Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Viking Star Average Energy usage Comparison

OK, just could not let it go.  What is our ‘impact’ to the world now that we have downsized greatly?  How does Viking Star's energy consumption compare to an average American?  Where would we fit into the World?

On the plus side, we are vastly smaller than before.  Moving from our 4,000+ square foot house, to a 400 or so square foot living space on Viking Star accounts for a large reduction right off the bat.  However, the build standards between a 1990’s house and a 1960’s boat are a bit different J   As with the Land Dwellings, heating is by far the largest consumer of energy.  And on Viking Star, heat losses are much greater than even modest constructions on land.  Wall insulation, where present, is about 1” of foam.  Overheads have R 9.8 thanks to the addition of foam (and it makes a HUGH difference), but the Windows are all single pane glass.  And there are numerous air infiltration points around the doors and other places,  some of these being intentional to provide air circulation and reduce mold / rot potential. 

All told, heating Viking Star is not that efficient per square foot, but there are not too many square feet to heat!


Doing a quick comparison of living space.  In 2010, Viking Star used:
  • 579 Gallons of Diesel
  • 10 Gallons of Gasoline
  • 10 Gallons of propane
  • 1140 KWh of  Electricity

Converting this all, we come up with around 86 million BTUs of energy for 2010.  How does this compare to national averages?  .  If we look at the Pacific region, we can see an average of 140M BTUs.  About 40% less!  This chart was constructed from data by the DOE:  http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/Notes%20for%20Table%20E_1c.html   

How does this compare to World Wide usage?  1st we need to note that World Wide usages tend to include not only household, but also transportation.  On Viking Star, we are a little mixed as our largest transportation cost IS moving the household.  And how do we estimate public Transportation burdens?    If we bump our ‘estimated’ energy use up to account for additional time underway (See prior post), but take out the Dock Side Electricity, our overall energy usage comes to around 115M BTUs.  Still well under the household average.   Maybe we ‘bump’ it up to 150M BTUs to account for public transportation we use, or about 75M BTUs per person.  Even with this figure, making comparisons to overall sources ala:  http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tablee1c.xls  is hard as the overall views tend to include TOTAL energy use, household, transportation, and industrial.  How can we account for how many BTUs of energy went into that potato we had for dinner?   Not sure.  Will point out that the 335M BTUs / person for the USA is a lot more than our estimated 75M for Kristi and me.  Perhaps will find another source to make a better comparison.  Till then, will just have to settle that we use about ½ the energy per household. And with our ‘transportation’ energy useage dramatically lower, or will be once we relocate north, our overall energy footprint is dramatically lower.

1 comment:

  1. Al, that was very enlightening. I am glad that you have the time to research and collcect that data. It would make a good resource paper or thesis introduction. Very well done. My head aches from trying to digest all the info. How's yours?