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It’s not rocket science

March 14, 2010
It’s true that the necessary parts to have a usable solar/wind system are fairly expensive, but the skill required to make it work isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s probably easier than auto repair. Probably more often than not, contractors... Read more.

Using microinverters for solar power

March 13, 2010
If you only plan to sell the electricity you produce back to the electric company and not go off the electrical utility grid, then the microinverter may be the most elegant solution. You use a single one of these inverters with every solar panel in the... Read more.

Living on DC

March 8, 2010
Most of our everyday appliances and electronic devices operate using AC (alternating current), right? … It might surprise you that most appliances we use today are using DC (direct current) rather than AC. Internally they convert the AC to DC.... Read more.

Insulating your home

March 7, 2010
Renewable energy is a good thing, but it won’t replace the simple concept of energy conservation and insulation. Radiant barrier is known to be the most effective insulator for your home. The bottom line is if you really want to save money, properly... Read more.

Understanding kilowatt hours

March 3, 2010
Solar and wind systems are great, but before you buy one, it’s good to know what you’re actually getting, how much power you need, and how much you’ll save. There’s some math involved, but a few examples should make it easier... Read more.

Solar panel wiring

February 28, 2010
Some may think there’s a lot to know about wiring a solar system, but the truth is the basics are pretty much the same as they were 20 years ago. Wiring solar panels is like wiring Christmas lights. There are several sites out there that show you... Read more.

A close look at Inverloch

February 24, 2010
I understand that a writer/artist has free reign to make a story any way they choose, especially if it’s for themselves. But as an outside reader, it’s no fun to vomit up something that tasted so good. I suppose you could say... Read more.

Choosing a charge controller

February 21, 2010
Solar panels and wind generators produce electricity, but their output varies widely based on the available sun or wind speed. Therefore there is a need to convert that output to something a little more consistent using a charge controller. ... Read more.

Will incandescent lights die?

February 20, 2010
There’s been a lot of advancement in the field of lighting, particularly solid state lighting with LEDs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean incandescent bulbs will phase out. Consider that they were probably conceived as a way to replace candles,... Read more.

Reusing the CFL circuit base

February 18, 2010
For you hobbyists out there wanting to reuse the parts from a burnt out CLF (compact florescent light), there are some ways to reuse the circuit in the base. With a few steps I’ll show you how to wire up a small florescent light to take it’s... Read more.

Is it on, off, or idling and how to tell

February 17, 2010
I’m sure most of you have heard or read that some appliances still use electricity when they’re “off.” There is no doubt this is true, but how can you tell? Identifying what’s idling and what isn’t (without paying... Read more.

Choosing solar panels

February 16, 2010
There’s a lot of different solar panels out there, and with so many choices, it would be helpful to know what to look for when buying one. I’m going to explain some of that technical jargon. This way you can better understand how or what... Read more.

Buying a simple grid-tie solar system

February 12, 2010
If you’ve done any amount of home improvement, then setting up a simple solar system isn’t a challenge. However, it would be good to know a few basics and what parts you need. Please keep in mind you may have to contact your... Read more.

Understanding plug-in hybrids

February 11, 2010
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are coming, and fast, but how do you find the good ones and what makes them so different from traditional hybrids? The answer lies in the proportion of gas vs. electricity. Getting best bang for... Read more.

Is solar power really affordable?

February 1, 2010
Solar power is affordable… when you consider the result and what solar “power” actually means. Most people think of massive solar panel arrays costing thousands. But solar power is about using the sun to your advantage. You could do... Read more.