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
Since home solar became a commercial option some 40 years ago central inverters have ruled the industry. Today about 40 percent of the home solar kit market is made up of Microinverter kits. A inverter is an electronic device that converters the direct current produced by solar panels to alternating current which is the electricity you use to run your home appliances and lights. Continue reading MicroInverters, Do-it-Yourself Solar Kits Anyone Can Install
There is a lot of hype by solar panel manufactures about how more efficient their solar panels are over competion. That may be true by the numbers in many cases all other things being even, but solar panel efficiency is actually of little practical importance. Solar panels with lower efficiencies will simply have to cover a greater area which is usually not a problem except for those applications with limited space. Continue reading Buying Best Solar Panels the Question of Efficiency
As with any new technology and when big corporations feel they are threatened they put up resistance. Problem is big corporations control Washington DC. Solar panel feed-in-tariffs are going to be the next big thing in this country. It is small business start ups and local governments though that cut the widest swath to success. In America Florida, Sacramento, California, and Palo Alto, California are saying we can’t wait and are pushing forward past the Feds. Continue reading Solar Panel Feed-in-Tariffs are coming on board in America
Frequent utility blackouts are the ever-increasing evidence of our changing climate and raises the awareness for having emergency solar backup power in the home. Utilities are having a difficult time repairing what nature can dismantle in a matter of seconds.
Using the battery bank in an emergency solar power center is some of the best technology a homeowner can invest in today. A backup solar generator can keep you out of the dark when the grid goes down. Solar powered generators with battery backup do not rely on fossil fuel to keep electricity flowing to your critical home loads. A solar-powered generator in your home is the ultimate security in emergencies. Continue reading Emergency Solar Generator You Home’s Hedge Against the Dark
Next to my coffee maker this morning, my wife had placed a copy of the Sacramento news paper which had an article about a fraud probe that had been launched against a California based small wind manufacturer and a coupon for a cheap solar panel kit that was being advertised. The article about the small wind rebate program was titled “Fraud Probe Causes Pain for Small Wind Sites”. As a result of the small wind turbine companies fraud probe, the California Energy Commission suspended the entire rebate program while it’s probe is conducted.
The minute I read the article chills went up my spine. Why? A couple of months ago we came about an inch away from picking up the company’s small wind generator product line but backed off at the last moment. I don’t recall if it was luck or instinct but something did not feel right or it just was not in the cards. Continue reading Ethics of Small Wind and Solar, a Road Less Traveled?
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)
Considering the daily blow hards we see elbowing each other for their 15 min of fame on TV it’s hard to believe there is any agreement from Washington on anything let alone helping solar. It still doesn’t mark the Age of Aquarius, but two Republicans and a Democrat have joined forces to introduce legislation to revive a popular home solar financing program scuttled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last year. Continue reading Bipartisan Congressional Attempt to Restart PACE Home Solar Financing
“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