Alabama Solar Association
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Public Meetings 2015
ASA has Speakers every Month at our
gut for you Germany . . .
On Monday June 9, 2014, Germany has succeeded at generating over half (50.6%)of its electricity from solar.
"Germany isn't as sunny as many parts of the U.S; not even close. But Germany has a goal of producing 35% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050."
Germany gets less annual average sunlight than our 2 worst states, Alaska & Washington.
2015 Presentations at the ASA Monthly Public Meetings
"The WHY of Renewable (and Conservation of) Energy" 27 Jan by Doug Elgin (ASA Pres.)
Renewable energy is energy derived from sources that produce no GHGs or recycle them in the short run
What? Biomass, Hydropower, Biofuels, Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Ocean power
Why? paybacks & reduce Green House Gasses
Photovoltaics: Installation Choices, Incentives, Payback, Emergency
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
Saving Energy around your house
Why Solar Water Heating?
Greenhouse Gases & CO2 & Global Temperatures & Climate Change
Gov. & Utility Incentives
to Install Solar Panels
- 30% Federal Tax Credit
- Accelerated depreciation
- $1,000 TVA connection credit
- TVA green Power purchase
- 30% (up to $3,000) Federal Grant
"Personal Energy Efficiency"
Apr 21 by Kay Detter
switch to electronic billing & banking
power saver / sleep mode for your computer
get an energy audit for you home
“Seal Envelope”: seal up all leaks in your home
keep up with car maintenance – under inflated tires can increase your gasoline consumption by 3 %
stop junk mail
switch to rechargeable batteries
buy local & seasonal food
Most solar panels are garenteed for 25 years with only a 10% degradation in efficiency.
"DIY Grid-Tied Solar" Jul 14
by Rosemary & Richard Mudgett
Array: active vs. passive solar system – active requires motor & more electronics and therefore more $$$ -- went with passive (stationary, non-moving panels)
Fixed Tilt vs. Seasonal Tilt -- went with Fixed
Panels: polysilicon/Polycrystaline vs. monosilicon/Monocrystaline -- went with 4 strings of 10 poly (total : 40 panels, 10 kW system)
Inverter: two 5 kW SMA Sunny Boy with backup -- has 2 outlets (if the grid power goes out) with a power of 1500 watts. It has a manual operation mode that tells inverter to put all energy into the house.
Southern Solar did the Line Drawing & furnished advice.
They estimate the payback will be in 9 & half years & will save $38,300 over the next 25 years. They spent $19,600 before rebates. They would not have done it without the rebates (30% tax credit, TVA $1000, retail + 4 cents payback).
emergency shutoff which disconnects the current from panels with the house power
They also just built a Energy efficient house, with Structural Insulated Panel, which forms a continuous envelope of urethane insulation. They have a Geothermal H&C system.
"Recycling" Sept 15
by Kara Smith
To extend the life of
your Lead batteries,
keep them at least
"Where Does Nuclear Fit In?" Tues, Feb 17 by Doug Elgin (ASA Pres.)
• not renewable but green (releases very little CO2)
• Nuclear energy is generated ‘round the clock
• Nuclear plant costs are increasing rapidly (ie $24 Billion), takes 10 yrs but have a life of 60 yrs
• diff. between Fusion & Fission (most common)
• US Electricity is from 20% Nuclear, France 80%
• Nuclear power has radioactive waste to deal with but is 80% efficient
• Nuclear power involves significant risks & monitoring
• Solar and wind energy sources also release little or no GHG
• Solar power may be less expensive (and much safer) than nuclear power
• There is room for both nuclear and solar power in our future
'Moving to "Net Zero Energy" in Huntsville' May 19
by Daniel Tait, CEO of ALCSE
ALCSE (Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy) is a non-profit organization with the Mission Statement: Accelerate the transition to sustainable, clean energy throughout Alabama
Our goal is to convert Huntsville to Net Zero Energy by the year 2025
Net Zero Energy: The amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal or equivalent to the amount of energy used.
ALCSE plans to do this with 1) energy efficiency & 2) switching our city to renewable energy http://alcse.org/5-focus-areas/
ALCSE increases community awareness motivating the community to take the collective action necessary to change our energy model & educates individuals to make smarter decisions when using energy
check out the Huntsville/Madison Clean Energy Drinks at Rocket Republic Brewing Company in Madison once a month
"The Way Foward" Aug 18
by Jo Ann Cummings
"Financing Your Solar Project"
Oct 20 by Doug Elgin
the average household uses about $1140 / year of electricity
about 50% of household energy is used for heating & cooling
First Step – Cut Consumption
Example-5.04 kWh solar system - about $15,000.
Financing Options, most return on investment first, net is after 30 years
Outright Buy $22,000. net
example 4.5% 30 year loan: $14,000. net
example 4.5% 15 year loan: $18,000. net
In a solar lease, you enter into a service contract to pay scheduled, pre-determined payments to a solar leasing company. They own, install and maintain the solar panels. You get the electricity.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
A third party owns, installs and maintains the system that is on your property. They sell you the electricity generated at a fixed rate.
"Do-it-Yourself Solar Power"
Mar 19 by Pete Milly
Pete researched & built a Solar system himself for his home to meet the following criteria:
usable output during power outage for critical circuits, like refrigerator
Self teaching project
Reduce utility consumption
Removable to eventual new home site
System components include 12 panels (bought wholesale), roof racking (leak-free), Ni-Cad Flooded cell batteries (50 year-life), charge controller, transfer switch, ...
experimented with UPS (high quality) instead of Inverter
out-of-pocket expense for his 3KW System $ 4654.
How Does a Solar Panel generate electricity?
The silicon wafer is the basic component in each solar cell. This silicon wafer is processed with one side charged + and the other side charged - . When light hits it, in the form of photons, electrons are "excited" & flow to the other side. This creates a current. This current is then transferred to electricity in your house.
"Energy Huntsville" Jun 16
by Jay Newkirk & Dr. Bill Carswell
mission : Merge Industrial energy technology with Academia, Utilities and Government
help Huntsville & N. Alabama get into the alternative and renewable Energy market – use our already existing Engineering talent & workforce
provide networking among Energy professionals as well as potential contract providers
maintain an Opportunities database of Energy contracts being bid on
hold Annual Energy Summit (Nov.) with speakers from all over the world & Monthly Programs and Quarterly Workshops & provide Energy news
works with Huntsville city politicians & schools, US Space & Rocket Center & UAH
When electricity from alternative energy is equal to or cheaper than the price of buying it from the power company
"The Majic Haus"
Nov 17 by Morton Archibald
"The Way Forward"
Dec Xmas party
More Educational Programs
More contact/association with Calhoun
Building home remodeling show, March 2016 – Participate with another solar org
Influencing Gov’t support of Solar/Renewables/Energy Saving
1. Local Gov’t
Investigate streamlining regulations to reduce costs. Lancaster, CA has made it possible to get approval for solar in less than a day.
2. State Gov’t
Solar. Jobs. Good for business. Third party financing. Jo Ann working to establish a connection. Renewable energy tax credit. Clean power plant. Federal regulation that each state improve their energy consumption. Threat of a carbon tax.
3. Federal Gov’t
Clean Energy Initiative
AL Energy Code. Mostly about insulation requirements
AL SB220 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) – local gov’t OK to issue bond for energy-related projects
Net Metering To high a wall to address
AL wide Fair regulations for Solar Power and Wind Turbines
Standardized Interconnect Process
AL Gov’t Solar Investment
Streamlined Permitting <<<<
Renewable Portfolio Standards. Renewable goals
Involvement in AL Power request for 500 megawatts of alternate power
Research success elsewhere, job outlook for solar industry, etc.
Improve state tax policy re: solar/energy conservation
Make leasing options legal. <<<<
Inventory of solar in Alabama
Solar Day with others as well
More focus on commercial by ASA <<<<
Solar Organizations (SEIA, ASEA, GA Solar, So. Alliance for Clean Energy, Energy Huntsville, Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, Nexus Energy Center, ASK Alabama)
Utilities (TVA, GA Power, Southern Company, Alabama Power)
Solar Friendly Corporations
Small businesses in green energy