22 September 2009

Solar laundry

Our photovoltaic system has been up and running for just over two weeks now. It's working very well and it's fun to read amount of energy in kilowatts we've generated each day, usually about 36 kW. The system also tells us (for fun!) how many pounds of carbon dioxide we've saved.

Now that we check the amount of energy we're producing every day, we think more about the energy we are spending everyday. So, finally, Kevin installed the clothesline he purchased many months ago. Really, its installation was a joint venture with everyone pitching in something - digging holes, mixing cement, stringing the line, etc.

My helper

According to DOE EIA statistics, 5.8% of a household's electric use goes towards dryer use. I'm not sure what percentage of our electric bill goes towards that since we have an energy efficient dryer and a washing machine that gets rid of more water during the spin cycle than non-front loaders. Anyway, hanging laundry is fun and it's one more chore that gets us outside.

One cute baby sock blows in the wind like a Tibetan prayer flag.

This interesting website (Project Laundry List) claims that if every American line dried their clothing, it would be enough to close several power plants. Imagine that! We are looking forward to the energy savings so our solar system will make a bigger impact.


Shelly Rees said...

Happy birthday, Sarah! Enjoyed reading up on your blog today (10/15). Congrats on the lovely and efficient solar dryer. We also have one. When we "installed" it and stopped using our electric clothes dryer, it cut our electricity usage by 40%! This was pre-baby: we now use more electricity overall. Anyway, looks like you are snugging in for the winter. William is adorable -- love the sucking fingers pix. Be well! --Shelly

AlwaysCreatingSomething said...

Shelly I WISH it cut our electric usage by 40% but we already have the HE washer and dryer so it cut it more like 5% but every bit we can squeeze out helps. I like the new 3% commercials - if everyone could just cut their usage by 3%. Our buggest energy reduction is the woodstove. I really love it toasty and with the passive solar, it seems we have the sun's warmth year-round. Sara