Oasis Montana Inc.
Renewable Energy Supply and Design
406-777-4321or 4309
e-mail: info@oasismontana.com
Home Page: www.oasismontana.com

Visit us on the web for product and project information!
For grid-tied power systems, www.grid-tie.com
Solar water pumping:  www.PVsolarpumps.com
Non-electric gas appliances, www.LPappliances.com
Efficient and DC appliances, www.eco-fridge.com
And our main page at www.oasismontana.com


Latest projects with AC SOLAR MODULES by BenQ Solar!  We are happy to be able to offer the latest revolutionary power technology —  these solar modules manufactured by BenQ Solar combine its premium PV module with reliable microinverter technology, maximizing PV (photovoltaic) benefits for end users.  The integrated microinverter converts the module’s DC electricity to grid-compliant 240VAC at each module, increasing system performance by up to 25%, reducing shading losses and making solar power safer to install and own. 

 In terms of a straight, batteryless, grid-tied system, there are several advantages of an AC solar module, namely:

Harvests 5-25% more energy than traditional systems Simplified PV system reduces installation costs. No high-voltage DC means safer installation and ownership. Superior performance under weak light or shading conditions Three-busbar design enhances current transmission and module reliability.

Like most solar modules, these also offer a 25 year output warranty (10 year warranty for material and workmanship, guaranteed output of 90% for 10 years and 80% for 25 years). Additional specifications are as follows:

Max. continuous power outlet

225 W      

   CEC weighted efficiency


Nominal voltage


   Peak inverter efficiency


Nominal frequency

60 Hz      

   Maximum units per 20A branch


Nominal operating voltage range



22 kg / 48.5 lb

Total harmonic distortion


   Dimensions: 1651 x 992 x 40 mm (65" x 39.06" x 1.57")
High transparent solar glass (tempered)    Cell - 60 monocrystalline solar cells
Anodized aluminum frame    Certifications: Module UL 1703; Inverter UL 1741


Here are a dozen BenQ 225W AC solar modules on a residential system just south of Hamilton, MT.  Thanks, Mick, for your clean energy investment!

Going solar has never cost less or afforded more options!  Whether you want to lessen or negate your utility bill, live off-grid or have back-up power in the event of a utility outage, it’s easier than ever to have your own power system.  The 30% federal tax credit for these systems will expire at the end of 2016, so be planning now for your future hedge against utility inflation.  You can view what incentives may be available for the state you live in at www.dsireusa.org; this site is updated monthly with the latest information.  Here are some facts about solar power in the U.S. for 2013:

  • The U.S. installed 4,651 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41% over 2012 and nearly 15 times the amount installed in 2008.

  • There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013 and a total of over 440,000 systems are operating today.

  • More solar power systems have been installed in the past 18 months in the U.S. than the previous 30 years prior!

  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion USD.

  • Solar electricity accounted for 29% of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012.  This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.

  • Average commercial PV system prices fell 15% in 2013, reaching a new low of $2.59 per watt in the fourth quarter.




Weather:  While Australia was burning up and California was drying out, Montana (and much of the rest of the country) experienced one heck of a winter. Potholes aside, we’re not complaining; we are at 150% or better of snowpack here, so we hopefully look forward to a summer free of forest fires. Still, it’s hard on the critters. Two years ago, with my batch of mail order chicks (and a “free” rooster), I received a very personable Andalusian rooster. Unfortunately he’s a warm weather bird, native to the deserts of Spain; 100°F is not too hot for him, but zero is mighty cold.  None of my hens had problems with the cold, but as you can see, his comb suffered frostbite, despite the heat lamps that forced me to buy utility power for the first time in a year! He is recovering thanks to a combined application of Vaseline, Bag Balm and antibiotic ointment. But it WAS a rough winter!


SWAPPING WIND TURBINES from a 24V to a 48V model

The old wind genny is down, the new one is up!  We finally got around to taking down our old 24V wind generator and putting up the new 48V Chinook (that’s Chris Daum on the ladder at the home/office of Oasis Montana).

First, we disconnected the positive and negative leads from the battery bank, then we disassembled the box at the base of the tower that housed the wind turbine’s wiring, controller and surge protector. 

The job then entailed attaching a ladder to our ~30 ft. log pole, and removing the bolts at the top that secure the 1.5” schedule 40 steel pipe to the log (pictures to the left and center, above); then we removed bolts at the bottom (the steel pipe is still attached in the middle with a swivel connection).  We attached a rope to the bottom and lowered the old turbine carefully; quite the feat considering it weighs in at about 50 lbs.  And by ‘we’ I mean myself and my husband, Ace.  Once the turbine was down, we removed the connecting fittings from the steel pole (far left).  We needed to have a new coupler made to fit the new turbine (our thanks to friend Tony Swallow for his machining skills) so we could mount it on the old steel pole. 

Then we were able to attach the new wind generator and pull it erect, repositioning the bolts at the top and bottom of the pipe.

While the Bitterroot Valley is not the most ideal site for wind generation, we do get significant winds in winter and spring, and during the dark days of winter (or with snow on the solar modules!), a good time of year to have additional battery charging.

The old wind turbine’s maximum output was right around ~300W, and the new one’s top end is around ~200W, but since it is designed to activate in lower winds, I feel it will still be a valuable addition to my power system. 

Rumor has it that those sharp folks at Midnight Solar are working on their own residential wind generator, being beta tested right now.  Stay tuned for additional information!




Call for availability, freight costs, and quantities (# of modules) on pallets for the best deal. You can’t get less than a pallet quantity to get the pallet ‘deal.’ For larger modules, pallet quantity generally runs between 20 and 56 modules, and often there are significant additional charges for less (or more) than even pallet quantities. Some suppliers charge re-boxing fees, too. 



LG280 Neon 280W, 9.07A, 31.4V (64.57” X 39.37”) Made in South Korea $429 / $407   (27)
ET250 ETP660250B_AC, 240VAC, .97A (64.57" x 39.06") Made in Taiwan; polycrystalline AC module with Solarbridge Pantheon II Microinverters $509 / $479   (26)
TRINA TSM-300, 300W, 8.13A, 36.9V (77" x 39.05") Made in China; polycrystalline $349 / $323   (24)
SHARP ND-Q250F7, 250W, 29.8V, 8.4A (39.1” x 64.6”) Made in the USA (sort of) $349 / $329   (22)
SOLARWORLD SW275, 275W, 7.22A, 28.4V (39.4” x 65.94”) Made in the USA or Germany;
$420 / $389   (30)
CANADIAN SOLAR, 250W, 30.1V, 8.3A (64.5” x 38.7”) Made in China; polycrystalline $329 / $315   (24)
EOPLLY 185W, 36.2V, 5.21A (62.2” x 31.8”) Made in China; monocrystalline $289 / $269   (56)
CONERGY PH250, 250W, 8.27A, 30.3V (65” x 39.1”) Made in Taiwan & Eastern Europe;
$339 / $319   (25)
SUNIVA 260W, 30.2V, 8.6A (38.66” x 65.07”)  Buy American Compliant—cells made in the U.S.,
assembled in China
$379 / $352  (25)
KYOCERA 245GX, 245W, 8.23A, 29.8V (64.5” x 39”) Made in Japan or Mexico $399 / $369 (20)
KYOCERA 140GX, 140W, 7.91A, 17.7V (59.1” x 26.3”)  Made in Japan or Mexico $339 / $319  (20)
(Some Kyocera modules may have a 2-3 month lead time)    
Kyocera KS20, 20W, 16.9V, 1.20 A (20.47” X 13.85”) $169 / $158 (40+)
Kyocera KS10, 10W, 16.9V, 0.60A (11.96” X 13.85”) $113 / $110 (40+)
Kyocera KS5, 5W, 16.9V, 0.29A (8.07” X 13.85”) $ 84 / $ 74 (40+)

Other modules available too--Samsung, Hyundai, Bosch, Alps, SunWize, Renasola--prices subject to change with little notice. Call for your module pricing and availability. Container pricing available for better dollar-per-watt cost. Rumor has it there will be some price increases this year. 


WHO WE ARE and ORDERING INFORMATION:  Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the renewable energy field for 24 years, and our system designers will help plan a system for your needs. Our staff offers experience, personalized service, tech support, quality components, and good pricing. We are happy to work with your installer, electrician, or contractor, and locally we can install your power system (or even fly to your site for installation). We provide detailed wiring diagrams with the systems we sell. TO PLACE AN ORDER:  Email or call us for your freight costs; if you have any questions about your system or product, please contact us. Email is easiest and fastest (but we know that you aren’t all online). We accept Visa/MasterCard (personal and business checks are fine). For our international customers, we accept bank transfers— email or call us for our banking information. Our summer hours (April through October) are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Mountain Time, Mon. – Thurs, 8 to 4 on Fridays. If we‘re on another line when you call, please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but you may have to leave a message if we’re with a customer or on one of the other lines. Call 406-777-4321 or 4309 or email us at info@oasismontana.com.  For tech support on renewable energy systems, again, email us at info@oasismontana.com. We’d be very happy to help you with your power project — send an email or give us a call!


NEW Grid-tie Inverter from SMA is smart enough to provide daytime power in the event of a power outage!  Unlike most grid-tie batteryless inverters, which shut down in the event of a power failure, SMA’s new Sunny Boy TL-US SPS (secure power supply) models offer up to 1500W of power during daylight hours while the sun is shining — enough to power any loads that do not exceed 1500 watts total.


These new SMA inverters are transformerless, so owners and installers benefit from lower weight and higher efficiencies. The wider input voltage range also means the inverters will produce larger amounts of power under a variety of conditions. Also, transformerless inverters have been shown to be among the safest string inverters available. An operating temperature range of  -40°F to +140°F assures power production in all climates and for longer periods of times than most string inverters.

The new TL-US residential line features more than high performance and a large graphic display; the monitoring and control options provide users with a great degree of flexibility.  Through a wireless communication standard (that is often used for home energy management) and numerous wired options, monitoring on SMA’s Sunny Portal can be accomplished from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection.  Installers and customers can find the best solution to their monitoring needs, and will know what their system is doing at any time.

See our new webpage (http://www.grid-tie.com/SMAsmart.html) for pricing and specs on these new inverters.  Prices do not include shippingcall for your pricing. 


Spring is the time for solar water pumping!

Whether you need water moved for your pond, your pool, your off-grid home, for irrigation or for your livestock, we can help provide your water solution.  Visit us now online at www.PVsolarpumps.com — fill out the questionnaire and we’ll propose a system for your project.


Blueprint for 100% renewables by mid-century
The clean energy sector offers several scenarios that suggest 100% of our energy needs can be met with renewables by 2050. While the implementation of this possibility is more difficult that the report suggests, these models can serve as an important exercise in imagining and planning for what is possible. 

Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson recently released new calculations that conclude that, by 2050, onshore and offshore wind, utility-scale and rooftop PV, concentrated solar power (CSP), geothermal, wave, tidal and conventional hydropower can meet 100% of U.S. energy demand.  “Every new power plant should be a clean renewables plant,” Jacobson said. “If every new car sold today was an EV, in fifteen years almost every car would be electric.”  Jacobson’s plan eliminates nuclear energy because of its energy intensity and time horizons. According to Jacobson's analysis, the fossil fuels used in mining and uranium refining are nine to 25 times the amount used by wind  energy  per unit energy produced. For  more information  on these  interesting ideas, visit



From the stone age to the SUN Age:  What can Rooftop Solar do for you?


  • Reduce your electric bills
  • Add value to your home
  • Guard against future utility rate increases
  • Generate additional tax credits
  • Provide back-up power when needed




Peerless Premier Pro-Series Ranges with stainless fronts and commercial styling are now available with battery-generated spark ignition. No Power is no problem for these attractive, American-made stoves!

Below are just four samples of what Peerless-Premier has to offer. You can view all our battery-spark ignition ovens at http://www.lpappliances.com/DCStoves.html.

And, you can see all Peerless-Premier gas stoves, including hot-surface (glowbar) ignition models, at http://www.lpappliances.com/stovemodels_peerless.html.

For our complete lines of non-electric gas appliances, including gas refrigerators, freezers, and drop-in cooktops, go to http://www.lpappliances.com/.



Renewable Energy News Bites:
Complacency Could Lead to Fukushima-Like Nuclear Catastrophe Anywhere, including the U.S.:
Union of Concerned Scientists, February 11, 2014, http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ucs-book-on-fukushima.html. A new book, " Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster" concludes that the NRC hasn’t learned the lessons of Fukushima and has been slow to implement even the few regulatory changes it has decided to require. It warns that if NRC commissioners insist on watering down the agency post-Fukushima task force’s recommendations for strengthening safeguards, it will only be a matter of time before a similar event happens here because U.S. nuclear plants are vulnerable to catastrophic natural disasters, multiple system failures, and terrorist attacks; and U.S. nuclear plants are not much better equipped than Japanese plants to cope with severe accidents.

*   Why solar leasing is a bad idea: http://www.ilsr.org/cost-solar-middleman/.

*   Just 90 Companies Are Responsible for Two-Thirds of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: http://grist.org/climate-energy/just-90-companies-are-responsible-for-two-thirds-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions/?utm_source=feedly. The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, according to climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado whose findings have been accepted for publication in the journal "Climatic Change." Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years — well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change. ….

*   Crops grown under a PV array….they are doing it in Japan: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/japan-next-generation-farmers-cultivate-agriculture-and-solar-energy?cmpid=WNL-Friday-October11-2013.

*   Amazing solar cooker! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/707808908/gosun-stove-portable-high-efficiency-solar-cooker#.

*   Perhaps the most important video you'll ever watch: http://peak-oil.org/2013/09/arithmetic-population-energy/ (Take some time with this one!)

*   Fracking infrastructure? Not in my backyard, says Exxon CEO: http://grist.org/news/fracking-infrastructure-not-in-my-backyard-says-exxon-ceo/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Weekly%2520Feb%252025&utm_campaign=weekly.

*   New Report Shows Wind Energy Saves Consumers Money: http://aweablog.org/blog/post/new-awea-report-shows-wind-energy-saves-consumers-money/. A new white paper report finds that wind energy is keeping electric bills low for American homes and businesses, thanks to wind energy costs plummeting by 43 percent over the last four years driven by technological improvements.

*   Can we turn unwanted carbon dioxide into electricity? http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/01/can-we-turn-unwanted-carbon-dioxide-into-electricity?cmpid=WNL-Friday-January3-2014.

*   Subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels remain a stubborn impediment to shifting the world’s energy matrix towards renewable sources….still not a level playing field at all. http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/02/fossil-fuel-subsidies-dampen-shift-towards-renewables.

*   Renewable Energy Gaining on Fossil Fuels: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2014/01/31/renewable-energy-winning/5082181/.  Since 2007, electricity generation from coal has fallen 24.9% from 2.02 billion MW-hrs to 1.51 billion MW-hrs in 2012. Meanwhile, over the same time frame wind grew 309% to 140.8 million MW-hrs and solar grew 607% to 4.3 million MW-hrs. That doesn't include distributed solar on residential rooftops or any installations from 2013, which was a record year for solar, installing about 4.4 GW in the U.S. The driver of coal's declining role in electricity and the growth in renewable energy -- particularly solar -- is economics. For example, a utility scale solar project with a 10% return on investment would create electricity for 9.3 to 11.7 cents per kW-hr without subsidy. That compares to an average price of 9.6 cents per watt overall in the U.S.

*   Natural gas: bridge fuel or gateway drug: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2014/02/natural-gas-isnt-a-bridge-fuel-its-a-gateway-drug?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-February5-2014.

*   10 most important items to recycle: http://www.care2.com/causes/top-10-most-important-items-to-recycle.html.

*   World’s tallest vertical garden: http://www.gizmag.com/clearpoint-residencies-worlds-tallest-vertical-garden/30864/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=827875f401-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-827875f401-76674417. (just way cool!)

*   Minnesota judge decrees: solar power beats natural gas for utility procurement. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/01/minn-judge-solar-beats-natural-gas-for-utility-procurement?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-January8-2014.

*   Protest video against coal exports - ode to Johnny Cash (good tune!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uS1VVDVw5k.

*   When solar is outlawed only outlaws will have solar. In Florida it’s apparently against the law to go off-grid: http://planetsave.com/2014/03/10/verdict-makes-living-off-the-grid-illegal/.

*   Fukushima, 3 years later; disaster still lingers: http://mashable.com/2014/03/11/three-years-after-fukushima/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_content=My+Yahoo.

*   Rooftop solar will soon be cheaper than coal in Europe: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Rooftop-Solar-in-the-EU-Will-Soon-Be-Cheaper-Than-Coal?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily.

*   English energy minister says solar power is better than a pension: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10615852/Solar-panels-better-than-a-pension-says-minister.html

*   15 solar facts you should know: http://beforeitsnews.com/environment/2013/11/15-solar-facts-you-should-know-2486128.html.

*   While the Cost of Solar Is Known, the Cost of Nuclear Remains Unknown: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/27/cost-nuclear-still-unknown-cost-solar. The cost of nuclear projects are hard to understand exactly. That’s because it takes a long time to build a nuclear power plant. Recent experiences with projects Vogtle and Olkiluoto, Finland show that cost estimates with nuclear tend to be unreliable. And in most cases, costs go up later. By contrast, since one only need weeks to months to build a solar park, everyone involved in such a project can rely on those very exact costs. They won’t change much while building it. Moreover, solar prices have dropped already by a factor of 200 in the last forty years and will continue getting cheaper.

*   Oasis Montana AC module system article (thanks again, Mick!): http://solarbridgetech.com/learning-lab/case-studies/solar-in-the-woods-artists-studio-goes-acpv/.

*   Political support for solar power across party lines: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/11/3385351/poll-homeowners-energy-choices/.

*   The red faces of the solar skeptics: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/the-red-faces-of-the-solar-skeptics/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.

*   End of live PV: recycling of solar modules: http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/3005/end-of-life-pv-then-what-recycling-solar-pv-panels/.


"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

"Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

“I suppose the best kind of spring morning is the best weather God has to offer.” ― Dodie Smith

“Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“Woods were ringed with a color so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a color at all. It was more the idea of a color —as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.” ― Susanna Clarke

“If you ever dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.” —Muhammad Ali

“One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds.” — Dan Bennett

“The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to something better than they have ever done before.” — Vita Sackville-West

“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life.” — Jane Austen

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" — Mark Twain

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
— Marcus Aurelius



Thank you for your interest in Oasis Montana.  For more information go to http://www.oasismontana.com/, send us an email at info@oasismontana.com, or call us at 406-777-4321or 4309.  And feel free to share this newsletter with your friends; knowledge is POWER!


Solar Array Flag
Independent power is as American as apple pie!

There’s never been a better time to go solar!

This is the last year for the 30% federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for a solar power system. Then it will drop 4% and be at 26% for 2020; this includes installations on both residential and business properties – and may even include your RV, if you can call that a second home. The federal tax credit for all installations will end by the end of 2022.mounted solar array

You can also find out what state incentives are available for you at www.dsireusa.org. In some states, their incentives, combined with the ITC, can negate up to 80% of the system’s total cost. And all costs are deserving of the credit with the ITC, including permitting, installation and shipping (and perhaps even a new roof if it is needed).

If you use some tax software, it should ask you if you’ve installed a solar power system in the past year, but if not, and you do your own taxes, be sure to fill out IRS form 5695 – and keep all of your receipts related to your system purchase. IF you need a link to that residential tax form, here it is: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf

Reducing or negating your utility bills, and gaining energy independence (an American value!) through solar power has never been a better deal!

The Importance of WATER...

You can live without a lot of things in the world, but water isn’t one of them; clean potable water is running low or just becoming unavailable in many parts of the world, including the U.S. We’ve been engaged in solar water pumping for two decades, and there’s been many changing technologies to address water needs for residential use, and commercial endeavors such as irrigation, livestock, fish farms and wildlife management. One of the latest is to run a 240VAC pump array direct – that is, it will run when the sun is shining, and requires a solar array but no batteries. These will run a variety of pumps, 120/240V, three-phase, and change a 1 or 2 speed motor pump to a soft start. You can view information about this new technology at http://www.pvsolarpumps.com/PDFs/PicoCell Spec Sheet_Oasis Montana.pdf

Now there are even more options; if you have the need for higher amperage and horsepower, the Picocell will now handle up to 3 HP and 12 amps. These solar-powered pumps will allow your home or business to qualify for a variety of tax credits, grants, and incentive programs. If you are looking for something to power your large AC pump, We Have It!  Check out our new Picocell controllers.  Give us a call for more information, 406-777-4321.

And if you’ve been thinking of an off-grid water pumping project, you are likely to enjoy this short video from one of our pump suppliers, Lorentz.

If you are a Montanan: Northwestern Energy is proposing some bad news for its net-metered customers; more information at http://montanarenewables.org/programs/general-electric-rate-case/

And if you really want to help support renewable energy in MT, please consider joining the Montana Renewable Energy Association (http://montanarenewables.org/about-us/join-mrea/). They’ll keep you informed as to legislative issues, promote our annual energy fair and offer an informative web site to help promote the advantages of renewables (www.montanarenewables.org). Please consider joining today! Your membership will make a difference.

Why energy efficiency is SO important.


The cheapest power is that which we do not use.   https://nwenergy.org/ for more information!

Is this proper grounding?
Power line down at river crossing

Power line down at river crossing, often local power production is more dependable

Sometimes utility power is at the mercy of the elements,
as shown by these downed power lines in a flooding Montana river.

We caught these picture canoeing the Bitterroot River last June.


Is small wind right for you? Here’s your opportunity to find out!
For a limited time only, we are offering the Chinook wind turbine for half-price, at $495 plus shipping. You won’t find a better deal for a quality, American-made wind generator! With a top end of 250W output, this can be a valuable addition to your battery charging set-up if you regularly have winds of 10-12 mph or greater. These mount on 1.5” schedule 40 steel pipe and come with their own dump load controller. They are available as a 12, 24 or 48V charging unit, and were originally designed and built in Montana (so you know they are tough).

We’ve had one of these here at Oasis Montana for about five years now, and it still works great. Every spring and summer, we have winds in excess of 80 mph but it keeps quietly making power for our 48V battery bank. These are also suitable for marine use, to help keep your navigation equipment charged and working (as the wind on the water generally seems to be blowing most of the time). We have installation manuals and other information we can send you on these; call if you are interested, 406-777-4309, e-mail us at Oasis or visit our web page at http://www.air403windgenerators.com/chinook-wind-generator.html.


System Spotlight

We assisted Bryan & Shannon Tarter of southeastern Montana in their system upgrade, adding more solar modules
and going from a 12V system to replacing with a new 48V inverter for their remote home. Nice going!


If you have a space-challenged kitchen (or a small cabin needing a fridge), we have an efficient, beautiful AC refrigerator option for you.
MODEL FF923PL (uses only 865 watt-hours per day, or .865KWH).

.attractive ff923 refrigerator with door open


Attractive FF923pl Stainless refrigerator


Height of Cabinet

66.63" (169 cm)

Height to Hinge Cap

67.13" (171 cm)


21.25" (54 cm)

Width with Door Open

22.0" (56 cm)


23.25" (59 cm)

Depth with door at 90°

43.0" (109 cm)


8.9 cu.ft. (252 L)

Defrost Type



Stainless Steel



US Electrical Safety


Canadian Electrical Safety


Energy Usage/Year





115 V AC/60 Hz


110.0 lbs. (50 kg)

Shipping Weight

115.0 lbs. (52 kg)

Parts & Labor Warranty

1 Year

Compressor Warranty

5 Years

Price (before shipping)


We have other efficient refrigeration options available; visit www.eco-fridge.com for AC & DC offerings, and www.LPappliances.com, for refrigerators, freezers and gas ranges that operate off of NG or LP gas with NO electrical requirements.

Solar electric power from the sunInverters, solar modules, tariffs & trade deals

The import tariffs put on many incoming products hasn’t terribly hurt the renewable energy sector. True, employment in the solar power field has dropped a couple of percentage points in the past 18 months, and some utility-size projects were put on hold, but in general renewable energy jobs are still a very a bright spot in the U.S. economy. Renewable technologies are a global industry; many solar modules considered ‘made in the USA’ still have cells made in other countries; likewise inverters and inverter parts are often made abroad. If you are looking to buy American, Mission Solar, Panasonic and SolarWorld are cranking out high-quality modules in our fair country, and we also have access to Longi, Seraphim, Canadian Solar, Trina, Jinko, LG, Silfab, CSun, Yingli and more. We can also get ahold of some of the smaller, 12V nominal modules that are sometimes difficult to find. Let us know what you need for your power project, and we shall find what you seek!



Batteries for back-up power: what are your critical loads?

6v batteries wired in series for 48 voltsThe least costly way to get into solar power (if you are hooked up to a utility) is to have a batteryless, grid-tied power system; when the sun shines, the solar modules on your roof or mounting rack make power that goes into an inverter, which converts the electricity into grid-palatable AC power and makes your meter spin slower – or makes your meter spin backwards, if you are making more power than you use. It’s a simple and direct method of reducing or negating your utility bill. However, without batteries, if the power goes out, these systems shut down (to keep the power lines from being live to protect any line workers). It can be frustrating to have a solar power system but not be able to use it if the power goes down!

There are now ways to add battery back-up to these kinds of power systems. The number of batteries needed will depend on the loads you want to power. It may be very costly to, say, power your entire home or business but if you have any important loads (like a refrigerator, or keeping necessary computers on line) – that’s how we design the size of the battery back-up needed. If your power outages are brief and rare, then you won’t need the number of batteries that someone might need if the power tends to go out for days at a time! Like any other system design, the electrical load information is most important.

We have a lot of basic battery information at www.oasismontana.com/batteries.html; most of the information is about FLA (flooded lead-acid) batteries, but we offer a lot of other options for battery back-up. Call us if you are interested in back-up power in the event of a utility outage!


Renewable Energy News Bites


Anyone who knows me, knows I am a chicken fancier and raise batches of chickens from time to time. Some of my friends even refer to me as the ‘chicken whisperer’.

Organic Chickens at Oasis Montana

 I’ve been keeping chickens for nearly forty years, and was raised around them as a kid, and I’ve learned some tricks about helping them to survive winter in good health. One of them is to keep clean water in front of them at all times. I have one of those heated dog waterers; it holds about a gallon; I put fresh water out every morning then top it off later in the day, and that provides enough water for my 14 chickens. The waterer itself uses about 40 watts, and when it gets above freezing it shuts off as it is thermostatically controlled. So it is not a large electrical load on my solar power system (still, that’s almost a kilowatt-hour a day when it’s cold). There are companies that sell heated chicken waterers, but they tend to use substantially more power.

I have a small chicken house that is only 6 x 8 on the floor area, but with the nests and built-in roosts, it’s pretty easy to keep clean, and its smaller size enables the chickens to stay warmer in winter than they would in a larger shed. I use a good grass hay for bedding, and rake it out when it getsOrganic eggs grown at Oasis Montana Inc. soiled (and have enough from ‘the girls’ to side dress all of my fruit trees with the manure and hay at least once a year). I have to clean their house more in winter, as the days are shorter and they spend more time indoors. But I do have a 10W LED light and timer that comes on in the chicken house about 3 a.m. – and that increases the photoperiod enough that my hens lay very well through the darkest time of the year. I used to think that hens needed some ‘time off’ in the winter – but I no longer believe that is true; when a hen chick is hatched, she contains all the embryonic eggs she will ever lay, so it’s up to us to provide the nutrition and environment to maximize their egg-laying capabilities.

There are breeds that are certainly more suitable for colder climates (and I won’t go into that in great detail, as there’s lots of information about that available), but the breeds I favor are for hardiness and egg-laying ability. The Plymouth Rocks and Ameraucanas are high on my list (and I love the colored eggs), although I presently have some crossbreeds that are prolific layers of large eggs. I feed my chickens organic grains; it’s considerably more costly but – when you consider what goes into chicken feed (mostly corn and soy) – I’d rather not have any transgenic pesticides in their feed. I eat (and sell) their eggs and sometimes I eat my chickens too, so I want all to be of the highest quality and free of chemicals.

We have designed systems for barns and sheds to provide lighting; like all systems it all depends on how much power you need and the loads you desire to run. We don’t get a lot of sun in the winter, here on the western side of the continental divide, and I don’t have a separate system just for the chicken house; we run an electrical line out there from my inverter system that powers my home/office. And the results are gorgeous, tasty eggs and healthy chickens.

Quotable quotes

"One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”
-Charles M. Blow

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer if they’re happy.” 
–Anton Chekhov

 “Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” 
–Sinclair Lewis

 “Optimize the way we use the world’s resources.  Do more with less.  Don’t wait for the politicians.  See what needs to be done and do it.” 
–R. Buckminster Fuller                                              

 “Ah, the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness.  At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, the trees are bare, and all lies in stillness beneath the blanket of snow.” 
–Gary Zukav

“Humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods.” 

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”
-Big Bird

“People of North America, may the example of all those nations that have preceded you, and especially that of your motherland, instruct you. Beware of the affluence of gold that brings with it the corruption of morals and the scorn of laws; beware of an unbalanced distribution of wealth that will give rise to a small number of opulent citizens and a horde of citizens in poverty, a situation that will engender the insolence of some and the deprivation of others.” 

“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”
- George Washington



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For grid-tied power systems, www.grid-tie.com
Solar water pumping:  www.PVsolarpumps.com
Non-electric gas appliances, www.LPappliances.com
Efficient and DC appliances, www.eco-fridge.com
And our main page at www.oasismontana.com