Solar Farming and Solar Collectives: Will the Future of Energy Lie Within Communities?

Solar Farming and Solar Collectives: Will the Future of Energy Lie Within Communities?

By Hannah West The rise of affordable and attainable solar energy has been an exciting phase for environmental advocates as well as home and business owners seeking independence from utility companies. But working together to convert to clean energy can be even more effective — and cost-effective — than each of us individually making the shift to solar. Solar farming and community solar projects are on the rise, allowing multiple families and...

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Musings from the Solar Pioneer Party

Musings from the Solar Pioneer Party

Last weekend I attended the very fun and rewarding three-day Solar Pioneer Party in Grass Valley, California. This was the 2nd annual gathering of us “Solar Pioneers,” loosely defined as those of us who have been promoting and selling solar PV since the late 1970s. It was inspiring to say the least to get most of us in the same room at the same time (less those of us who had passed away). Who Are the Solar Pioneers? Jim Cullen...

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Creating an Uninterruptible Power Supply From Your Solar PV System

Creating an Uninterruptible Power Supply From Your Solar PV System

“I have solar on my roof but when the power goes out, I’m out of luck!” Until recently, grid-tie inverters have been designed to perform only one function: to convert varying DC power from a solar array into an AC current source solely for the purpose of feeding into the grid to reduce your overall power bill. Since your power system will not be able to power up the whole grid, it must shut down when the grid is out – a...

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Power Factor and Power Factor Correction

Power Factor and Power Factor Correction

Power factor (PF) is a topic that has been understood since the advent of electrical distribution, due in no small part to Faraday’s experiments and Maxwell’s subsequent mathematical expressions. It is defined as the ratio of real power flowing to the load to the apparent power in the circuit. When you hit the brakes in your car, you get a linear slowing effect. Operating at low power factor is a little like having the brakes...

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