that can help.

By applying ordinary bubble-wrap packing material on your windows to keep the heat in, it is possible to cut utility bills almost in half. Homes with single glazed windows, especially in cold climates, would experience full effect of this simple heat loss prevention technique. Believe it or not, up to 50% of heat can be saved this way. Also it is easy and fun to install, literally few minutes per window will be more than enough. Even for double glazed windows bubble-wrap insulation does have some limited effect (up to 20% savings in heat loss), but using this technique additional on triple glazed windows does not bring any measurable improvement.

Main reason for using packing material instead of commercially available insulators is that it is abundant. People throw out bubble-wrap every day, and any modern product packaging is unthinkable without it. You can find it in almost any  products package, which is excellent thing because reusing and recycling things is our aim as well. Wrapping material with less space between bubbles is generally performing better as it holds more heat. So if you want maximum performance, try to find and select pieces with bigger bubbles.

How does it work?

After applying insulation onto your window pane from the inside, small bubbles serve as network of many insulating pockets filled with air. The only downside effect is that the view through the insulated window is a little bit fuzzy, however it does let plenty of sunlight in.

We have tested the bubble wrap insulation on north facing, single glazed windows in order to see if it would prove to be a good insulation.

Which factors are making bubble wrap a perfect choice for home insulation material:

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  • Good insulator due to its specific structure with small air pockets
  • Made of plastic which can heat up very quickly
  • Cost effective – Cheap or even free if recycled/reused
  • Easy installation, only sprayed water is needed
  • Can last on your windows for several years
  • Short payback period
  • Can be removed easily after the heating season, just peel it off from one corner and save till next year.
  • And last but not least, it does not leave stains and there’s no sticky scotch tape leftovers on glass.

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How to install home-bubble-insulation onto windows

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  • Select larger pieces of wrapping material, preferably with medium to large size bubbles
  • Use scissors to cut the bubble wrap sheet exactly to (or slightly smaller than) the size of the window glass
  • Using a spray bottle carefully spray a thin film of water onto the window pane
  • Apply the bubble wrap insulator with the bubbly side going directly onto the wet glass
  • Press it carefully until you see that it holds firmly

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After installing the bubbly window insulator, you can sit back, relax, enjoy artistic fuzzy view of the outside world and watch how your electricity bill goes down. Finally, just to mention that this is not the best possible window insulation, but it is very cheap, fun and easy to try. We encourage you to use it in your home and you will certainly be amazed with the result…

FOLDABLE SOLAR LED FLASHLIGHT

led flashlight

Foldable 3Watt solar panel and hi-power LEDs combined into very cool flashlight can be a useful gadget, especially if you find yourself in the wilderness. This unique solar LED flashlight is a very nice artistic creation as well.

The SunLight designed by Hermann Eske is a solar-powered flashlight with foldable solar panels hidden beneath the main structure. One can easily add or remove additional LED units according to their requirements because the flashlight has been designed with scalability in mind. Each LED module unit comes with 2 pcs of AAA rechargeable NiMh batteries, while first module carries the LED driver and charge controller for more efficient use of accumulated solar energy. The energy generated by the PV panels can also be used to recharge many electronic gadgets like mp3 players, mobile phones, ipads or whatever you might be carrying on your camping trip.

Charging time is approximately 3 hours in the sun, with clear sky above (no clouds), up to full battery capacity. Once fully charged, solar flashlight can last for almost 8 hours without turning-off…

SunLight is another product in the Core77 Design Competition – a product that integrates design and function very well, utilizing a flexible solar panel in a “roll” to form the standard shaped flashlight.  The LED modules that insert into the roll also hold a charge controller and the battery cells.

SunLight solar LED flashlight actually won a competition:

SunLight represents a unique type of solar LED product. It embodies all aspects, such as generation, storage and consumption of electrical energy in one unit. SunLight reduces rubbish. It is designed for a long life-cycle without the need to remove or change any elements. In the case of malfunction, parts can be replaced easily, decreasing costs for service. All that SunLight needs to work is solar energy – you simply unfold it so that solar cell film is exposed to the sun and the energy will recharge the batteries. Received power can be used in different ways, as a flashlight or for loading up connected gadgets (mobile phones or music players, for example).

SunLight is scalable. The standard LED flashlight configuration embeds 6 modules, each of which consists of an LED unit and 2 AAAA rechargeable batteries. Furthermore, one of modules holds a charge controller. For more or less luminance/capacity, the size of solar cell film and with it the number of solar LED-battery modules can be varied proportionally. A low number of LED flashlight components reduces the production costs; production of different sizes requires just one new tool for the base material. Except for the batteries, all parts could be made of recyclable polymers.