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Join us today as we discuss Battery Storage vs. Peaking Plants. Peaking plants are power generation facilities that come on only to handle the highest peak loads demanded on the grid. They are meant to quickly ramp up and produce only during the times when the deman is higher than all other generation components can handle. They are very expensive …
 
Renewable Energy in Texas is enabling Texas to win the Energy War...OK maybe its not a war but whatever it is they are winning.Join us today as we discuss Renewable Energy in Texas.Last year 20% of their energy came from renewables, primarily wind, and on somedays that number was over 40%. Governor Bush signed a bill in 1999 to drive the state towa…
 
Yesterday we spoke about different options for mounting a solar array. Today we are going to dive deeper into ground mount systems and talk specifically about some of the considerations one would need to take when siting a ground mount system in order to get the most optimum solar exposure. The nice thing about ground-mounted systems is they can be…
 
Mounting Options for Solar Arrays:Ok folks, there are two options for mounting solar panels. One is roof mount, the other is ground mount. We are going to discuss the pros and cons of each and Ill sprinkle my opinion in along the way.Rooftop solar arrays are restricted by the characteristics of the roof on which they are installed. If your roof is …
 
Today we're going to talk about the grid of the future. I was at. Actually over the past year I've been at several power generation conferences where I've had conversations with people from companies like Duke Energy Southern Company which owns Alabama and Georgia Power Mississippi Power and Gulf Power. And let's see who else...Ameren over in the M…
 
Today we're going to finish up the conversation we started yesterday about taking a Holistic View of Energy Use in the Household and reduction of that use where possible. We really hit on the big topics yesterday. And so I'm not going to do any deeper dive into those. Those are the areas where you're using the most of your energy right now. And so …
 
Today we're going to talk about a holistic view of energy use in the household.This is not going to be specifically about solar energy any of the things that I'm going to talk about today are things that it could definitely be be used on a household that is on the grid off the grid on the grid with grid solar or it doesn't really matter. It's not a…
 
January 2018As we sit here in the dead of winter dreaming of spring but also enjoying the reduced pace of the winter on the homestead, I thought it would be a good time to give an update as to where we are with our projects around the homestead as we build towards a more self sufficient lifestyle. One of the nice things about winter for me is that …
 
Battery MaintenanceToday we will discuss battery maintenance. It is one of the big differences between a grid tied and an off grid system. A grid tied system just sits there and generates electricity either for your home use or to be fed back onto the grid. The battery bank in an off grid system adds a whole new level of complexity. We have previou…
 
Today we are going to discuss Inverters and the balance of system components. Inverters are the component that takes the DC(Direct Current) Provided by the solar array and stored in the battery bank, and converts it to AC(Alternating Current) for your home use. Alternating current means that the current alternates its direction over and over again(…
 
Batteries for Solar Off Grid or Hybrid SystemOK everyone, we have covered solar panels, a solar array, and charge controllers, so the logical next step is for us to discuss batteries. Over the lifetime of your system, Batteries will be the most expensive part because the ones that are cost effective when starting a system don't last very long and t…
 
Charge Controllers, what are they?OK so we have covered what solar panels are, and how to design a solar array, but what happens once your panels are generating power? Well you obviously want to get them into your battery bank, but other than some very specific situations, you will charge your batteries through a charge controller. So what is a cha…
 
Sizing a Solar ArrayA Solar Array is just a fancy term for your solar panels, which themselves are combinations of solar cells, combined into a single system. Today we discuss "sizing a solar array." The first step is determining what your needs are. It is always good to eliminate or reduce some parts of your usage before determining the size of yo…
 
How do Solar Panels work?Solar, or Photovoltaic, Panels work by converting light energy from the sun, or photons, into electricity through the "Photovotaic effect." Interestingly, a French physicist built the first ever photovoltaic cell at 19 years old, in 1839. The first practical photovoltaic cell was demonstrated by Bell Laboratories in 1954 an…
 
Types of solar installations There are a variety of ways to harness the power of the sun. Today we are going to define the ways and discuss them: Grid Tied Off Grid Hybrid PV Direct Solar Thermal Photosynthesis Grid tiedGrid tied systems are solar installations that are implemented on a property that uses utility energy from the grid. These systems…
 
Energy vs. powerThis short series is to help build some foundational knowledge that will help you understand the building blocks of Solar.energyEnergy is the capacity to do work. Measurements for energy include calories, BTUs, Joules, and Watt-Hours. We would use the term energy when discussing how much capacity you have in your battery bank. If yo…
 
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