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Old 12-19-2007, 11:51 AM   #1
Karl
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Propane/Electricity (something to consider)

For those who want to know whether propane or electricity is the most cost efficient, I have copied below information from a spreadsheet to calculate the comparison. (Of course if you are staying where you do not pay extra for electricity, there's no contest! If you pay electricity by the KWH at your campground/resort, this can help you decide.

****
propane btu/gal 91,500
elec btu/kwh 3,413

1 gal propane is equal to how many KWH elec 26.80925872


Price of propane/gal (Dec 2007 US avg) $2.75
Price of Elec / KWH (Dec 2007 US avg) $.116

Cost of 91,500 BTU Propane $2.75
Cost of 91,500 BTU electric $3.11

To find the equivalent cost of electricity to propane, check what you are paying per gallon of propane. Then find out what you are paying for electricity per KWH and multiply the cost of electricity by 26.80926. Then compare the two.

(In my example I used the current US average prices for residential propane and residential electricity. Prices you actually pay will differ from these, of course, and many or most resorts add a surcharge to what they actually pay for electricity.)
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
stiles watson
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Great info. Thank you for posting. You confirm what I suspected.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:45 PM   #3
OntMont
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In terms of space heating, the big unknown is furnace efficiency. We know electricity is 100% efficient at producing heat, but that gas furnace, who knows? My guess is that it is no more than 50-60% efficient. If that is anywhere near right, you would have to burn nearly double the amount of propane BTU's to get the equivalent heating effect of BTU's provided from an electric heater.

May Ozz has a better handle on furnace efficiency.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
Countryfolks
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http://tigerfuel.com/calculator.htm

There are others also.

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Old 12-19-2007, 01:01 PM   #5
Ozz
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Ontmont, you are a wise man.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:10 PM   #6
Charlie
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This link gives some comparison between propane, electricity and other fuels for efficiency plus greenhouse emissions. Appears to me propane is more practical to use than electricity.

http://www.energykinetics.com/heatin...mparisons.html
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:31 PM   #7
clutch
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You may also have to include the cost to drive to a propane dealer. You have to include travel cost as well unless you have to drive into a town for other things anyway.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:21 AM   #8
adelmoll
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A friend of mine that is a whole lot smarter than I am gave us these facts.... The bottom line is the part that I understand.

Propane vs Electricity facts:

One kW hour of electricity is 3 412 Btu
One gallon of propane is 91 502 Btu
One pound of propane is 21 548 Btu

Conversion factors:

Multiply the propane price per gallon by 0.037 to give the equivalent price per kilowatt hour of electricity

Multiply the electricity price per kWh by 27.0 to give the equivalent price per gallon of propane

For those of us who pay by the pound/bottle:

The typical 20# tank holds 4.7 Gallons of propane
A 30# holds 7 Gallons of propane

Efficiency:

For heating applications we can consider electricity as 100% efficient.
For each Kwh you get 3412 Btu exchanged to the surrounding medium:
The air in your RV if you use an electric heater, ceramic or other
The water in your hot water heater
The heat tube in your refrigerator

Propane fired appliances of the typical RV variety IMO have very low efficiency.

The hot air furnace is the worst, with, in many cases probably less than 50% efficiency.
Modern water heaters are a bit higher, but I doubt if any will be better than 70% efficiency
The refrigerator is probably the highest, maybe 80-90% due to the enclosed space in the chimney.

I can not proof my hypothesis, but if you put your hand and be very careful on the exhaust port of either your furnace or hot water heater while the flames are on, you will find that you are heating a lot of the environment outside of your RV.

In my mixed usage, I would give the overall efficiency a 70%, no more.

This means, that a gallon of propane instead of 91 502 Btu only delivers a usable 64 051 Btu due to the losses in the appliances.

Or in other terms, the 20# bottle you just had filled only gives you 14# of usable Btu

A real $$ world example:

In South Texas, I pay 0.14 USD/Kwh electricity

It costs 27.00 USD to fill a 20# bottle, this is adjusted for efficiency 3.29 gallons. 27 USD / 3.29 gallon is 8.20 USD/gallon.

Apply conversion factor and you get 8.2* 0.037 is 0.30 USD/Kwh

As usual: Your amount of Btus out of a 20# may vary

So, in my case electricity is less than half the cost of propane.



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Old 12-20-2007, 04:38 AM   #9
Steve and Brenda
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Where you guys getting propane powered televisions from?
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:04 AM   #10
Countryfolks
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by adelmoll

snip
A real $$ world example:

In South Texas, I pay 0.14 USD/Kwh electricity

It costs 27.00 USD to fill a 20# bottle, this is adjusted for efficiency 3.29 gallons. 27 USD / 3.29 gallon is 8.20 USD/gallon.

Apply conversion factor and you get 8.2* 0.037 is 0.30 USD/Kwh

As usual: Your amount of Btus out of a 20# may vary

So, in my case electricity is less than half the cost of propane.
You need to find a new propane dealer. It only costs $15.75 for a 30# tank [17.50 delivered to the park] here [Mission, Tx.].

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:37 PM   #11
Waynem
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I just filled up today and paid $22.00 for 11 gallons. At least, that is what the meter said on the propane fill meter.
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