Renewable energy sources may be a hot topic in today’s environment but the concept is far from new. Some forms of renewable energy have been practiced for centuries. From the moment the first caveman rubbed two sticks together to start a fire, renewable energy was being used to provide heat or cook food. The sun, long before it was recognized as an engine to produce solar power, was quietly doing its job of warming the earth and producing light. Continue reading Renewable Energy; Common Options
Photovoltaic panels are the consumer’s choice. With the price of carbon-based fuels on the rise, the power companies that rely on fuels such as coal and oil to generate the bulk of their electricity have been forced to raise their rates; subsequently, homeowners are now opting for solar power to satisfy their electricity needs. Photovoltaic systems are popular with homeowners because the energy is free and recent technological advances have reduced the initial cost of these systems.
Modern battery-based off-grid solar systems offer more than just a DC-to-AC power source, they can charge batteries, select from multiple power sources, and control external functions. Here are a handful of steps you will need to take to plan for your off-grid purchase. Continue reading Planning / Design Off-Grid Solar System
Revised 5/6/2013 – It’s not all that hard to imagine a facility of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) generating all of its own grid tied power from solar panels. After all, the USFS has a whole lot of facilities in the back of beyond, from offices to outhouses, that are well away from the benefits of civilization and electrical transmission. But the Forest Service’s announcement today that one of its facilities is now power-self-reliant with grid tied solar panels is a little unusual: That facility is in the middle of the suburban San Gabriel Valley. Continue reading U.S. Forest Service Grid Tied Solar Panels Saving Taxpayer Money
For me, the Thanksgiving holiday started on Wednesday with a trip to our mountain cabin. I spent all day cleaning the off-grid cabin because although it was only my kids and husband and I that would be here for Thanksgiving, why do it in a dirty cabin? Our cabin is powered entirely by solar panels with a battery bank to store the energy so when I clean I also have to monitor our battery depth of discharge since it was a very foggy day in the Sierra Mts on Wednesday. In the middle of all that, I got some last-minute groceries, baked some rolls in our traditional wood burning stove and some pumpkin pie custards and generally exhausted myself. Continue reading Thanksgiving and Solar Panels
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released new national polling showing strong public support for solar water heating systems and the perception that solar water heating helps the economy and create jobs. The independent poll conducted by Gotham Research Group showed 74 percent of Americans agree that the solar water heating industry will produce jobs and help the U.S. economy. Positive perceptions of solar water heating systems exceeded negative perceptions by more than 10 to 1 (48 percent to 4 percent). More broadly, solar energy is considered the energy source most deserving of U.S. government support. Continue reading New Study, Majority of Americans See Benefits of Solar Hot Water Heating
The Marine Corps is exploring expanding it’s use of flexible solar panels that fit in a Marine’s pack and recharge batteries, the service’s top combat developer said. The portable solar panels would be modeled after technology that 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, deployed with last year to Sangin, Afghanistan, said Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant for combat development. Known as Solar Portable Alternative Communication Energy Systems, or SPACES, it was used by the unit to cut down on the number of batteries needed and to lighten an infantryman’s load. Continue reading Marine Corps Using Portable Flexible Solar Panels in Afghanistan
On any given day there is enough reason to be mad as hell at Congress for still pumping money into Wall Street banks while they stick it to the average American. Two years after black October of 2008 and the economy still suffering, government is still giving banks enourmous bailouts and subsidies. In return for that, here is one more example of how we are treated on main street.
For years Goldman Sachs Cogentrix Solar Services, LLC used their sizable corporate power (Made even more powerful since we bailed them out.) to secure the exclusive rights to develop solar farms on nearly as much federal land in Nevada as all other companies combined even though the firm had neither written plans nor inked agreements with utilities to buy the power they proposed to make. Continue reading Wall Street Bank Pushed Aside from Blocking Solar on Public Nevada Lands
Ford has announced that it will offer it’s electric vehicle (EV) with grid-tied solar solar chargers in a pre-engineered kit. Pairing electric cars with home solar power has become trendy. Ford said Wednesday it will offer Sun Power’s solar electric systems to owners of Focus Electric Vehicle, which the carmaker plans to launch later this year. Continue reading Ford Focus to Partner for Solar Electric Vehicle (EV)
“With Heavy Government Help, Solar Continues Expansion in the West. Gains in the industry are made at a cost, including taxpayer-funded subsidies set to end in 2016. Will they pay off to make solar a larger player in the home energy market?”
Whenever I read those blogs or listen to the talking heads make those statements about home solar my blood really starts to boil. What they neglect to say is “American taxpayers have been heavily subsidizing big oil for over 100 years” or “40% of our military budget is spent defending foreign oil fields!”. Continue reading Solar Grid Installation Will Continue The Future in Home Energy