28 Jun '12, 10pm

Burning Desire for Efficiency

Burning Desire for Efficiency

Should you react to the numbers above by rushing out to buy an electric kettle, with the promise of tripling the efficiency over the stove-top solution? In part, this depends on your source of electricity. If your electricity is derived from fossil fuels, and you otherwise have a gas stove, then it’s probably not worth it. But even if going from an electric stove to an electric kettle, we must consider the embodied energy of the kettle. I discussed two methods for estimating embodied energy in another post, which for this case results in something like 50 kWh of investment. Each cup (250 mℓ) of water takes 0.03 kWh of energy at 70% efficiency. If you’re tripling efficiency, then you save 0.06 kWh per cup, and need to boil over 800 cups before the thing pays for itself, energetically. Maybe this makes sense. But it’s not a burning imperative.

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9287

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