Saturday, November 21, 2015

Still Looking For An LED Work Light

Desperate one day on a job, I reluctantly bought this LED work light currently sold by Cooper Industries, called LED 110. There are no promises on the packaging, but it looked like it might have ample LEDs.

Here is my photo of the package I bought:

Here is my illumination comparison test stand setup, with the Cooper LED 110 at Stage Right, and a GreenCreative Click 4" LED downlight , 3000°K, 625 lumens, 105° beam angle, at Stage Left. I find the light is too-blue, and is very directional, inconsistent with negligible aimability of a coat-hanger mount.

And, here is my brightness comparison, as recorded with a Canon Digital Rebel and matching my own observation:

The Cooper LED 110 work light gives very blue illumination, matching or exceeding that of the 625 lumens GreenCreative Click only in a narrow arc of perhaps 30°. With the poor aimability, I found the Cooper work light useless. An LED work light should have broad beam angle, with at least 1500 lumens. It is unfair that the Cooper 110 packaging makes no claims of offered task illumination. I would credit this with not more than 500 lumens, unhappy with color and directionality.

This light is no longer mentioned at the Cooper/ Eaton web site , and is no longer in Home Depot stores.

Look then for a better offering. I own mainly Milwaukee portable tools, and find they now offer this, Milwaukie M18 Rover , introduced 10/9/2015 . I am not delinquent in the discovery.

I ordered this at CPO Outlets, with a 2-Pack of Milwaukee RedLithium Extended Capacity batteries, total cost $348. A contractor will pay for needed revenue-producing tools, but perhaps I expect too much of consumer willingness for such investment. I will learn much from my investment, and will share here. 

Here is an overview of claims for Milwaukee Product # 2360-20 :
2X Brighter, Maximum Versatility – The New TRUEVIEW™ M18™ LED HP Flood Light is designed to give professionals a portable area lighting solution that replaces 500W Halogen Flood Lights and adapts, performs, and survives industrial use.  The 2360-20 is the industry’s brightest 18V LED flood light, and it is up to 20% brighter than 500W Halogen Flood Lights.  Capable of filling large areas with light, it provides 3,000 lumens of high definition light output for in its high mode, 1,500 in medium and 650 in low, and it can run for up to 2, 4, or 9 hours with an M18™ REDLITHIUM™ XC 5.0 Battery Pack.  In addition to running off of M18™ batteries, it can run off of an AC cord for all day applications.  It uses high quality LEDs with a neutral white color and a high color rendering index paired with a Milwaukee® designed reflector to produce an even beam pattern.    Its head rotates 240° to direct light where it is needed, and there are 3 keyholes in its base for hanging in multiple orientations.  Its compact footprint and integrated carry handles allow for easy transport or storage in bags, on carts, or in job boxes. This light stands up to the toughest working conditions, through its durable roll cage design and impact-resistant lens and bezel.  It offers significant advantages over halogen work lights with superior impact durability and temperature management, and its LEDs never need to be replaced, and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

I choose here to address functionality of a "work" light, as it might serve me as a weatherization contractor. I received my Milwaukee 2360-20 while working in this truss attic, placing plywood flooring over R42 batt insulation, in my usual quest to protect insulation for an indefinite, very long service life. Two elevations of flooring must notch into truss elements at edges. I do this neatly with a strong Milwaukee angle drill propelling hole saws, and with a very sharp hand saw. I need good light, and here am cutting in the best-lit spot, with a 900 lumens Sylvania 75094 LED up six feet, and with an array of surrounding 75094 up about eight feet, spaced eight feet apart. The attic is very bright and cheerful. The above photo is taken with iPhone 6 Plus no-flash auto exposure.

In the above photo, I have placed the Milwaukee 2360-20 on the nearest secure flooring, about eight feet from my work area, set at full power 3000 lumens, and with overhead lights turned off. Despite sending at least doubled lumen output, the Milwaukee 2360-20 is an inferior work light.

Here is a big-picture view of the work lighting with overhead fixed LED lights. It is so productive and cheerful.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20  at 3000 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 seems to give correct wall color, and surely is brighter times three.

Here is my comparison stand setup for task illumination, Milwaukee 2360-20  at 3000 lumens, Stage Left.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20  at 1500 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 again seems to give correct wall color, and seems is brighter times two.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20 at 650 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 again seems to give correct wall color, better than the 3000°K Sylvania LED, and is a near match in brightness.

Here are conclusions, more observations,and suggestions for LED work light product improvement, from study of the Milwaukee 2360-20:
  • Wonder: Is there magic in Milwaukee 2360-20 color rendering, vs luminaire construction with phosphors all 3000°K. 

  • The Milwaukee 2360-20 will not serve me as a work light, and I should then think to return it for refund after this sharing. I don't work in one spot, that might be served with one beam. I have more needs to hang a light overhead, than to rest something on a table or floor. The Milwaukee 2360-20 three keyholes in its base for hanging in multiple orientations seem insecure.

  • I imagine a better portable light that does not have a fixed luminaire. Let lights be strung as DC from plugin terminals upon a power pack. Let that power pack have DC input for charging, from a portable photovoltaic array. Let any grid power input be dual voltage, usable anywhere on Earth.

  • The DC luminaires strung from the power pack may have clip and nail-up options.

  • All of this becomes part of a disaster preparedness kit, of interest to many more than construction workers. The plug-in DC lights satisfy my vision .

We progressively surrender most of our point-source bulbs. Those that remain are for decor, not for illumination. Big LED plate lights occupy recessed-light locations. In time lights get smaller, distributed and remote-controlled with DC wiring. Light elements are with standard-everywhere low-voltage connectors like audio jacks. New luminaires are forward-compatible with OLED elements.

And - - seeing that PV arrays fail to serve in a disaster if grid-tied, let most lighting and crucial electronics be off-grid. Silly us, to want to generate income with a PV array, in the grid. In this, lights wired as low-voltage DC, auto and marine as the active example, will prevail over now-competitive chip-on-board AC LEDs. Why might we need AC LEDs? Strip boards down to only diodes and wires: that's what lasts forever. All fragile electronics clustered, serviceable, elsewhere.

At July, 2016 I am still working with various clip-up CFL bulb holders, wanting to come apart and crash. Unhappily, I tried these from EarthLED , informed by pop-up advertising:

2x Thinklux LED High Output BR40 - 30 Watt - 250 Watt Equal - Dimmable Flood - $72.62 with shipping.

2650 lumens sounded good.

Not a good idea. Each weighs an incredible 344 grams, vs. a 76 gram CFL bulb.

Perhaps brighter than the CFL, but not usable.

EVs For All?

I'm really liking my following of Energy Central . Today I tuned in to this article:

Two utility CEOs on importance of electric vehicles, potential impact on reaching climate goals

The following is commentary added to the article, made more readable with explicit hyperlinks, and some edits.

EVs are fine in our transition from fossil fuels for power generation. The lucky few who are able to take this path are blessed with a present fortune drawn from the commons, in the enabling subsidies. It isn't fair, and we all know it. These affluent people in an instant add millions to their present worth. Here's the math, in this blog:

Mulling over the unfairness, I seek to confirm my alternative proposal, that PV power must be available to to us all. It is time that I update the proposal, but here it is in this blog, dated 1/17/2015:

Every household that gets a bite of energy independence, where it is offered to anyone at public expense, will want more, and can use its monthly savings to grow the public and then personal, investment. We all become PV (present value) millionaires. This is not absurdity.

Here is one technical confirmation, that the grid defection we all are allowed charges your EV, or only your personal electronics, better than a grid-tied PV array.

Any battery is charged more efficiently without the losses of DC/AC/DC conversion.

It will help if readers know I am grinding two axes here:

1. We are off-course in our adoption of LED lighting. LED lights are DC-powered plate-form integrated circuits that are unbreakable and can serve for hundreds of thousands of hours. Candles and their electrical knock-offs are wasteful as practical lighting, and are excused now, only as for decoration. The disaster-preparedness campaign would promote most-efficient LED and OLED lighting as plate or sheet forms. Where these lights may serve maintenance-free essentially forever, they should not be packaged with fragile lenses (never glass bulbs), and with fragile AC/DC converters. We may, and should, require in-USA manufacturing of light engines under subsidy.

2. We have not found out how to inspire weatherization of our homes. More than 80% are untouched toward finding the pots of gold in Present Value of easy durable improvements. The answer is up-front financing for all, then with no longer an incentive to defer action, pushing our problems onto others. Greed is not really an element of human nature. We succeed where we cooperate, wanting equal opportunity for all. A photovoltaic campaign for all will surely lead to accelerated weatherization of our houses, apartments and small-business workplaces. We of the USA will then cease to be laughingstocks in our wastefulness.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Energy Central

I have recently discovered Energy Central as a collector of news that might concern me for innovation in residential energy conservation. I have had free access to their Professional writings for thirty days, ending today. I must choose whether to spend $297 per year for this access. And, I choose, no. As a veteran of the commercial nuclear power industry, I am strongly opposed to all operation of commercial nuclear power plants, and was dismayed to find Energy Central uncritical of nuclear. That is enough reason to walk.

I did find something interesting today, for my quest of solar for all , off-grid, serving disaster preparedness, a small DC system for DC LED lighting and charging of personal electronics. Attribution is to

Follow the Energy Central link, and subscribe if you will. If not already a Energy Central Professional subscriber, I believe you, too, will be offered a free trial. Know that Sunverge innovation is in Australia.
Sunverge Is On A Mission To Marry Solar Power And Energy Storage
At the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego last month, the floor was packed with vendors.

Nov. 12 -
    At the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego last month, the floor was packed with vendors. One of them was Sunverge, and they were interesting because they were focused not only on the issue of on-premise storage, but specifically how to combine solar power and storage together. Sunverge currently manages 5.3 megawatt-hours (MWh) of distributed storage, combined with 1.9 MW of solar.
    This solar/storage hybrid is a theme that is getting a lot more play around the world these days, as regulatory environments change for solar while the costs of both solar and storage continue to decline (having entered later in the game, storage costs have a lot further to go, but they are following a similar trajectory to that of solar).
    That regulatory environment will likely be a critical driver of storage adoption rates. As solar penetration rates increase, rules related to solar feed-in tariffs or net metering will continue to change. Countries such as Germany are reducing feed-in tariffs that once paid individuals a handsome price for all of the power produced on a rooftop. Now, with the delta between the price paid for electricity from the grid and the price received for exporting surplus solar power to the grid, it starts to make more sense to store energy on site, for deferred consumption at a later time when the solar panels are not producing.
    In Australia, for example, it is estimated that buying power from the grid can be three to times more expensive than the value of locally generated solar power exported to the grid. With those kind of economics, storage and self-consumption (what Rocky Mountain Institute refers to as 'load defection') makes economic sense.
    Meanwhile, in the U.S., Hawaii's Public Utility Commission recently enacted an order eliminating the net metering option (under which the solar producer is credited the retail rate for each kilowatt-hour of surplus exported to the grid). With the new ruling, the exported solar is valued at approximately half the retail rate. This change hurts the economics of solar energy, but boosts the potential value of storage, since one can effectively double the value of every kilowatt-hour of solar power stored and consumed on site (compared with selling it back into the grid).
    Of course the economics ultimately depend upon a variety of factors, including costs of installed systems, retail rates, and the amount of energy that can be stored. But the trends are moving in favor of ever more solar and storage combinations, especially at the residential and SME ( Small and Medium Enterprises) level, which is where Sunverge has staked its claim.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Perpetuity Math For Energy Conservation

Wealth Buys Independence
Independence Is Wealth

Saving Energy Works, For Each Person
Saving energy is far more profitable than saving money. An investment that perpetually saves energy collects the benefit that energy costs must rise at a pace far greater than general inflation. An ordinary savings interest rate is generally cancelled by the pace of inflation. Even the fortunate who reliably make money with money, will do much better in a one-time purchase, perpetually saving energy they must else buy and expend, for their own personal needs. This is true even if some savings are offset by affording of better health and better productivity, in more-comfortable temperature settings. The saving of energy is the opportunity of every person, not that of an electric power producer or gas utility who has conflicting interests.

An energy utility might simply lose revenue and profit, if able to reduce power production. Independent of demand, a utility might  profit from falling energy prices related to reckless production, where evil bargains as in fracking are not shared with users. Demand-Side Management to reduce power production for our homes by a utility might or might not be good business. A utility will miss most of the benefit in energy conservation.

Because of conflicts of interest, the math weighing the sensibility of measures in homes and small businesses must deal solely with the interest of the energy users. Means must be established, that users may achieve energy-saving measures, unrelated to the interest of an electric power producer or gas utility.

All energy demand eliminated forever at bearable present cost is in fact a present fortune.

Mathematical Defense Of Weatherization, Perpetual Returns
The foundation of the needed math is in the notion of a perpetuity, something that will persist without apparent horizon. Where weatherization work is done durably as it must be, to last for sixty years, we have that non-visible horizon. It is wrong to think of durable energy saving investments only through a period where they are repaid by consequent savings. The big actor in the math is the fact that energy costs grow much faster than inflation of the cost of living in general. Durable savings accelerating geometrically, well beyond a period where invested costs are recovered, have very great meaning, in the present.

My primary  resource for the math is an online textbook freely shared by UCLA, Ivo Welch, Corporate Finance: 3rd Edition, 2014.

Download Chapter 3, Stock and Bond Valuation: Annuities and Perpetuities,  at this URL:

PV0 = C1/(1+r) +  C2/(1+r)2 + C3/(1+r)3  + ... + Ct/(1+r)t  

The mathematical expression above describes a general perpetuity. Imagine any setting aside today of money for guaranteed future cash payouts, symbol Ci. A shortcut applies when all cash payouts are equal.

PV0 = C/ r

r is called the discount factor, and includes the interest rate, i for the payout period, that is available to the investor. What of inflation as a factor? ivo-welch does not discuss this. Please find an internet discussion of such investment considerations that does consider inflation, at site Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange, question What is the equation for an inflation adjusted annuity held in perpetuity?  Participants in the discussion see the opportunities involved as real, as in choice what to do if you win a lottery. With tax considerations in much larger sums, some formula for slowed payout will make sense.

Consider annual payouts and inflation, at annual rate g. The adjusted discount factor, r, is:

r = i - g

It will not matter however in calculating present values, whether inflation subtracts from i, or is seen as a multiplier on payouts to keep up with inflation. For a bad investment, keeping money in a bank, one will feel less foolish if actual payout, and the math, have payouts rise to keep up with inflation. For conservation investments, don’t mix general inflation and soaring energy costs in a payout table.

PV0 = ∑ Ci/(1+r)i  =  ∑ Ci/(1+r)i

Whether Ci grow geometrically with inflation, or r is reduced by g, PV0 values are not distinguishable. This may be demonstrated by trial in Excel.

Background For Inflation Numbers
The pace of general inflation is expressed in the following chart:

The source is article Long Term U.S. Inflation, April 1, 2014, by Tim McMahon.

I believe we are in a period of false low inflation as in the 1920s, perhaps again to be followed by deflation in really-hard times, but to be followed further by large inflation. Over a sixty-year view of an investment today, assume at least 3.22% inflation. Know that inflation in wages and simple costs of living must increase sharply in the future, driven by very great inflation in costs of housing and medical care.

Look at Consumer Price Index data that include the greater rate of increase of energy costs, and know that data do not include housing costs. Medical care inflationary cost is presented, with a nearly-linear rise of 340% over thirty years, 11% of 1983 cost, per-year inflation.reed-figure10.png
Here is the energy index monthly data, copied to my own Excel file and charted to confirm and assess geometric growth, that a rate of increase multiplier applies to each month’s number.
Energy Index Geometric Growth.jpg
0.8% per month geometric growth is 10% per year.
Say monthly growth of the EIA Energy Index is 0.8% in general. Where now repressed by ruin of the Earth in fracking that will soon end, expect a correction for several years at a rate far greater than 0.8%. Yet, for now apply math with 0.8% per month energy index growth, 10% per year.

Know that in the short term, gas utilities are profiting from the fracking madness. They do not pass along the low prices they are paying, in savings to consumers. The number $20 Per Thousand Cubic Feet is the $2 per therm I currently apply in payback math for my customers. It has been reached, and we will soon move well beyond that number. Where cost of energy does not include federal expenditure for associated wars, and does not consider unfathomable cost if we could mend the ruin by fracking, real cost to heat our homes with natural gas is far beyond $2 per therm, right now. $5 per therm? $10? Infinity? Surely, through the next sixty years, energy costs must rise much faster than that we have allowed for health care costs.

0.8% per month growth of energy prices amounts to 10% per year. For math operations in Excel, apply a 10% per year growth of energy cost. As a test of sensitivity, also do math at 12% per year.

Study Results, Excel Spreadsheets and Charts
Simple Perpetuities  For Bank Deposits
If I locked up money in a bank for annual perpetuity payments starting at $200 and growing to keep up with 3.22% inflation, money at 5% interest, a $2000 deposit would secure eleven years of payments. I think no one would do this.

$200 Bank Perpetuity.jpg

See how money is wasted, if you only keep it in a bank. A deposit of $11,236 is that for which a banker would pay you an annuity starting at $200 at end of the first year, growing in years thereafter to keep up with 3.22% inflation, with the bank offering 5% annual interest on deposits, payable “forever.” Through fifteen years you will recover a present value of only $2624. Money not put assuredly to work, is assuredly lost.

Bank $200 Perpetuity 5%, 3.22% Inflation.jpg

Here is the associated Excel file:

Perpetuities With Energy Conservation
Now see what happens with investment of just $2000 in weatherization measures that produce $200 per year savings at current cost of energy and continuing to save the same amount of energy despite rising energy costs at 10% per year. Here correctly consider 3.22% inflation as a multiplier, 1.0322, upon the annual payouts. The cash in hand each year in lieu of energy purchased is inflation-proof, and inflation must be considered. Consider money at 5% per year interest.

Begin with a short time horizon, just twenty years:
Energy Twenty Years, 10%.jpg
Energy Twenty Years.jpg
With energy cost growth at 10% per year, the return of a $2000 investment takes just eight years, if savings start out at $200 per year. At fifteen years of savings, the present value of the growing energy savings is $5,230. At twenty years, the present value of the growing energy savings is $8,850. At sixty years outlook, the present value of energy savings, the amount you would have to set aside now to pay for energy not saved, is $253,000. Someone should be willing to pay a lot more than $2000 to secure $200 per year energy savings, even if willing to look out only fifteen years. The more durable the work, clearly to last far more than fifteen years, the more one should be willing to pay. Where I earned $17.50 per hour in an example job with total invoice $4500, $2000 of that for the energy-saving measures netting savings, invoice at $6500 would have netted then-profitable $30.00 per hour. Let a home owner see that access costs enabling energy savings, are justified, and of value more than in making attic space useful.

The job example:

The remarkable returns for energy conservation justify associated non-energy investments. We must name reasons to afford fairer invoice of exceptional work, to sell jobs by, and to entice most-caring and most-intelligent workers, in a hardly-begun national project of existing-homes weatherization. At the same time we must see through math, that thoughtless and shabby work is a very bad investment, not to be tolerated in impairment of energy conservation.

Better payback math helps to find value in work with small returns, too. Say durable work costing $2000 nets only $20 per year savings. Is that a bad investment? No. A times-100 return takes only 29 years horizon of value.

Here are Excel spreadsheets for the two sets of parameters:

Perpetuity Math 10_3.22_5 lists and charts numbers with 10% per year growth of energy cost, 3.22% annual inflation and 5% interest on bank savings.

Perpetuity Math 12_3.22_5 lists and charts numbers with 12% per year growth of energy cost, 3.22% annual inflation and 5% interest on bank savings.

Please query these charts and test cell definitions against your common sense. I will respect all comments and will credit any corrections to their contributor. Or, this task could be passed upward to some responsible authority.

These charts for wise conservation investments apply whatever the period that matters to you, and whatever the efficacy of the measure done. Scale the $200 initial savings to whatever is achieved, as mentioned above. The value in charts is that of showing the geometric growth of any investment in energy conservation.

Here are charts for most-durable weatherization lasting sixty years:
Energy Sixty Years 10%.jpg
Energy Sixty Years.jpg

It is easier to use Excel charts and tables that scale from one dollar of savings. The growth out sixty years is the dramatic compounding known to millionaires and billionaires and achieved for them in big publicly-funded solar, wind and electric car energy-independence. It really is for us all.

The savings growth out twenty years is all most of us can imagine, and may be all we can benefit from.  Know, this is the heap of gold you would need right now to provide energy out into the future, if the need is not avoided forever, by conservation.

The Excel file for this One-Dollar basis, where cell definitions may be confirmed, and numbers may be read with table precision, is available for download at Google Docs:

Sixty-year durability of energy conservation measures is afforded always, where promoted for anyone through up-front public financing. Financing shall come from new State Banks, divorced from greedy Wall Street gamblers and thieves too big and soon to be failed. Financing shall cover all work crucial to survival of a home including plumbing, wiring of all kinds, and shell integrity. Problems and opportunities shall never be buried, then demanding a churn and further cost against disturbance of the energy savings. Homes shall be solar-ready, and a lot more.

We should not nit-pick, choosing only low-hanging fruit, only those measures thought to have greatest savings results in any home. Grandma had it right. A penny saved is a penny earned. Every perpetual nickel counts. Public investment will include many expenditures not related to immediate returns, but lastingly to quality of our lives, in durable homes and workplaces. Public investment will hinge more upon sensibility, than upon savings achievable.

And, let us keep count for every person at home and at work. Let it be every for every opportunity, not some rebate-of-the-month. Let every person have strong self interest to keep count in publicly-kept checklists and completion records. Let these records relate to rewards in applied interest rates for borrowing, logical basis for property sales, and taxes due.

Let absolute honesty be achieved through three-party accountability. I imagine much private employment of people I call Diligence Reporters. These reporters are rated and chosen, for skill, efficiency and honesty. This process will largely replace municipal permitting and inspection that must fail, where citizens become unable to pay those inefficient workers in impending harder times. The current municipal process fails too, to promote best quality, durably recorded.

The Workers
Where the great value in energy conservation is accepted and we get on to deal with the 80% of homes and small business properties never weatherized, we will need a very large weatherization workforce, quickly. This workforce must have new means and motives for utter competence and honesty, again publicly and competitively rated. My imagining includes contractor cooperatives taking classrooms in our many abandoned public schools. These contractors and central staff become a community asset, aiding and energizing homeowners as rated workers, sharing building resources. If this will only work in staving off chaos upon collapse of the monster banks, know this is imminent.

An End of Cheap Fossil Energy?
At 4/6/2022, post this Bloomberg News graph of the rapid surge in oil prices attendant to Russia's war against Ukraine. On a longer time scale, this is surely exponential change. Won't that continue? Hasn't this always been so? Scarce resources can not be held cheap.