Sunday, December 28, 2014

your library has tools

I found that my local library has energy monitoring tools available to borrow. You should check at your own library.

I recently learned that it is possible to borrow a thermal imaging camera and other renewable energy tools from the Medicine Hat Public Library (see this from the Medicine Hat, AB HATSmart).

Other tools mentioned are an infrared thermometer, a power cost monitor and a watt meter. They are loaned like other library assets, handled with the normal system.

These are tools that the average homeowner might use if they were aware of how to properly use them to spot energy leaks. Some, like the thermal imaging camera, the average homeowner likely would not buy for their own use because of high cost. Rentals are not commonly available outside the "big city". Borrowing from the local library makes a lot of sense.

Were such tools available from my own library system?

I asked Erin at the local Lion's Head, ON library yesterday about borrowing renewable energy tools.

Erin showed me an electrical monitor which I borrowed to compare to my own (kill-a-watt). They have one of these Trickle-Star units in a kit with some useful publications at every branch through a program sponsored by Westario Power. Two Westerio publications "Energy Conservation Handbook" and "Energy Monitor Loaner Program" as well as the Trickle-Star user manual are included in the loaner kit.

Erin thinks they have one of the IR spot thermometers available.

Interestingly, she was not sure how to look these things up. On my library receipt, the call number for trickle-star is "BCPL energy monitor", the title is "Energy monitor loaner program". I have it for a week and will do some testing with it. You can reserve it through the BCPL on-line library.

My library also has a geocaching kit complete with GPS that you can borrow and there is some talk of buying a 3D printer!

The Medicine HAT Smart website has lots of useful information and is worth having a look.

I would be interested in what you find at your own library. Please use the comment form below.

I came across Medicine Hat while reading about the new Medicine Hat first concentrating solar power plant in Canada.

George Plhak
Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada

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