Click on the different categories below and find out how!
The Bio-Diesel making process can be simple if you have the right equipment for the job.
- Collecting Oil - 1-2 hours
- Filtering Oil - 1-2 hours (depends on amount of oil)
- Titration Of Oil - 10-15 minutes
- Transferring Oil To Processor - 10-20 minutes
- Heating Oil - 1-4 hours (depends on amount of oil, voltage & wattage of element)
- Making Methoxide - 5-20 minutes (depends on amount of methanol and catalyst used)
- Mixing Methoxide Into Oil - 20-30 minutes
- Mixing Oil & Methoxide - 2-3 hours
- Settling Oil - 8-10 hours (usually overnight)
- Draining Glycerine - 5-10 minutes
- Transferring Biodiesel To Wash Tank - 10-20 minutes
- First Mist Wash - 2-3 hours
- Second Mist Wash - 2-3 hours
- First Bubble Wash - 6-8 hours (usually overnight)
- Second Bubble Wash - 6-8 hours (usually overnight)
- Transferring Biodiesel To Drying Containers - 10-20 minutes (depends on amount)
- Drying Biodiesel - 2 hours to 1 week (depends heavily on weather and amount made)
- Transferring To Storage Containers - 10-20 minutes (depends on amount)
For more information on how to get started, visit BiodieselCommunity.org
Simple steps at home can reduce your costs and carbon footprint.
- For the best energy savings, buy EnergyStar compliant appliances.
- In colder seasons, turn down your thermostat slightly; every degree can save up to 5% in heating costs.
- During hot sunny weather, close curtains and blinds to keep the house cool and reduce the need for fans or air conditioning. The same applies during cold weather to reduce drafts and save on heating costs.
- Consider heating with wood, wood pellets or other fuel-burning options
- Clean or replace furnace air filters once a month. Not only will this improve efficiency, but it will also help allergy sufferers.
- Ensure floor registers and baseboard heaters are not blocked by furniture, carpets or drapes, limiting effectiveness.
- Turn off bathroom and kitchen fans when no longer required; they are pulling the heat or coolness from the house.
- Guest room not in use? Adjust the thermostat until needed.
- Plug and seal the chimney flue of a fireplace that is never used; keeps heat from going up the chimney.
- Installing tempered glass doors on a fireplace can also reduce heat loss and improve efficiency.
- Trees can help shade exterior air-conditioning units; they'll use less energy. They also provide shade cooling and protect from drafts and winds.
- Small portable heaters are great for short-term use, but for long-term needs, consider installing a baseboard heater which draws less energy.
- Choose cooling and heating appliances suited to your room size. A larger unit may be wasting energy.
- Reduce drafts by insulating electrical outlet and switch cover plates
- To save on air conditioning, raise the setting by a couple of degrees; you will not notice the change, only the energy savings.
- Older thermostats are less efficient than newer ones, and you'll recover the cost quickly.
- Programmable thermostats allow you to customize temperature settings according to when you use the room.
- Portable Air Conditioners may be sufficient to keep the bedroom cool, saving on more expensive cooling appliances.
- Consider all your cooling options. See Cool Comfort - Ways to Beat the Heat and 5 Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Cool
- If you have bare floors, an area rug can 'cozy' your feet.
- Change your air conditioner filters as recommended - your unit will work more efficiently.
- Benefits of Changing Appliance Filters
- Ceiling fans will often provide sufficient cooling, and may reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Unplug cell phone chargers, computers, TV's, and other electronic devices from the wall for they become ghost loads, or electronic devices that are on all of the time and are easily overlooked.
- Replace old light bulbs with more energy efficient fluorescent lighting.
Visit About.com to read more on energy conservation
Radiant Floor Heating
Although a more expensive and not as practical as the others, radiant floor heating can be up to 10-15% more energy efficient than conventional systems.
While the costs have been coming down, radiant hydronic heating is still a good bit more expensive than other methods, especially forced air. A 2000-sq.-ft. ranch house can be equipped with a forced-air heating system and a central air conditioner for $5000 to $8000. A professionally installed hydronic floor system for the same house costs $10,000 to $14,000--and that's without air conditioning.
However, if you're an ambitious do-it-yourselfer and can find a heating contractor who will work with you, it's possible to shave $2000 off that price by installing the tubing yourself. The system's design, and the installation of the boiler, its piping and controls will be handled by your contractor.
To learn more, follow the step by step guide on the PopularMechanics.com web site.
Everyone knows its better to recycle than to throw away. Its better for the environment, it better on our pocket, but it does require a little effort.
- Find out what recycling programs or centers exist in your area. It's no use trying to recycle something if no processing center exists. A good resource for programs in the U.S. can be found at NRC-Recycle.org.
- Determine what categories of items can be recycled in your area, then designate a separate location for each category. For example, if a nearby center accepts aluminum cans, plastic drink bottles, and newspapers, you will want to have separate bins for each type of item, as well as a waste bin for non-recyclable wastes.
- Leave your bins in an appropriate collection area, or take your recycling to a processing center yourself once you've accumulated enough to make it worth the trip.
To learn more visit Wikihow.com
Solar Energy can be an easy step by step, if you are willing to invest the money and time.
- The first step to getting solar power at your home or business is a site analysis.
- A site analysis will give an value of how much solar gain you would have year round. All in a matter of minutes.
- A site analysis employs a solar pathfinder, which can be set up on a tripod where ever you plan to mount the panels.
- This is usually done by a private contractor but can be roughly estimated with an online calculator like this one.
- They can be found online in web sites like solarhome.org among others, and locally in Cape Cod with companies like Cape Electric.
The tri-gen cogeneration system has not yet been implemented in homes and small businesses. Although it is only used at a industrial and corporate level, energy efficient generators can be found online, and locally.
To learn more about the trigen click here
Setting up a Wind Turbine
- Always remember that higher is better: ideally, your turbine should be thirty feet above any obstacles, with at least 300 feet of clear area around it.
- Wind consistency. An ideal wind turbine site has stable high speeds. Instability can put extra stress on the tower and other turbine elements.
- Noise. There is some remaining prejudice against wind power regarding the noise of turbines. Innovations over the last few years have made wind turbines far less noisy than those built in the early days of wind power. However, if this is still a concern, you may want to be careful to choose a site away from residences.
- Safety. Show proper concern for safety, using fencing and warning signs
- Environmental impact. Be aware of animal habitats nearby. Similar to the perceived problem of noise, there is some largely unfounded prejudice against wind, in this case over deaths of small birds. Studies show that bird mortality is negligible due to wind farms. However, be aware of the animals and botany around your wind tower micro site.
- Zoning. Of course, you will need to know the zoning bylaws and other restrictions related to the situating of your wind turbine.
- Aesthetics. Of course, this is a last concern, but if you can blend your turbine with the landscape or place several wind turbines in an eye-pleasing manner, this could draw positive attention to your wind energy system.
Please visit thesolarguide.com to learn more