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Old 02-16-15, 03:34 AM   #1
Djimbe
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Default Budget Effeciency Apartment System - Just a Dent... please help a noob!!!

I want to do some VERY simple panels to my grid inside my windows in my apartment.
I live on a fixed income and my electric bill is like $200/mo.
I am coming into some $ soon and I would like to use it to make as big a dent as I can in my bill every month.
I am looking for cheap efficient (probably Chinese) gear that will likely come from amazon, Ebay, or Harbor Freight or something. (Im saying whatever works cheapest is in - Im no snob)
I have 5 windows @67' x 38' in two rooms.

most of us dont have nice big houses or permission to permanently alter our properties. most people these days rent... should we not have solar as well?
I just want to slow my meter down by a fair bit.

I have no experience in this of any kind.
I cannot use a battery bank for several reasons

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Old 02-16-15, 11:25 AM   #2
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They sell portable heat pumps , both window mount and floor standing

Many of them are not that efficient at heating so you will need to look into it deeply to find a model that will actually save you money on your heating bill.

Prices range from $500 to $1000
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Old 02-16-15, 09:11 PM   #3
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If you're thinking about using solar, Harbor Freight is NOT your friend, nor are their panels particularly inexpensive in a dollar per watt analysis. Generating electricity from sunlight requires direct sunlight, not just ambient reflected light coming in through a window.

Being a rental tenant, I would suggest your options are rather limited by what is in your lease agreement. I would suggest you start with the basics and obtain a Kill-A-Watt device and determine where you are spending your money on electricity. There are plenty of modern electronic devices which quietly use energy and drive your electric bill up, whether you are actually using the device or not. Unplugging devices or putting them on a switched power strip is cheaper than spending money to collect sunshine. I spent several months lowering my consumption before I ever started collecting sunshine.
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Old 02-16-15, 09:34 PM   #4
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Got a deck? Solar panels now a plug-in appliance - CNET
That would only work if there is a railing to mount the panels on and if it's unobstructed and facing the right direction. A DIY version would be much cheaper than the kit. There are now a bunch of cheap grid tie inverters available online, though many recommend derating them to less than 75% of the rating and using a good surge protector for maximum reliability.
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Old 04-02-15, 10:05 AM   #5
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Did you end up doing anything with the apartment Djimbe?
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Old 07-19-15, 06:07 PM   #6
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@Djimbe - I think that I have a right solution for you.
It's easysolar.co - app which can you actually design a photovoltanic system, with saving time and money!
It can be design professionally with ease.
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Old 11-17-17, 06:11 PM   #7
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200 dollars a month for a normal sized apartment seems absolutely insane, I pay on average 75 dollars a month and I have very expensive electricity and 100% electric heating.

You might have a faulty appliance that is working much harder or more often than it has to, hot water heaters and fridge's are common culprits.

You also might have significant AIR LEAKS to the outdoors, "permanent" AC units and cheap-*** windows are some of the biggest culprits, you can seal these up with covers, duct tape, or by installing clay-like temporary window caulk along any seams you can feel cold air coming thru in the window.

There might be actual structural issues, gaps, or holes in your aparement that are letting in cold/hot air as well. There is not much you can do about these other than inform your owners and complain to your local government and see if they can put pressure on the owner to fix the problems.

If you find any large holes from the interior of the apartment you can spray low expansion foam to help seal these up.

If they are a low-income subsidized project they may actually be required to perform some of these basic energy saving techniques on their own, and you could report them to whoever oversees or manages the project in your local area, or up to higher authorities if you are being ignored.

You will never break even with any interior installed PV panels; the light coming into your window is already providing heating and you will get no benefit from installing PV panels. The only time it might be useful is to block up the outside of your windows during the summer.

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