All posts by KURTIS

New Off-Grid Solar Module Homes

California based Newport Pacific Capital Company, Inc., and Modular Lifestyles, Inc. have just announced that they are offering a unique off-grid solar Park Model home for use in communities, events and organizations to promote Green living, solar and propane.

To be featured in an upcoming episode of the TV Production, “How It Is Made”, the off-grid and grid tied solar home was the featured attraction at a national convention held by KOA. Steven Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, was the host of the home for Cavco Industries at the convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will also be a feature news item on local TV stations, to be seen by Las Vegas residents in November. Continue reading New Off-Grid Solar Module Homes

Japanese Wins Australian Solar Panel Powered Car Race

A team from Japan won a world race from cars power by solar panels. These solar panel powered cars had to race through Australia’s outback after battling more than 1,800 miles of remote highways, dodging kangaroos and other wildlife and avoiding a bush-fire. These races are more than a sporting event. They are a great way to inspire new solar technology and kick-start higher solar technological development. The team from Tokai University finished the solar race from the northern city of Darwin to the southern city of Adelaide at about noon on Thursday. Continue reading Japanese Wins Australian Solar Panel Powered Car Race

Even a Small Emergency Solar Generator can Make Your Home Blackout Proof.

Dependable utility service is a media charade. I am reminded of the classic movie “Animal House” where during the hometown parade turned chaotic mess a public official is repeating “all is well… all is well”. A couple of weeks ago southern California and parts of Arizona experienced a nearly 24 hour blackout. Though it was a major event, it received little media coverage which blamed it on a utility worker flipping the wrong switch. Really? I will be the first to admit I am not the sharpest pencil in the box but it does not make sence to me that a single worker can take down a large portion of the SW power grid for nearly 24 hours by flipping the wrong switch.

For months we have been receiving an increasing number of phone calls from homeowners interested in small emergency solar generators. Feeling powerless during a blackout after a hurricane, tornado or just sitting at home when a utility work flips the wrong switch is scarry. Even a small home emergency generator can offer some real security and control over the helpless feeling one has when a disaster strikes. Continue reading Even a Small Emergency Solar Generator can Make Your Home Blackout Proof.

Off-grid Solar Solutions Without Backup Batteries

There continues to be ground breaking technology research in the area of off-grid solar products. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute has developed an off-grid solar solution to maximize utility of power supply while minimizing the need for storage solutions. In rural areas and in developing countries the potential for off-grid solar applications is great. However, the initial costs can prove to be an impediment to more widespread usage. Continue reading Off-grid Solar Solutions Without Backup Batteries

Oil Giant Gains Control of Solar Equipment Company

The French oil and gas giant Total (the world’s fifth-largest), shelled out a cool $1.38 billion for a controlling 60 percent stake in SunPower Solar Corporation. Based in San Jose, California, SunPower’s deal with Total is already having repercussions across the entire market. Solar, like wind and geothermal, can be a capital-intensive business. Continue reading Oil Giant Gains Control of Solar Equipment Company

Is a Home Solar Lease the Equivalent of a Sub-prime Mortgage that is Doomed to Fail?

There are some that argue that a home solar leases being offered by some solar companies is the renewable energy equivalent of a banks subprime mortgage and will have serious repercussions in the years to come.

One popular residential solar lease program permits the solar company to own the equipment and enjoying all the benefits and tax credits available while Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner saves $10 per month on their utility bill. There are voices in the industry that are shouting at the top of their lungs asking why would a homeowner let some solar company attached equipment to their house they don’t own? So instead of renting your electricity from the utility company you are now renting it from an unnamed financial institution? That does sound a little crazy after you say it out loud. Continue reading Is a Home Solar Lease the Equivalent of a Sub-prime Mortgage that is Doomed to Fail?

Homeowners Motivation Survey Hiring Solar Installers

The solar installers market in America is potentially around 40 million homes of which only a fraction of which have installed home PV. Though some of the solar rebates have dwindled in because of their popularity, there are some serious discussions going on regarding solar feed-in-tariffs. That is where you get paid fair market price for your excess electricity generated by solar. Continue reading Homeowners Motivation Survey Hiring Solar Installers

Are Solar Permit Costs Restricting Residential PV Installations?

For about half of America $3.50 per watt is the number where solar installation is competitive with utility electricity, but with many more benefits. In California local building departments have come around a little, bending some from the pressure of groups like the Sierra Club.

However, across America, solar companies and residential and commercial property owners are having to eat the high cost of solar permitting as well as put up with the red tape delays. If this country would standardize local solar installation policies and rules, the benefits to local communities would be huge. Continue reading Are Solar Permit Costs Restricting Residential PV Installations?

California Is One Jumbo Solar Mecca

“California is one jumbo solar mecca, and one big ass state” was all Cliff could say when he walked into the office from delivering a customer’s home solar kit. Northern California Highway 101 is ancient redwoods reaching to the sky, pristine Pacific Ocean shorelines and solar everywhere.

Cliff is one of our solar consultants who yesterday, just got back from delivering a sizeable home solar kit to a customer in the NW corner of California. Now it is not normal for our solar consultants to deliver solar kits themselves, but we have a policy that when a sale is assigned to a solar consultant, he or she takes ownership of the order. That means they are responsible for everything including acting as the safety net for delivering on our companies promises. The delivery driver called in sick, no one else free to make the delivery, the solar associate then becomes the go-to-guy. In this case, it was Cliff. Continue reading California Is One Jumbo Solar Mecca