Best products from r/energy

We found 51 comments on r/energy discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 161 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/energy:

u/Vailhem · 1 pointr/energy

if Hillary hadn't made corn a product of choice for ethanol, we probably wouldn't have an agriculture industry right now. Or, rather, there would've been an even larger consolidation of the agriculture industry than there has been in the past 10 years to the point that it would become very very difficult to pull it out of that depression.

Switchgrass and other products for ethanol make more sense on a multitude of levels (EROEI, cost, resources, etc) but one of the major, and oft overlooked reasons is:

it would allow for new lands (otherwise not dedicated to farming) to be used, as well as allow lands that have been overworked, over fertilized, and otherwise leading to the death of soil, ( dated, and modern techniques allow it to be rebuilt... read: switchgrass/biochar/etc, but a good example is the first few chapters of this )
Switchgrass can prepare new lands for food-crop growing, it can repair old lands, and it otherwise can be grown on lands that most likely will never be suitable or economical for food-crop growth but perfectly fine (and profitable/sustainable) for switchgrass (or hemp, take your pick, I think switchgrass is more realistic in this environment).

This would allow for lands to be redirected back to their original purposed to begin with: growing crop to export (for profit). US agriculture exports have plateaued and even dropped over the past decade. There was supposed to be a major Gulf port facility upgrade back in 2000 that Bush didn't sign because he only agreed to build it if he got offshore drilling (a few hurricanes and an oil spill later, he got his offshore drilling... though port facilities still haven't been upgraded)

This was going to overhall all the shipping lanes on the major rivers (Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, etc) as well as increase road width from the southeast to three lanes to allow for the increased trucking as well as rail line upgrades. Also, and the major plug to the whole thing, the port facilities from the Gulf out were supposed to be upgraded to be larger than the LA port upgrades happening just before then (same crews were to move from LA to New Orleans, etc after the LA ports were finished).
When this happened, plus some trade agreements between the US and China, combined with arrangements between US/China/Brazil... we cut our exports at the same time that Brazil was investing heavily in theirs (with money from China... ultimately, from US and Bush investors who'd bought up large swaths of brazilian rainforest and otherwise destroyed it for farmland under Bush-ite control (yes, I'm saying that Bush and friends own and control the Brazilian agriculture industry). Brazil was able to grow well beyond our capacity and to become the major exporter of food-crop to China and Africa (as well as pretty much everywhere else). Essentially, Brazil replaced the US as China/the world's breadbasket.

Now that their industry is up and running, and running strong and profitably, and likely to continue to grow at a controlled rate, I wouldn't be surprised if a major agriculture bill in the US as well as infrastructure projects weren't pushed by Obama/democrats to overhaul and increase our shipping/handling facilities and infrastructures as well as readjust our farm subsidies so that farmers can profitably stop overworking their land, and begin to grow on currently undeveloped land, as well as..... you get the general idea

Then again, with the repub's winning control of the Senate, and ganking so much from the house, it'll prob be a fairly difficult beast to wrestle away from them.... read: we will most likely be locked in stalemate until 2012. Personally, fine with me (i hate neocons, tea party is stupid, Obama is almost as incapable and... Hilary or Ron Paul are my two choices for pres in 2012. And, I'm from KY, I voted for his son... who, despite the rhetoric, is not a (modern incarnation of the) teaparty nut case though he did use them for votes... and I would imagine thinks Sarah Palin is a whore, and used her as such to get votes.). With any luck, a vote of no confidence will come up for Obama forcing him to compete in dem primaries in 2011/12 and Hillary will win. The ag industry has been hers since 2004 anyway, and its only likelyhood of moving forward with any stability or chance for success is by something she proposes (no longer a senator so easier said than done) or, in fact, pushes through as president.....

either way, its form will most likely include a switch of subsidies from corn to switchgrass, at least until the infrastructure for corn export is increased to allow for imports to come back in and help the industry grow w/out them (subsidies).

u/cryptorchidism · 1 pointr/energy

>How do we determine the price

The same way we determine the price for anything -- by summing up the component costs. Sure, it's a distributed computation performed by many actors, but that's still fundamentally what's going on. (to head-off the cost != price debate, I'm including "profit" as a 'cost' here)

I'm of the opinion that markets are great means. Once you determine what a society values, a market is an excellent way to optimize those values. However, where I disagree is when the market is used as an end, when the market itself determines what it values.

Heresy, you say!

Contrary to libertarian thinking, I've come to discover that individuals are actually really quite lousy at figuring out what will make them happy. Of course, they're not helped by (imho borderline fraudulent) advertising, designed to make you think that new storm windows will give you more time to spend with your family.

As a Libertarian, I'm sure you acknowledge, as I once begrudgingly did, that people aren't quite rational actors. But we're close enough, right? It's worst than that though – we're not even close. Too harsh? Ok, so maybe we're rough approximations, but the small cracks where mushy brain stuff corrupts pure utility maximization are levered wide open by psych-savvy propaganda agencies. We may appear rational on a small scale, but if you sit back and look at the aggregate of our actions you see that the Invisible Hand has been replaced with the Subliminal Boot.

I don't expect you to agree with everything I've written, but if you're interested in understanding why I 'left the fold' so to speak, check out the excellent (and certainly not anti-capitalist) documentary The Century of the Self (here on google video). It really drove home the imbalance of power between the big guys and the little ones.

A good read about how this applies to ecology is Deep Economy (amzn).

EDIT: Note that I'm not suggesting that the gov't tell people what to buy. History has shown us that that can get really ugly. If you're way smarter than I, you might be able to translate these discontented ramblings into some action items.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/energy

I've come to expect a few things out of drill-baby-drill articles:

  • No discussion of how expensive it will be to extract and process of the exciting new find
  • No discussion, or at best a dismissive hand-wave, of any environment concerns. This applies to both local environmental damage and hazards, and the release of pollutants into the atmopshere, especially but not limited to greenhouse gases.
  • A mischaracterization of how dependent we are on Middle Eastern oil.
  • A further mischaracterization of what effect the new play will have on our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
  • There is rarely a discussion of the anticipated production curve of the play.
  • At least one really stupid platitude. In this case: "Clearly there is no energy shortage."

    For some reason, though, I usually expect the author to have at least a modicum of competence in the field. Or respectability. Or sanity. But sadly, not our Marita Noon:

    > Marita Noon is the executive director for Energy Makes America Great, Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Readers of Maritas previous books, including best sellers, Wired That Way and Communication Plus, know her as Marita Littauer.

    As Marita Littauer, she has enjoyed quite a career as an author of Christian self-help books for women, many of which appear... delightful.

    She also has a company via which "she has trained thousands of talented Christians in the mastery of communication.".

    But what she really is, after all that, is an entrepeneur who's making money by running a front group for oil, gas and coal companies. She's not very honest, either.

    As far as it's possible to tell, she has no background whatsoever in energy, economics or (of course) environmental studies. She was writing Christian self-help books and charging (probably a lot) people to learn how to be better Christian communicators, and them bam, she's an energy policy expert.

    Thanks for wasting my time, OP. It took me that long to figure out that this really should have just come out on PRNewsWire.
u/ItsAConspiracy · 1 pointr/energy

Right, so it comes down to doing the calculations and figuring out what's going to be most beneficial overall.

I was thinking some more about topsoil...plants get the carbon from air, but bacteria, fungi, and nematodes eat the plant matter, and are eaten in turn by insects and worms. Worms aerate the soil and produce great fertilizer. All these critters get broken down into humus, which are big complicated molecules mostly made of carbon. They make nutrients easily accessible to plants, and help the soil retain water.

All that benefit goes away if you take away the carbon and make CO2 out of it. Now you're stuck applying plant nutrients in massive amounts directly. All those microorganisms are driven away and the soil gradually depletes. Chemical fertilizers actually break apart humus molecules. You've got runoff into oceans, you're using more water for irrigation, and you're losing carbon from soil instead of sequestering it.

The most optimistic estimates I've seen say that in theory we could get CO2 back to pre-industrial levels in a decade if we took full advantage of topsoil formation. (But then we're done...there's a limit to how much topsoil can be made, so we still need to get to net-zero emissions.) In the real world I think that's pretty unrealistic, but it's clear that topsoil could be a major component of a real global-warming solution.

A really good book on this soil stuff is The Biochar Solution. (It's not the one with the super-optimistic view.)

I don't think any single solution is really the silver bullet, assuming we don't get a nice surprise like cheap fusion. But if we restored our topsoil, used wind, solar, and tidal power as much as we could, rolled out Gen 3 and 4 nuclear, applied a price on carbon, and used other methods of sequestering carbon like the "artificial trees" that have been in the news, I think we might have a shot. I think we're in deep enough trouble that we really need all of these.

u/mydarkerside · 2 pointsr/energy

I'm no solar expert, but I've built my own system recently so I had to do a lot of research. If you really only can fit it into a regular travel suitcase, then here's what I would recommend. It's not necessarily the best system, but what I would imagine would be easy to send in a suitcase.

-35 amp hour deep cycle battery, sealed, AGM ($65)
Ideal would be 100 amp hour, but that sucker is over 60 pounds. The 35AH version is 22 pounds or so. You want it sealed or AGM so it's safe to ship on a plane, but you'll want to check with the airline about shipping batteries. If your fan is 120v/1.2amp, then this battery will only last a few hours at 80% discharge. So the 100AH is better, or get a more efficient fan.

-400 watt inverter ($30-50)
This should be enough to run the fan, run a tv, run lamps, & charge phones & electronic devices. Don't get the type built for a car with only a cigarette adapter. You'll need something that comes with alligator clips or connects to the battery directly. You don't need a pure sine inverter, but if it's comparable in price to the modified sine inverter, then get it.

-50 watt flexible solar panel ($120-150)
This is a hard one to judge because I don't know the size of your suitcase. Most 100 watt panels probably won't fit into a suitcase, even if they are flexible. So you may need to downgrade to a 30 or 50 watt panel. I would recommend getting two 50 watt panels, but I doubt your parents would know how to wire it correctly. The problem with just 50 watts is it'll take forever to charge the battery, and that's even with full sun.

-20AMP PWM solar charge controller ($20)

-Wires, cables, fuses, etc.

It's quite a bit of work to piece it together, so there are 2 alternatives you can go with:

  1. Get a kit and just add a battery and inverter. Something like this

  2. Get a Yeti Goal Zero 400 watt power station and add a solar panel. This might be more expensive all-in, but it's really the easiest setup.

u/fapricots · 16 pointsr/energy

Energy efficiency engineer here.

You want diagnostic equipment that's straightforward, temporary, and relatively inexpensive and durable. While there are a ton of diagnostic options for professionals, most of them are not well suited for average consumers because they require more know-how, software, or post-processing to understand.

My initial reaction is that kill a watts are good- they are simple and very easy to deal with, and relatively cheap. Get a few.

The IR camera is useful, but only if you know how to interpret it.

I'd recommend that you get a copy or two of Residential Energy ( since it's written in an understandable manner and is full of really great information.

Do you guys have natural gas? If so, I'd get a gas sniffing wand. Last thing you want is for a well meaning person to seal their house up tight and then have their house explode due to a gas leak that would have never built up in a drafty house.

A pro grade caulking gun might be helpful- most people would never buy a nice one but they make the job much better.

Get an IR thermometer gun. It's a much faster way to check surface temperatures, which could be used by somebody who wants to do some math about heat loss calcs.

I'll think some more and see if I can come up with other simple tools. Honestly, the best thing to do is get a professional energy auditor, but you can't really get one of those to keep at the library...

u/Acanthas · 0 pointsr/energy

You might find this book interesting-
Solar Hydrogen- The Fuel of the Future

>Renewable hydrogen produced using solar energy to split water is the energy fuel of the future. Accelerated innovation in both major domains of solar energy (photovoltaics and concentrated solar power) has resulted in the rapid fall of the solar electricity price, opening the route to a number of practical applications using solar H2.

>New thermochemical water splitting using concentrated solar power (CSP) as well as CSP coupled to electrolysis has the potential to convert and store solar energy into clean hydrogen using a tiny fraction of the world's desert area to meet our present and future global energy needs. Photovoltaics, in turn, has the versatility required for supporting the creation of a distributed energy generation infrastructure in developing countries especially now that the price of PV solar electricity has fallen to unprecedented low levels.

>In all these cases, solar H2 will be used to store energy and release it on demand either for fuel cells (to power homes and boats) or internal combustion engines and turbines (for powering cars, trucks and in thermoelectric power units). This book on solar hydrogen is unique in its field and is a timely treatment of a hot topic in industry, academic, political and environmental circles. With reference to many examples as well as to new technologies, this accessible book provides insight into a crucial technology for our common future and numerous colour pictures contribute to the book's readability.

>Written by experts in the field who are engaged at the forefront of research, the book supplies readers with last minute insight from the frontiers of research. The book will be of interest to Politicians, solar PV companies, hydrogen and sustainability researchers, environmentalists, managers in the automotive and nautical industries, undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry, energy and materials science.

Hydrogen produced with renewable energy is the very definition of De-Centralized Energy Production. Anyone with water and electricity can make it.

u/JAFO_JAFO · 6 pointsr/energy

I worry that these investments will become stranded assets - I wouldn't blame the Chinese for wanting to put their money in hard assets in the US (outside of China), but that's a financial discussion rather than an energy one.

Check out Tony Seba's book Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030 or this
Presentation in Oslo a few months ago, which talks about the 30 year cost curves of various energy technologies, latest developments, and the future trends for costs, which is a critical factor for adoption. The prices of fossil fuels have been trending static or up, and the prices of solar and battery have been trending down for 30 years.

Renew Economy summarises a report from Deutsche Bank that by 2017, rooftop solar will reach grid parity with 80% of the electricity markets globally.

Either way, China is investing heavily, and their leadership knows that they can't industrialise the same way the US and Europe have done. In 2014 they invested $90B, more than anyone else in renewable. Bloomberg mirrors this in quarterly stats of 2015.

The Asia-Pacific Journal attributes it to China's desire for energy security.

Important as this motive of reduced carbon intensity might be, we believe it is the least likely of the explanations for China’s shift. We believe the more plausible explanation for China’s new trajectory – and for the determination with which it is being pursued – is energy security (Mathews & Tan, 2014b).

So the point from Bob Inglis, R of South carolina is that China sees renewable as more of an opportunity than the US. Whether you believe in climate change or not, these technologies are more and more likely to be the future of energy, and is the US prepared to yield leadership to China?

u/Mapquestify · 1 pointr/energy

What aspect of solar are you interested in?

The majority of growth in solar has happened since 2000. There have been several policy and financial drivers for this trend.

If you want to understand the growth of solar in the US from a financial perspective here is a great book from the founder of SunEdision Jigar Shah. He was one of the first to implement a leasing structure for solar systems (meaning customers only payed for energy produced by the panels on a monthly basis which is a model that currently dominates most solar system contracts on a residential and commercial scale)

If you want a more general book about how companies are changing their view on environmental impact so their supply chain and are becoming proactive in changing their ways to help reduce risks and increase image and profits then i recommend the following book.

u/api · 3 pointsr/energy

You should check out this book:

It's only partly about startups. A lot is general and philosophical. I wouldn't say I agree completely with everything, but I have seldom read a business book that I agreed with more.

Among the things I agree with are Peter's comments about what happened culturally in the 70s. I've personally believed this for years, and when I saw him start talking the same way I was very encouraged. Now I hear more and more people talking about this issue, and it's got me hopeful that we can dethrone the cultural hegemony of the reactionary baby boomers in my lifetime.

BTW... on IT having been the exception... imagine if energy, transportation, medicine, etc. had been advancing at the same rate as information technology for the past 40 years... wow. We really would not be having these discussions about an "energy problem." Instead we'd be discussing how new political experiments in the Martian colonies might affect things here at home.

u/sleepeejack · 1 pointr/energy

I'd amend my above post to say **good** energy analysts take carbon leakage and the like into account. And those analyses still show urban centers as being more environmentally friendly, especially after controlling for income.

Dense cities are much better for the environment than suburbs, and usually quite a bit better than rural areas.

u/nebulousmenace · 2 pointsr/energy

Well, you're certainly asking someone else to do your homework with that post.

  1. We can get to about 50% electricity from solar and wind with zero storage. (At 20% capacity factor for solar and about 40% for wind, in the US.) We can get to about 80% with around 4 hours of storage for the next 30% (and 4 kWh of storage costs about the same as 1 kW of solar; this isn't a dramatic increase in cost.) We are currently around 10%.
  2. Solar is under $1/W and wind is around $1.80/W, utility-scale.

  3. What "grid damage"? Be clear and specific. Show your work.

  4. I do account for fossil fuels.
  5. My sources are mostly the EIA, AWEA, SEIA, and a shelf full of textbooks from my masters in sustainable energy engineering. If you're looking for a nice explanation of the Betz limit I can recommend this book, for instance.
u/chopchopped · 2 pointsr/energy

If solar electricity is .01/kWh, a Kilogram of Hydrogen costs a whopping $0.50 CENTS! (50 kWh/Kg). A Toyota Hydrogen Mirai fillup would be $2.50- to go 300+ miles- but only take 3 minutes. This is why Solar Hydrogen is the fuel of the future- and the future is now. So when people keep asking why Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are pursuing hydrogen tech, maybe these companies have thought this out a bit more than others who couldn't see cheap renewable energy. The last laugh is the best.

u/clausy · 1 pointr/energy

Trading Natural Gas is a good read on how the financial and physical gas markets work written by an old colleague of mine (Enron trader).

Energy and Power Risk Management is good too, although I can't ever get past the 1st chapter, so if you're an economist you might do better.

They're expensive though, so try a library!

u/vpxq · 1 pointr/energy

Hm, no video for me. Here is the description from


>The technology of fracking in shale rock -- particularly in the Permian Basin in Texas -- has transformed America into the world's top producer of both oil and natural gas. The U.S. is expected to be "energy independent" and a "net exporter" in less than a decade, a move that will upend global politics, destabilize Saudi Arabia, crush Russia's chokehold over Europe, and finally bolster American power again.

>Or will it?

>Investigative journalist Bethany McLean digs deep into the cycles of boom and bust that have plagued the American oil industry for the past decade, from the financial wizardry and mysterious death of fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon, to the investors who are questioning the very economics of shale itself. McLean finds that fracking is a business built on attracting ever-more gigantic amounts of capital investment, while promises of huge returns have yet to bear out. Saudi America tells a remarkable story that will persuade you to think about the power of oil in a new way.


u/Iamyourl3ader · 1 pointr/energy

> I provided you with seven general examples. Let me provide you just one specific example , out of curiosity of how your mind will twist and bend to make it not true

Because I understand the basics of certifying electrical equipment. The wind industry uses components designed for the wind industry.

> Xantrex C60 Charge Controller for Wind and Solar Generators

LMFAO. I should have expected this.

This has nothing to do with the wind industry. Nobody is buying residential wind turbines right now. It isn’t relevant.

> In terms of subsidies the most i would like to get rid off is the political and military expense of courting and keeping peace and order in oil rich countries. No wars for oil.

There isn’t any “wars for oil” right now.....

> But another one is disposal cost. We all have to pay for removal and proper disposal of our trash. Ewhen it comes with fossil fuels, disposing of the very harmful by products of fossil fuels is free, but it has a huge environmental cost in terms of climate change amd air quality.

That’s not a fossil fuel subsidy...

> We should all pay to chuck our fossil fuel garbage into the air we breath.

That’s and externality, not a subsidy. Might I suggest Econ 101?

u/kolm · 2 pointsr/energy

An excellent general book on electricity and more generally energy trading is the book by Eydeland and whatshisname, and it's not outrageously overpriced either.

u/Archimid · 1 pointr/energy

I provided you with seven general examples. Let me provide you just one specific example , out of curiosity of how your mind will twist and bend to make it not true

Xantrex C60 Charge Controller for Wind and Solar Generators

In terms of subsidies the most i would like to get rid off is the political and military expense of courting and keeping peace and order in oil rich countries. No wars for oil.

But another one is disposal cost. We all have to pay for removal and proper disposal of our trash. Ewhen it comes with fossil fuels, disposing of the very harmful by products of fossil fuels is free, but it has a huge environmental cost in terms of climate change amd air quality. We should all pay to chuck our fossil fuel garbage into the air we breath.

If we did just one of the two I mentioned fossil fuels become uncompetitive.

u/PortlyPlatypus · 1 pointr/energy

This is a great book for you to check out:

It focuses on some of the problems with our current, oil-centered economic model, and how we need to change to a more local, community based system. Particular emphasis is placed on the fall of industrial agriculture, and the emergence of smaller, local farms.

u/mhornberger · 0 pointsr/energy

> Your argument would be better if you could provide some numbers.

There are numbers on the slides in those talks. I also recently read Seba's book Clean Disruption and I'm almost done with The Grid. Both have ample sources. All of the talks refer to specific real-world cases where deals have already been made, investment and divestment decisions already made, based on the current state of the technology and the economics of the issue. There is no hippie stuff in any of this. All of these talks use exclusively economic arguments.

>There is potential for future improvements, but this assumes R&D and time spent on that.

I consider R&D a given, unless/until our society collapses. All technology comes from and depends on R&D. New nuclear plant designs and new extraction and refining methods for natural gas also assume R&D and time spent on the problems.