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


We will have new winter hours starting November-March! 9am - 4pm MST





Protecting rare fish becomes easier with a solar power pumping and aeration system; the arctic grayling's habitat in the Big Hole River has been suffering due to drought, irrigation and livestock use of the river. Now we can keep more water in the river to protect these fish; check out our article and installation pictures here for a more information: http://www.pvsolarpumps.com/pumpaeration.htm. At present, the fish are slowly increasing in population as the water resource improves -- and more water-saving projects are planned for the future.




The folks at Midnite Solar have been at it again! They have a new charge controller called the KID. It's a 30A MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controller, great for small renewable energy systems, allowing for true input paralleling. If your power needs increase, you can add more solar modules and another KID, giving you twice the power from a single array.


> Up to 30A battery output                                                           > Solar, wind or hydro modes
> No fan                                                                                       > MPPT tracking
> Reverse polarity protected                                                         > True paralleling; inputs and outputs for two KIDs
> 3 LED Bar Graph for battery status at a glance                           > Up to 150V input
> Keypad for menu items and set points                                        > Exclusive HyperVOC entends the input voltage above 150VOC for cold climates.
> Sealed for harsh environments                                                    > 12V, 24V, 36V, 48V Battery output, field selectable
> Made in Arlington, WA, USA                                                   > Lighting controller: dusk-dawn, hourly, day, night settings
> Dimensions: 9 1/4" x 5"H x 3 5/16"                                            > Weight: 6 lbs. (2.73 kgs)
> Cost: $399 + shipping                                                               > 2 year manufacturer's warranty

Marine Version:

These are also available as a marine/RV version ($499, includes marine mounting bracket, available in white or black); you can view more information about these excellent controllers at


Midnite Solar is also in the testing stage of its new wind turbine; they are hoping to offer a one kilowatt model by spring. Rumor has it that it will be tough as nails, and suitable for battery charging solutions as well as for grid-tie power systems. Stay tuned for information about these exciting wind generators!






For your hunting camp... It's hunting season here in Montana, as well as many other parts of the country! If your hunting cabin needs the right appliance to cool or cook your meat, we offer several sizes of non-electric gas refrigerators and freezers, as well as stoves that require no AC power (and will run off of a small battery pack of eight double A cells). Visit our gas appliance site at www.LPappliances.com for more information; if you find something of interest, call for your freight costs. The least expensive freight deal is if the appliance can ship to a commercial drop point (business that's 'on the beaten path' or a freight terminal) that has a dock or forklift. These appliances ship from the midwest and are not stocked locally.




Solar power for RVs
Many people have added photovoltaic modules to the roof of their recreational vehicle, giving them added charging for their coach batteries to reduce or negate their generator run time. If you are powering lights, music, fans, water pump or perhaps a small microwave, solar power can be a very cost effective addition to your RV system. But, some folks do not want to compromise the integrity of their rig's roof, or they want to park in the shade to keep the vehicle cool, which is quite understandable (but not-so-great for solar power production)! If your power requirements are modest, a simple fix can be to add a 'leg' to the back of your solar module, so you can park in the shade and place your panel in the sun. We do this with our old Dodge camper van on our fishing trips, parking in the shade but placing our solar module in the sun, moving it around from time to time to keep it as perpendicular to the sun's rays as possible. That way we have plenty of power for our radio, DC water pump and ventilation fan. If you are considering adding solar to your RV or boat, give us a call to talk about the particulars. You can also view more information about these kinds of systems at http://www.oasismontana.com/RV_systems.html.




Information on a little bit of everything. Have you checked out our resources page? Do you have an interest in solar water heating? Gardening tips? Hydro or wind power? Renewable energy news? Efficient products for the home and business? Alternative building ideas? Recycling? Cool projects for kids? If any of these have your interest, take a look at all the links at www.oasismontana.com/links.html for some help and information about almost any project you may wish to undertake. You can get ideas for making your automobile less of a gas guzzler; how to make you home or office less polluting; where you can take classes to learn to build a wind generator; how to build a well-insulated home addition; how to save on water use, or build a rainwater collection system....and many more! We simply can't sell everything, but we can provide interested people with the data to live better and more efficiently. Knowledge is power!


Are you a Northwestern Energy electric customer? NWE is still offering grant opportunities for those who choose to invest in a wind or solar grid-tied power system. The amount of incentive depends on the project; we have applications for these grants that we can e-mail you, for residential or commercial endeavors, or you can contact NWE for the particulars at (888) 467-2669. Combined with the 30% federal tax credit and our $500 state tax credit, it can really bring down the cost of a solar power system--and you can start reaping the benefits of a lowered utility bill now. For those outside our service area or in other states, you can view what incentives may be available for you at www.dsireusa.org.





Renewable Energy News Bites

Why lease solar modules when you can own them? http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/09/why-lease-solar-panels-when-you-can-own-them?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-September17-2014

Unsubsidized renewables increasingly rival fossil fuels: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/5-more-charts-that-prove-wind-and-solar-just-keep-getting-cheaper?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily

New Report Says Wind Turbines Repay Their Energy Footprint in Just 5 to 8 Months: http://aweablog.org/blog/post/new-report-wind-turbines-repay-their-energy-footprint-in-5-to-8-months

Federal Government Still Spending Billions to Subsidize Fossil Fuels: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/09/fossil-fuel-subsidies_n_5572346.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green&utm_hp_ref=green

Storm clouds gathering over the solar industry? Good article and discussion at http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/06/storm-clouds-gathering-over-the-us-solar-industry#comment-132819

Look at this tiny, efficient place: Joe's Truck House. http://tinyhouseswoon.com/joes-truck-house/ Very well-designed and very cool!

Here's an interesting article about how solar power is cutting grid costs: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2014/04/how-solar-is-cutting-grid-costs?cmpid=WNL-Friday-May2-2014

How often should your clean your solar modules? http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/05/listen-up-how-often-should-i-clean-my-solar-panels?cmpid=SolarNL-Saturday-May31-2014

On a good day, Germany makes 74% of its power from renewables: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/13/3436923/germany-energy-records/

Cow poop makes clean water, natural gas and fertilizer: http://grist.org/list/crazy-contraption-turns-cow-poo-into-clean-water-fertilizer-and-natural-gas-ahem/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow

The cost of coal keeps rising: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/23/1294126/-Duke-president-says-removing-toxic-ash-would-cost-10-billion-and-take-decades-which-is-too-much?detail=action

Electric vehicles and solar power- a great match: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/05/listen-up-buying-an-ev-and-charging-with-solar?cmpid=SolarNL-Saturday-May10-2014





"The things that unite us as a people are more important than the things that divide us. No particular interest group can prosper for long if the nation is disintegrating. Our agenda must be an agenda for all Americans – for the poor, the comfortable and those in between, for old and young, for black and white, for city dwellers and farmers, for men and women." -- John Gardner

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” -- Lauren DeStefano

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." --Mark Twain

"When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second; when you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity." --Albert Einstein

“Out of the long list of nature's gifts to man, none is perhaps so utterly essential to human life as soil.” -- Hugh Hammond Bennett

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” --J.K. Rowling

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” --William Faulkner

"The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell,

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” --Samuel Butler

"Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible god and destroys a visible nature, unaware that the nature he's destroying is the god he's worshipping." --Hubert Reeves

"No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds - November!" --Thomas Hood

"If I'm ever reborn, I want to be a gardener—there's too much to do for one lifetime!" --Karl Foerster

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I believe that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade...and try to find someone who's life has given them vodka, and have a party." --Ron White


WHO WE ARE and ORDERING INFORMATION:  Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the renewable energy field for 25 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!



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



Please feel free to share this newsletter – knowledge is power!

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