Archive for February, 2016

29 February

Florida’s Sunshine To Be Caught By Mickey’s Solar Farm & Floridians For Solar Choice

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a repost from our sister online publication, Windermere Sun:

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Yes, this is definitely a project both Walt Disney himself

Walt Disney stamp public domain

Walt Disney stamp

Walt_Disney_Snow_white_1937_trailer_screenshot_public domain

Walt_Disney_Snow_white_1937_trailer_screenshot

and Mickey

Mickey Mouse (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Mickey Mouse (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

would have approved! For those of you who are not aware of the project, it is located in the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the Disney controlled taxing district) occupying about 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive at Walt Disney World Resort in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Mashable posted photos received from satellite imaging from NearMap of the installation, below.

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District (image: nearmap)

This Mickey shaped solar farm is built and operated by Duke Energy, composed of 48,000 solar PV panels and five-megawatt. Last year, Duke Energy of Florida announced that it would build up to 500 megawatts of solar by 2024 as part of a multiyear plan.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District Board of Supervisors voted to accept a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Duke Energy Florida Solar Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Florida, to purchase solar energy from the facility. Administrator of Reedy Creek Improvement District, Bill Warren, said, “The use of solar energy builds on our commitment to protect the environment and is another step toward realizing our long-term sustainability goals.”

“We are committed to working with customers to expand their use of renewable energy,” said Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy Florida. “This opportunity to serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District is another example of how we are meeting our customers’ interests in renewable energy, while bringing more solar choices to Florida.”

Duke Energy has also funded more than $8 million in solar PV system installations at approximately 50 K-12 schools and universities in Florida to generate electricity and help foster renewable energy education.

As for bringing more solar choices to Florida, please keep in mind that Floridians For Solar Choice is still alive, awaiting for more signatures in order to provide Floridians with more solar choices, allowing third party power providers such as Solar City that would be able to help Florida residents to take part in generating and using solar power

Florida sunshine (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Florida sunshine (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

without having to worry about installation cost. Be sure to sign and send in the petition in the red link above.

While we’re on the topic of Mickey shaped solar farm, did you know that Disney is fond of placing hidden Mickeys throughout its theme parks, movies, and other properties. More than 1000 hidden Mickeys have been recorded. Fans estimate that more are waiting to be discovered. I have actually seen, via Google Maps, a hidden Mickey forest in Orlando. Do you know where it is?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com or sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, photographed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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18 February

What To Do For Floridians To Go Solar

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I am getting more messages from people in different parts of the state of Florida wanting to go solar, but do not know how. So, I’d like to repost part of an earlier post to help forage the path, below:

Here are some points to consider in order to help you to take part in solar energy use

I.   I want you to be aware of all the incentive programs (to save money) for installing renewable/solar energy & energy efficiency in USA and FL.

II.  Find a local installer to receive an estimate of what type or how big of a solar system is suitable for your particular needs. All solar installers I’ve come across so far would be able to provide such an estimate free of charge. If you live in Tampa, FL area, mention that you’ve found out about SEM and solar co-op from Windermere Sun, then you can get a discount with SEM. For those in other parts of the Florida, mention Windermere Sun first before negotiating for a discount.

*Keep in mind that if you can get your money back:

  1. in 7 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 14.3% rate of return (1/7 = 0.1428)
  2. in 8 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 12.5% rate of return (1/8 = 0.125)
  3. in 9 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 11.1% rate of return (1/9 =0.111…)

The stock market cannot guarantee such a good deal. It’s a no brainer! Any one who plans on being alive in 10+ years would do well to install solar.

III. To help reduce the cost of installing solar panels (perhaps by as much as 20%), you may want to consider joining or starting a Solar Co-Op.  In Central Florida, there is a West Orange Solar Co-Op and an Orlando and Winter Park Solar Co-Op that is also open to homeowners East of I-4. In a recent Central Florida Solar Advocates meetup meeting that took place on Dec. 2, 2015, these are discussed, below:

Here are the steps for the Solar Co-op Process, suggested by the Central Florida Solar Advocates:

  1. Attend an Information Session:  Learn about going solar and how solar co-ops work.
  2. Join Your Local Co-op: Sign up on line! Any one can participate. The only requirement is that you want to go solar!
  3. Get a Roof Review: Your roof is reviewed via satellite to make sure it’s a good fit for solar energy.
  4. Solicit Local Bids: Once the co-op has 20-30 members, a request for proposal is created based on co-op members priorities and bids are solicited from installers.
  5. Review Bids as a Group: Co-op members form a selection committee to review bids and select a single installer to complete all of the projects.
  6. Get Individualized Proposal: Homeowner meets with the chosen installer to get an individualized proposal for a solar system for your home. This proposal will reflect the group discount.
  7. Sign an Individualized Contract: Homeowner signs a contract directly with the installer.
  8. Installation: Have your solar panels installed on your home!
  9. Celebrate: Celebrate with the co-op and help start other co-ops in your community!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email: cfsolaradvocates@gmail.com

To learn more about these co-ops or join a solar co-op, visit: www.cfsolaradvocates.org

IV. If you live in an apartment or in a house that is shaded, even though you may not be able to take advantage of the solar energy via your own rooftop, you may still be able to participate in solar energy use via Community Solar Garden/Farm. Check out what’s been accumulated at Sun Is The Future about Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm

Please feel free to contact Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective or Joy Hughes of Solar Gardens for the benefit of their experience in developing Community Solar Gardens/Farms.

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V. If you need to get a loan or any financial assistance in order to participate in solar energy use, please consider these avenues, below:

  • Obtaining  a loan via Kiva, then contact Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva  by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a loan via Mosaic, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a grant via one of the crowdfunding platforms, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will be able to help promote for your campaign.  Different platforms have different conditions. So be sure to take care in choosing the appropriate ones for you.
  • If you live in Windermere, FL area and is obtaining either a solar loan or a solar grant via any of the avenues above, be sure to contact Windermere Sun by email: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun will be able to help promote for your loan or grant.

VI. For those of you who truly have difficulty in affording the installation cost of solar or do not have property suited for solar installation, do not forget the recent victory at the Florida State Supreme Court, explained in this post. There is something you can do to help improve the chance of lowering your future utility bills, by obtaining more signatures to improve the chance of Floridians For Solar Choice ballot .

May you/we all be able to enjoy the warmth and energy of Sunshine for many decades to come….

~Let’s Help One Another~
~have a bright and sunny day~
Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written, photographed, video-recorded, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

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15 February

Dramatic Move In Solar Inverter Technology

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Just spent part of the day learning about Solar Edge’s (NASDAQ: SEDG) HD Wave Inverter Technology. This novel power conversion topology may potentially represent one of the most significant advancements in solar technology in the past 20 years. Inverters of a solar energy system converts the solar power into usable energy and its functionality is determined by the size, reliability, and efficiency.

To borrow part of the wikipedia explanation (in Italics): A solar inverter, or PV inverter, or Solar converter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical BOS–component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solarinverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.


To have a better understanding of how the new HD Wave Inverter Technology differs from the traditional systems, let’s take a look at the internal view of a traditional solar inverter, with many large capacitors (blue cylinders seen in the photo below) used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform (diagram below The Guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter) . The new HD Wave Inverter technology eliminates the need for the electrolytic capacitors. It also uses less magnetics and fewer cooling components, smaller, lighter, with higher efficiency, and greater reliability.

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform. Russell Neches - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform.
Russell Neches – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic (Source:

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic

Most of the reports I’ve come across discussed the space and weight that will be reduced as a result of replacing those traditional large capacitors (blue cylinders in photos above). In reality, it is even more critical the fact that the replacement by the new HD wave  technology (thin film technology) means much lower chance of failure and may potentially allow the inverter to last as long as the complete solar system itself. Keep in mind that, now, most of the solar panels have warranty period of about 25 years, batteries typically have limited warranties of 5-10 years, and inverters have coverage of 5-10 years. So, if one takes all into consideration (longevity as well as the reduction of space, weight, and transport cost, etc.), this new HD Wave Inverter technology may potentially massively (greater than 50%) reduce the cost of inverter and overall solar system.

This is a perfect example of why cost of solar systems may continue to drop despite the fact that much had already occurred (cost of solar had already dropped tremendously these past 5 years). So, let the growing demand of solar to continue. We are ready for a sunny world!

Gathered, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any suggestions, concerns, questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

For more on solar energy topics, please feel free to check into links below:

http://www.sunisthefuture.net

http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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1 February

Elon Musk’s Warning For Mankind

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

This is the message from Elon Musk: For the sake of future of earthlings and human kind, let the oil prices not be the most significant determining factor for future of EV industry. Let us not sacrifice the future of earth for the present. Let us not continue putting so much carbon into the atmosphere. Sooner or later we will all have to transition into an electric future. It is much better for the planet earth that we transition sooner than later into the solar electric future.

Gathered, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any suggestions, concerns, questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

For more on solar energy topics, please feel free to check into links below:

http://www.sunisthefuture.net

http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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