Posts Tagged ‘MI’

26 June

Let Community Solar Garden Bloom!


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 167 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!

Hi, Folks,

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Yes, I’ve been talking about Community Solar Garden to people in my communities. Are you? Think of all the potential sites that may be used as Community Solar Gardens: rooftops and parking lot of Y, schools, apartment complexes, ground of retention areas of each subdivision, etc. Imagine giving 3 kilowatts capacity of a community solar garden as wedding gift to your college room-mate or selling 3 kilowatts capacity on the craiglist. While I conjure up what may be the possible tomorrow, there are more details that need to be addressed today. To  clarify many of these details, I’ve found 2 more videos (red links below)  that will help to increase our understanding of what Community Solar Garden/Farm concept is all about. It is about community garden, growing solar energy, enabling any one who wants to participate (regardless if one is a home owner or apartment dweller, with or without a house that is shaded or optimally oriented for sun exposure…). It is a smart way to invest (tax-free, with guaranteed return, with greater certainty than investing in the stock market) and to save our planet from dramatic climate change. It’s a win-win, No Brainer! Here  are the videos (red links below):

  1. (Leasing Solar Panels Through Garden)
  2. (Community Solar)

    rooftop solar panel array at the Kuppam-i-community office

    rooftop pv panels in Kreuzberg, Berlin

    Westmill Solar Park/Garden (creative commons, GNU Free Documentation License)










I hope this series of presentation on Community Solar Garden/Farm  from June 17-26, 2013 posts of has been helpful to you . For those of you who haven’t viewed the series, below:

June 17, 2013 post

June 18, 2013 post

June 19, 2013 post

June 20, 2013 post

June 21, 2013 post

June 22, 2013 post

June 23, 2013 post

June 26, 2013 post

Thanks to Joy Hughes at Solar Garden Institute of CO, we are now supplied with additional resources pertaining to Community Solar Garden, below:

CALIFORNIA: SB 43 passes Assembly Utilities and Commerce committee / Oppose SB1295Solar gardens give access to green energy to more Coloradans – The Denver Post

Michigan Welcomes Community Solar

Minnesota Community solar gardens: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you | Fresh Energy

New York Paves the Way for More Solar in the Empire State

The Advantages of Developing Solar on Brownfields | Greentech Media

Film explores effects of solar projects on Native American life | LA Times

Solar Gardens Resources


Solar Gardens Website
Solar Gardens Blog
State by State Policy
Solar Gardens Institute Mission and Principles
Solar Gardener Training


Solar Gardens LinkedIn Group

Solar Gardens Facebook Page
Solar Gardens Colorado – Boulder
Solar Gardens Colorado – Denver Metro
Solar Gardens Colorado – San Luis Valley
Solar Gardens California
Solar Gardens Pacific Northwest

Google Groups:
Solar Gardens Google Group
Community Power California
Solar Gardens Midwest
Solar Gardens New York

Happy Gardening!

~have a bright and sunny day~

any questions or comments will be welcomed either below in the comment area or via


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18 July

Stage 2 & Stage 3 Results of American Solar Challenge 2012


Dear Readers & Friends,

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Here are the Stage 2 (July 15-16, 2012: Erie, PA to Mansfield, OH and Mansfield, OH to Ann Arbor, MI) and Stage 3 (July 17-18, 2012: Ann Arbor, MI to Kalamazoo, MI and Kalamazoo, MI to Normal, IL) Results of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012, below:

ASC2012 Stage 2 Results: University of Michigan-First;University of Minnesota-Second;Principia College-Third

Team # and Name Erie Start 7/15 Mansfield Arrival 7/15 Ann Arbor Finish 7/16 Penalty Time Stage 2 Elapsed Time
2 – Michigan 09:00:00 14:20:38 11:31:55 00:01:00 10:32:55
35 – Minnesota 09:02:00 16:01:45 14:23:16 00:02:00 13:25:16
32 – Principia 09:04:00 16:38:10 15:22:48 00:00:00 14:22:48
254 – CalSol 09:02:00 16:47:14 16:31:19 00:01:00 15:32:19
9 – Iowa State 09:01:00 16:03:25 00:00:00 16:03:25
256 – Oregon State 09:07:00 16:55:27 00:12:00 17:07:27
5 – Illinois State 09:08:00 Trailer 05:57:36 23:57:36
28 – New Paltz 09:10:00 Trailer 12:48:12 30:48:12
55 – Montreal 09:09:00 Trailer 14:25:12 32:25:12
20 – Western Michigan 09:03:00 Trailer 17:54:12 35:54:12
4 – MIT 09:05:00 Trailer 29:10:06 47:10:06

Last updated 7/16/12 – 23:50 Eastern. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

ASC2012 Stage 3 Results:  University of Michigan-First;Iowa State University-Second;Principia College-Third  

Team # and Name Ann Arbor Start 7/17 Kalamazoo Arrival 7/17 Normal Finish 7/18 Penalty Time Stage 3 Elapsed Time
2 – Michigan 09:00:00 13:02:09 13:14:15 00:12:00 12:26:15
9 – Iowa State 09:03:00 13:29:33 14:57:33 00:10:00 14:02:33
32 – Principia 09:02:00 14:15:17 17:57:00 00:15:00 17:12:00
254 – CalSol 09:04:00 15:08:08 17:02:08 00:02:00 16:04:08
256 – Oregon State 09:05:00 14:30:12 17:18:44 00:12:00 16:30:44
35 – Minnesota 09:01:00 13:35:20 Trailer 04:01:03 22:01:03
5 – Illinois State 09:06:00 Trailer 11:33:27 29:33:27
28 – New Paltz 09:07:00 Trailer 12:12:09 30:12:09
20 – Western Michigan 09:06:00 14:26:34 Trailer 06:18:45 24:18:45
55 – Montreal 09:05:00 Trailer 10:46:39 28:46:39
4 – MIT 09:09:00 14:22:40 Trailer 11:35:33 29:35:33

Last updated 7/18/12 – 23:40 Central. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

Next stage, Stage 4, will start on July 19-20, 2012: Normal, IL to Verona, WI and Verona, WI to La Crosse, WI

  • Stage Start on July 19th at Illinois State University, 210 N School St (Parking Lot F67), Normal, IL 61761
  • Checkpoint on July 19th at Reddan Soccer Park, 6874 Cross Country Road , Verona, WI 53593. Checkpoint opens at 11am and closes at 5:45pm.
  • Stage Stop on July 20th at Western Technical College, 750 Badger St (Parking Lot D), La Crosse, WI 54601

Final stage, Stage 5, will start on July 21, 2012: La Crosse, WI to St. Paul, MN

  • Stage Start on July 21st at Western Technical College, 750 Badger St (Parking Lot D), La Crosse, WI 54601
  • Finish on July 21st at Minnesota State Capitol, MLK Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.Finish line closes at 4pm.


*Some of the interviews with various American Solar Challenge 2012 teams have already been loaded up to sunisthefuture channelsusansunnunamaker’s channel at Youtube (and more will be uploaded as the week continues), so  be sure to check them out!

More videos will be available in future posts.  Any of your comments, suggestions, questions, and concerns will be welcomed at

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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9 July

Here Comes The American Solar Challenge (Solar Car Race) 2012!


Dear Solar Enthusiasts,

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Remember our coverage on Veolia World Solar Challenge of 2011 between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia? Here, in North America, we will have our very own solar car race soon, the American Solar Challenge, from July 14-21, 2012. The event will take student teams and their solar cars from Rochester, NY, to St. Paul, MN. This is a competition for student teams to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars that will race through 1,650 mile course through multiple cities (in NY-PA-OH-MI-IL-WI-MN) across the United States. All teams (18 teams have registered and 16 teams are planning to compete in both Formula Sun Grand Prix-July 10-12, 2012 and the American Solar Challenge-July 14-21, 2012) have to go through three days (July 7-9, 2012) of careful scrutineering process in Monticello, NY, at the Monticello Raceway, where each and every solar car is inspected from electrical and mechanical engineering adherence (such as body and sizing) to safety regulations and dynamic testing (consisting of a slalom course followed by a breaking test where each driver must demonstrate that he/she can come to a complete and controlled stop, under wet driving conditions, within a time limit) before the solar car will be allowed to enter the track.  This is a very friendly competition, so occasionally some teams are given additional shot at the braking qualifier. The purpose and emphasis of the scrutineering process is in safety and adherence to regulation.  Then Scrutineering will be followed by three days of track racing, the Formula Sun Grand Prix portion of the event. On July 13, 2012, solar car teams will travel to Rochester, NY, to be displayed and to prepare for the start of the cross-country rally, The American Solar Challenge. On July 14, solar car teams will leave on the start of the race at 9:00AM at one minute interval.

Day I       (July 14, 2012): Rochester, NY———>Erie, PA

Day II     (July 15, 2012): Erie, PA—————–>Mansfield, OH

Day III   (July 16, 2012):Mansfield, OH———->Ann Arbor, MI

Day IV    (July 17, 2012):Ann Arbor, MI——–>Kalamazoo, MI

Day V      (July 18, 2012): Kalamazoo, MI——–>Normal, IL

Day VI    (July 19, 2012): Normal, IL————->Verona, WI

Day VII  (July 20, 2012): Verona, WI————>LaCrosse, WI

Day VIII (July 21, 2012): LaCrosse, WI———->St. Paul, MN

The American Solar Challenge race will finish at the Capitol Building of St. Paul, MN, on July 21, 2012.

Below, please allow me to share a clip of ASC 2012 (American Solar Challenge 2012):

Take a look at the team photos of this year’s American Solar Challenge solar race teams (University of MI, University of KY, MIT, IL State University, IA State University, Northwestern University,  MI State University, Western MI University, State University of NY-New Paltz, Principia College, University of MN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Polytechnique Montreal, University of CA-Berkeley, OR State University, University of NM) .  So far,  we’ve received reporting of Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar Car Team has withdrawn from the 2012 American Solar Challenge due to insufficient time in completing the vehicle before the race starts (July 14, 2012) in Rochester, NY. “The team, which consists of a large percentage of new student members, was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project and thus the design and fabrication took longer than anticipated,” says Dr. Roger A. LaBoube, director of S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center. “I’m sure our team will take what we learned during this process in preparation for the next big race.” It is true that experience really matters and we wish Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar Car Team the best next time. Let this also be a lesson for all potential future entering teams: please allot a great deal of safety factor in terms of preparation time because these are complicated designs and it will always take more time than one anticipates.

Here are some links/video clips that may be of interest to you: American Solar Challenge 2012 official site,  past American Solar Challenge 2010, Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011, below:

More coverage of the Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) 2012-July 10-12, 2012 and American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012-July 14-21, 2012 will unfold in future posts.  Until then, I wish all of these teams…..

~bright and sunny days during the complete course of the race~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

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20 March

Look Up and Find Your Fire Rainbow !


Dear Readers,

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much.

Dear Friends & Readers,

Today, I want to share a special treat with you that  was received from taking an alternate route to the post office.  This is the first time for me to have ever observed such a special and rare phenomenon.  Naturally, I took out my IPhone and took a few shots, wondering how it was formed, shared below:

Fire Rainbow (on the way to post office) photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Moving Fire Rainbow (on the way to post office) photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

After I pointed it (what appeared to be a  fragment of a rainbow) out to my hubby (who happened to be in the car sitting next to me), he became quite ecstatic because he just read about this phenomenon on Reddit today;it was mentioned under the topic of Fire Rainbow.  Yes, one more item on the list of “firsts” that I brought to my hubby, from gardening/ perennials,  vitamins/supplements, yoga, solar car race,  unusual foods and spices, etc. and now the fire rainbow.   Upon further investigation online, I found out that  it/fire rainbow is fragment of Circumhorizontal Arc.

As it turned out, fire rainbow is a rare phenomenon that appears  when the sun is high which makes its rays pass through the high cirrus clouds containing the ice crystals.

For a clip of these Fire Rainbow or Circumhorizontal Arc:

For further understanding and sharing of this rare phenomenon, please also enjoy more of the photos and explanations from Wikipedia below:

circumhorizontal arc

Sun Arc/Horizontal Arc of 2011 at Oregon-Fire Rainbow (Wikimedia Commons)

is an optical phenomenon – an ice-halo formed by plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds.

The current accepted names are circumhorizonal arc or lower symmetric 46° plate arc. The complete halo is a huge, multi-colored band running parallel to the horizon with its centre beneath the sun. The distance below the sun is twice as far as the common 22-degree halo. Red is the uppermost color. Often, when the halo-forming cloud is small or patchy, only fragments of the arc are seen.

Fire Rainbow-Circumhorizontal Arc of Idaho (photographed in Coeur d'Alene by Gavin Anderson, June 3, 2006)

Fire Rainbow at Ravenna, MI-Circumhorizontal arc, Creative Commons

How often a circumhorizontal arc is seen depends on the location and the latitude. In the United States it is a relatively common halo seen several times each summer in any one place. In contrast, it is rare to non-observable in northern Europe.

Formation of the halo requires that the sun be very high in the sky, at an elevation of 58° or more, and that the cirrus cloud or haze contain plate-shaped ice crystals. The sun’s altitude determines the visibility of the halo; it is impossible to see at locations north of 55°N or south of 55°S (although a lunar circumhorizon arc might be visible). At other latitudes it is visible for a greater or lesser time around the summer solstice. For example, in London, England, the sun is only high enough for 140 hours between mid May and late July. Contrast that with Los Angeles with the sun higher than 58 degrees for 670 hours between late March and late September.

The halo is formed by sunlight entering horizontally-oriented flat hexagon ice crystals through a vertical side face and leaving through the near horizontal bottom face (plate thickness does not affect the formation of the halo). In principle, Parry oriented column crystals can also produce the arc, although this is rare.

The 90° inclination between the ray entrance and exit faces produce the well-separated spectral colors.

The arc has a considerable angular extent and is thus rarely complete. When only fragments of cirrus cloud are in the appropriate sky/sun position they can appear to shine with spectral colors.

Fire Rainbow off of the Coast of Carrillo (Creative Commons)

A circumhorizontal arc can be difficult to distinguish from an infralateral arc when the sun is high in the sky. The former is always parallel to the horizon whereas the latter curves upwards at its ends.

I hope you have enjoyed this piece.  Remember to look up into the sky from time to time because you’ll never know what treasure/treat you might discover.  Did you notice that most adults do not look up (or around, for that matter) that often…perhaps that explains why adults tend to get stiff necks far more frequently than children (who look up quite often).   Look up and take an alternate route periodically, so you’re more likely to discover something surprisingly intriguing.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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