Posts Tagged ‘solar’


Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Early Adopters are a young family with kids both parents are interested in science, technology and conservation. From the beginning they wanted to start off small and expand the system over time. After visiting the site, surveying the house, meeting the Early Adopters and discussing their goals. We proposed a system with Trina Panels and Enphase micro-inverters. Using the Enphase micro-inverters would allow the customer to expand the system overtime in an affordable way. After pricing the system the Early Adopters decided to start with 6 panels and 6 inverters. We then completed the design of the whole system and prepared the permit drawings. In this project it was important to account for system expansion this is why we made sure the appropriate electrical infrastructure was planned and specified in the drawings. After the system design and planning was complete we submitted the specs to Com Ed and the permit drawings to the local village.

The permit was approved a week later and the ComEd approval took 10 days. For this project the customer hired a local electrician ( Paxson Electric ) for all of the electrical work. I coordinated my installation crew with Paxson and the system was installed in 1 day. Since we used the Enphase Inverters the next day the Early Adopters and I were able to monitor the system performance from the internet. So far everything is working great.
Below is a series of installation pics and a pic of the enphase monitoring web page.

We started by laying out the array and installing the roof flashings.

Then the racking was assembled, the microinverters installed and panels laid out.

The wiring was checked and double checked.

The panels mounted on the roof.

The web based monitoring software you can check it from your iphone!

Hasta la vista climate change, no quite but it’s a start

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Last month California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the feed-in tariff into law on October 12, 2009. This is very different from measures like the Solar Energy Bill which seek merely to replace the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy with cleaner, renewable sources. The Solar Energy Bill and other conservation measures are commendable, but his new statute carries the added benefit of promising to pay the private citizen a premium over the prevailing market price to sell to local utilities the electricity produced by small wind-powered and solar panel devices.
The feed-in tariff promotes the same green agenda as the Solar Energy Bill but has a much broader and more profound economic impact. It encourages the replacement of fossil fuels with non-polluting sources of energy thereby offering the private sector an opportunity for commerce and also offers the adopters of this technology a profit when they sell their surplus electricity into the utility grid. While this may slightly raise the overall price of electricity paid by consumers, it makes the operation of the solar production of electricity by small producers, economically competitive with fossil fuels.
The benefits of the feed-in tariff way exceed the slight premium that the consumer has to pay in the overall cost of electricity. The effects of encouraging new installations of ground based solar arrays and roof mounted solar panels will spread through the economy as manufacturing and installation jobs are created. The greatest effect of the feed-in tariff bill is to provide incentive for people to go into solar production of electricity for themselves and for profit. It gives everyone the opportunity to become his or her own utility, amortize the already subsidized and tax-abated cost of the installation within a few years and then continue to receive a handsome return on the initial investment.
The true cost of using fossil fuels as a power source is often not considered because it is so huge and wide-ranging that it is difficult to calculate accurately. But one thing is for sure: the cost is huge. The feed-in tariff paid to a small producer of electricity by solar generation is actually not a premium at all when compared to the true cost of generating electricity using fossil fuels.
Hopefully other states will soon catch on. Many other counties already including all the members of the European Union possesses effective production incentive programs. Some have been producing clean electricity and generous profits for decades. These programs consistently produce the intended results of freeing us from dependence on fossil fuels, creating new green jobs and promoting commercial activity that benefits the economy as a whole. They also free up government and utility borrowing power as well as allowing infrastructure funds to be allocated for more desirable projects than fossil fuel production facilities. Germany and Denmark have both had incredibly successful and individually profitable production incentive programs encouraging the production of renewable energy using wind and solar generation. check out the online article here.


Thursday, November 5th, 2009

In Al Gore’s new book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis he makes the point that humans have the tools and technology today capable stopping climate change. Switching from Non-renewable energy to Renewable energy has never been easier. Great progress has been made in the technologies used to integrate Solar and Wind energy into our homes,businesses and neighborhoods. Click on the clips below to watch Al Gore explain how science and the technology can solve the climate crisis.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Al Gore Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Al Gore Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Formidable Opponent – Global Warming With Al Gore
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

Join us on October 24, 2009 for the OPRF Climate Rally

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


real_350_flyer350 Rally through Oak Park |

China’s race to be the at the top of solar production

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Check out this article by Keith Bradsher in today’s New York Times.

solar_worker_spanThere are some very interesting points outlined here, especially some specific ideas that must be put in place for the United States’ production/consumption of energy. With the Obama administration offering 2.3 billion dollars in subsidies, the United States still cannot compete with the rival companies in China. The subsidies in China are plentiful, and they range from free land to large amounts of cash for research and development, even though China’s energy consumption is growing faster than any other country. By far the most impressive fact is that Beijing aims to generate 20,000 megawatts by the year 2020!!

World’s 1st hybrid solar plant opens in Israel

Thursday, June 25th, 2009


Kibbutz Samara opened the worlds first hybrid solar thermal plant today.

When running at full capacity, this plant has the ability to continuously power 70 homes through the night and even when there is cloud cover. Even more interesting, is the fact that it can provide 100kW of electricity on demand, and 170 kW of thermal power, simultaneously!

As fascinating as the world’s first hybrid solar plant is, there is a rapidly growing desire for renewable power among many of Israel’s kibbutzim. This New York Times article really does a great job detailing all of the efforts that are currently under way.  It is amazing what can happen when the incentives from the government work, not to mention the kibbutzim’s goal of becoming the “Silicon Valley of renewable energy.”

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Check out this article that we are interested in.