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


GREETINGS FROM OUR SOLAR POWERED OFFICE!

Spring hours starting April - October! 8am - 4:30pm MST

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NEWS LETTER INDEX:

 

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20KW SOLAR ARRAY AT THE BUTTE BREWING COMPANY!
Stop in for a cold, PV-powered beer!

The Butte Brewing Company is located at 465 East Galena Street, Butte, MT (uptown Butte). It is the dream-child of Tony Olsen, who started this project in 2012. The solar array consists of eighty 250W REC Peak Energy Series (REC250PE) solar modules; the silicon ingots are made in Butte, MT and the modules themselves are manufactured in Singapore. The grid-tied inverters are Fronius IG Plus 10.0, ten kilowatt inverters suitable for commercial or larger residential systems.

Tony became infatuated with the idea of a brewery back in 2005; he and a buddy (from the Montana National Guard) visited another brewery in Helena, and he was smitten with the big tanks, equipment and great beer, so he decided that a brewery in a ‘green’ building was his goal. Tony Olsen likes being self-reliant as much as possible, so it was only natural to put a photovoltaic system on his new building—which also includes super-insulated concrete forms and an in-floor radiant heating system. His brewery building also has office space above as well as a large 2500 sq. ft. conference room that is available for rent. The actual building project got underway in 2012, and Tony’s been brewing beer since last fall. The taproom will open officially by June 1st, 2015.

Tony Olsen was able to get Northwestern Energy and REAP grants, and of course the federal tax credit for this project. He says he did get smacked with a significant state tax hit upon completion, but other than that, he’s been extremely happy with his project—and is still thrilled when he sees his electrical meter spinning backwards.

Two years ago the building was still under construction, but as soon as the roof 
was finished, Oasis Montana installed the solar array.

Butte Brewing Company’s goal is to have 20 brews on tap; right now they are brewing the following: honey cream ale, sweet stout, pale ale (with Nelson Sauvin hops), porter, IPA, red ale and hefeweizen. They’ll be officially pouring on or before June 1st!
 

 

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The solar tax credit is scheduled to end at the end of 2016 for residential and commercial properties…. This is a 30% federal investment tax credit for solar energy systems. It’s a tax policy that has played a vital role in creating good, American jobs, lowering energy bills for consumers, increasing U.S. global competitiveness, energy security, and reducing pollution from fossil-fuel based energy sources. The company or person that installs, develops or pays for the power project uses the credit (a homeowner applies it to his/her income taxes). This Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been one of the most important federal programs to support the development of solar power in the U.S.; it has driven an amazing job growth sector, with over 20% growth per annum — the fastest employment growth of any industry in our country! The solar industry now employs more than either the steel or coal industries in the U.S.

So if you are considering the purchase of a solar power system, get your equipment together before the end of next year. It would be helpful to also ask your legislators to extend the ITC further, and continue the growth of the solar industries; as time goes on, component efficiencies have increased and costs for consumers continue to go down. Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus among legislators that the expiration date should be extended.

We at Oasis Montana feel that our fledgling solar industry will survive the expiration of the tax credit, if that comes about — but we also feel it is unfair to continue to massively subsidize other energy sectors at the same time! A gradual reduction of the solar tax credit would be a good idea — but only AFTER we cut the more than $4B/year in fossil fuel tax incentives. One would think after 100 years of production the fossil fuel industry would be mature enough and could exist without the tax incentives...especially considering they are the most profitable corporations in the world.

To see what incentives you may qualify for, visit www.dsireusa.org; incentives vary from state to state, and some utilities may offer grants in your particular area.

 

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SOLAR MODULE PRICING—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. Single/ Pallet

LG280 Neon 280W, 9.07A, 31.4V (64.57” X 39.37”)                 $439   $407 (27 per pallet) Made in South Korea

PHONOSOLAR, PS260M, .93A, 240VAC (64.6” x 39.1”)           $529   $489 (18 per pallet) Made in China, monocrystalline AC module with Enphase Microinverters

TRINA TSM-PD14/305, 305W, 8.25A, 33.3V (77” x 39.05”)       $349   $323 (24 per pallet) Made in China; multicrystalline

SILFAB SLA-270, 270W, 31.2V, 8.56A (38.97” x 64.96”)          $359   $334 (35 per pallet) ARRA Compliant

SOLARWORLD SW280, 280W, 7.25A, 28.4V (39.4” x 65.94”)  $420   $389 (30 per pallet)  Made in the USA or Germany; monocrystalline

CANADIAN SOLAR, 255W, 30.1V, 8.4A (64.5” x 38.7”)            $329   $315 (24 per pallet) Made in China; polycrystalline

PHONOSOLAR PS260M 260W, 30.8V, 8.46A (64.6” x 39”)       $369   $339 (24 per pallet) Made in China; monocrystalline

PHONOSOLAR PS290P, 290W, 8.03A, 36.1V (65” x 39.1”)       $409   $399 (22 per pallet) Made in Taiwan & eastern Europe; polycrystalline

SUNIVA 270W, 31.2V, 8.6A (38.66” x 65.07”)                            $389   $352 (25 per pallet) Buy American Compliant—cells made in the U.S., assembled in China

KYOCERA 245GX, 245W, 8.23A, 29.8V (64.5” x 39”)                $379   $359 (20 per pallet)

KYOCERA 140GX, 140W, 7.91A, 17.7V (59.1” x 26.3”)             $319   $299 (20 per pallet) Made in Japan or Mexico. Kyocera has a re-boxing fee for odd-numbered module shipments.(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+ per pallet)

KYOCERA KS10, 10W, 16.9V, 0.60A (11.96” X 13.85”)             $113   $110 (40+ per pallet)

KYOCERA KS5, 5W, 16.9V, 0.29A (8.07” X 13.85”)                   $84     $74 (40+ per pallet)

Other modules generally available too—prices subject to change with little notice. Call for your module pricing and availability. Container pricing available for better dollar-per-watt cost. There have been some price increases this year, so costs may change without notice.


WHO WE ARE and ORDERING INFORMATION: Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the renewable energy field since 1989, and our system designer, Larry Keogh, will help plan a power or pumping 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 (in western MT and Idaho). We provide detailed wiring diagrams with the systems we sell. TO PLACE AN ORDER: E-mail or call us for your freight costs; if you have any questions about your system or product, please contact us. E-mail is easiest and fastest (but we know that you aren’t all on line). We accept Visa/Mastercard (personal and business checks are fine). For our international customers, we accept bank transfers— e-mail 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. 406-777-4321 or 4309 or e-mail us at info@oasismontana.com for tech support on renewable energy systems, freight costs and general inquiries. We’d be very happy to help you with your power project — send an e-mail or give us a call!

 

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Arctic grayling struggle on the Big Hole River in Montana: “Montana grayling have been lost from the vast majority of the rivers and streams where they once swam, and they desperately need the protections of the Endangered Species Act to survive,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife's most recent decision to deny the grayling protection is dirty politics that doesn't follow the science. Twenty years is too long to wait for protection.” The Service first determined the grayling warranted endangered status in 1994 and reaffirmed that conclusion in 2010, but reversed course in August 2014 withholding protection from the rare and beautiful relative of trout and salmon. In denying the grayling protection, the agency argued that voluntary efforts by private landowners and the state of Montana, guided by a conservation agreement in place since 2006, have alleviated threats to the fish's survival. Although many individual projects to improve habitat have been completed under the agreement, the grayling continues to face numerous threats, including excessive water withdrawals for irrigation, non-native trout and ongoing habitat degradation. A member of the salmon family, the Arctic grayling is a beautiful fish with a prominent dorsal fin. The species thrives in cold freshwater streams and rivers across Canada and Alaska. Historically, fluvial populations of Arctic grayling existed in only two places in the lower 48 states: Michigan and the upper Missouri River of Montana. Populations in Michigan went extinct by the 1930s, and populations in Montana were restricted to the Big Hole River and a few lakes by the end of the 1970s. Studies demonstrate that Montana grayling are genetically distinct from populations in Canada and Alaska, and have been experiencing severe declines in response to the near drying-up of the Big Hole River on an annual basis caused by increased irrigation use and greater extremes of drought. The following is a story of how ranchers, a solar pumping system, our local FWP and other agencies are trying to protect the last of this unique fish’s Montana habitat. Click here for more information: http://www.pvsolarpumps.com/pumpaeration.htm

 

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Whether you need water moved for your creek, your pool, your off-grid home, for irrigation, pond aeration or for your livestock, we can help provide your water pumping solution. Visit us now online at www.PVsolarpumps.com  — fill out the questionnaire and we’ll propose a system for your project. And while we offer several different kinds of pumps, you can view a neat video from one of our suppliers at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HTn0hINh98
 

WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT….how can I keep my water pump operating in an emergency situation? We’ve been hearing this question on a regular basis. As utility infrastructure ages, and severe weather becomes the new norm, people are concerned about having water available if the power fails. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always easy or cheap. If your power is pretty dependable and your outages short, your best bet may be a fuel generator; you can have your electrician wire the individual pump circuit or get the properly sized generator to power your entire home, and install a transfer switch. If you are interested in a solar-powered system, it will be considerably more expensive but will feed back power. Most people’s well pumps are AC, which means you need an inverter system that’ll handle the starting surge of that motor, as well as operate the pump for as long as you need water. While many people in the world are very happy to have 5 to 7 gallons per day, the average American uses 50 to 75 gallons per day — and some use much more. Even if your water usage is modest, you will still need to be able to power that pump. For a 3/4HP system:

1 - Outback Flexpower Dual GVFX3648 Inverter system, which includes two inverters, FM80 charge controllers, system monitor and integration equipment, surge protect- tor, battery and PV breakers

16 - Surrette S-480 6V Deep Cycle batteries

24 - Q-Cell 255W 60 cell Solar Modules

2 - 12X Top of Pole Mounting Racks for solar modules

1 - Battery Box vent fan

PLUS the balance of system components including battery cables, hardware, disconnects, combiner enclosures, panel output cables, grounding fittings, surge protectors (but not including installation, shipping or battery box)

Well, folks, we are looking right around $30,000 for just the equipment for a system to be able to run your 3/4 HP water pump. Now in addition to being able to power this pump, when not being used in an emergency situation, this system will feed power back to your utility. Your electricity provider needs to have a net metering plan in place before you can even consider having a system like this (the GVFX inverters are designed to feed power back once the batteries are full in the morning). So you will be able to reduce (or, if you are efficient, negate) your utility bill with this grid-tie system.

Here at the Oasis Montana home/office, we have a system very similar to this, only we are utilizing an Outback Radian inverter and 27 Sanyo solar modules — and yes folks, it did cost upwards of $30K. But, you would still be able to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit, plus whatever state incentives are available where you live.

 

 

We are looking at different 'soft start' technologies that can use a smaller (and hence cheaper) inverter set-up to be able to run a water pump in the absence of AC power. Call or e-mail us for more options.

 

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Hey DIYers — do you know how to handle a solar module? While solar modules are usually made from tempered or hardened glass, and can generally tolerate the same conditions as your car windshield, it’s possible that rough handling can cause ‘micro-fractures’ which can cause degradation of the solar cells many years before its time (solar cell substrates are delicate). If you think about hauling a (basically) framed piece of glass onto a mount structure or a roof, there is evidence to indicate that resting it on your shoulder when you climb a ladder, or leaning heavily on it when you are attaching it to the mounting racks can indeed have a long-term effect on its longevity and performance. So whether you are a solar professional or a do-it-yourselfer installing your own solar modules for your home or business, get another person on the other end of the frame, and handle it with care. Make sure your mounting structures are rated for and give adequate support in high winds or under extreme snow loads — which can also cause micro-fractures. Ultimately, too, not all solar modules are created equal. Some of the cheap deals can have thinner glass & frames, or be of poorer construction which can contribute to a shorter electrical lifespan.



If a solar panel has been dropped or stepped on, it may appear to be fine and still operate at full output. But it has likely suffered from micro-fractures which will ultimately result in reduced output. We rate the useful lifespan of a solar module at 30 to 40 years (and most we sell have a 20 to 25 year output warranty). Still, they should be installed carefully to get the most bang for your bucks—and good longevity. Here’s a video about micro-fractures, and how NOT to clean your solar modules:

http://www.purepowerengineering.com/how-not-to-clean-pv-modules/ (beware: eye-candy alert!)
 

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Something new is blowing in the wind….our popular 200W CHINOOK Wind Turbines were discontinued a while back, but a redesigned model is in the works, and we are hoping it will be available by the beginning of next year (2016). The new beast will be a 500W model, and will be available as a 12, 24 or 48V battery charging unit—or for a grid-tie system with no batteries. The Chinook folks are in corroboration with Midnite Solar, so the new wind genny will undoubtedly come with its own controller (if as a battery charging model) or a grid-tie inverter will be specified if you don’t want to mess with batteries.

Another wind turbine from Midnite is in the works, the ARMY WIND generator; it’s a one kilowatt model (1000 watts top end); it’ll be tough as nails and will also be available for 12, 24, 48V battery charging or as a grid-tie unit. We really don’t have much information for these at this point; they are in the testing phase. As soon as these become available we will be offering them. Stay tuned for more information!


 

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New Consolidated Appliance Website

If you are interested in efficient or gas appliances, we’ve listened to you and have developed a new site with oodles of information:

http://www.eco-fridge.com/allappliances/Index.html We offer several Energy Star rated refrigerators with European styling, gas fridges and stoves for your remote cabin and even DC models to efficiently run off your battery bank. Visit our site today!

Note: Appliances are not stocked locally and ship from our suppliers back east.

 

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Crystal Ball Gazing

We get calls asking about trends in our industry. Based on our “insider” knowledge and sources, we would like to share some of the trends we see as having an impact plus some of the, at present, “pie in the sky” notions you may have heard of or are wondering about.

Energy Storage (batteries):

All batteries are a form of storing energy and the primary focus of late has been on enhancing “energy density”. FLA (Flooded lead acid), AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and Gel cell batteries are the most commonly used batteries for storing energy generated by alternative energies and represent the best investment today. A major focus of the renewable energy industry now is energy storage; here are a few of the leading contenders for alternative energy storage devices.

LiOn (Lithium Ion) batteries are becoming more main stream with the advent of Electric Vehicles. Though progress has been made in creating a safer (less prone to melt down) battery, there remains room for improvement. These have proven very reliable and are an effective means of storing energy for use in our phone and tablet devices, but their charging perimeters for power systems are very specific and there are still bugs to be worked out for integration into RE power systems.

Li-air (Lithium Air) much of the current research is focused on four different chemical designs. The aprotic design is see the most focus at present. The other three design technologies; aqueous, mixed aqueous/aprotic and solid state all face distinct advantages and significant technical challenges.

There has been a lot of money invested in coming up with an innovative energy storage device and we suspect there will be more in the near future. Our “Crystal Ball” gazing reveals that the next evolution will come from tinkerers working from a garage somewhere. They typically will have as a goal some personal desire to improve an aspect of their own lives and a new application of existing technology will likely create the next major boost in development.

KAir (Potassium Air) in Oct 2014 Ohio State University announced the introduction of a potassium air battery that achieves 98% energy efficiency. We’ll have to wait and see if this product comes to market.

NiFe (Nickel-iron) nickel-iron batteries are also known as “Edison Battery” and have an extended life extending well beyond the rated 20 year life. The slow charge rate coupled with slow discharge rate make them an undesirable solution for all but a limited number of applications for renewable energies.

 

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KEEP YOUR COOL WITH THESE HIGH QUALITY ATTIC FANS
 

Unlike AC fans, these well-made Solaro Aire™ units won’t use a penny of your electricity. During summer months, your attic can get up to 160°F, making your home miserably hot. Solaro Aire™ fans extract the heat from your attic, keeping temperatures and air conditioning bills down. These fans run ‘array direct’; when the sun shines, they are running, and during the hottest part of the day is when they are moving the most air. These are a terrific replacement for noisy turbine-type vents.

SA-20WT-LPEThe SA-20WT-LPE, left, has a 20W solar module and moves up to 950 CFM., with an polymer fan blade and brushless motor; its cost before shipping is $820. The model, right, SA-20WB-LPE is a low profile style fan, great for composite and shingle roofs ($743 before shipping). At lower left is the SA-20WR-LPE, which offers a model where the solar module can be mounted remotely (if the sun access in the desired fan location is in the shade). This model is $799 before shipping; you can also get a larger solar module if needed, in case you have shading issues where the fan is placed. Higher profile fans are available where additional     clearances (SA-20WT-LPE, above)  are needed; gable mounted fans for ventilation are also available. Factory
installed thermostats are available ($59), so the fans will only operate when the temperature  is above  (SA-20WB-LPE, above) 85°F. These fans can also be used in winter months to remove mold and mildew-causing moisture.

We can send you installation links for these fans, something your contractor or handyperson can do. And these also qualify for the 30% solar tax credit through 2020 (cost of the fan plus installation). These come with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer; and built with aircraft aluminum specs, they are meant to last a lifetime, with weather resistant powder coated housing providing a durable finish. If you are interested in these fine fans, send us an e-mail today and we will send additional information. info@oasismontana.com

 

   (SA-20WR-LPE, above)

 

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You can become an energy detective with your Killawatt™ Meter!

If you are trying to keep a lid on your electric bill, it’s most helpful to determine what your electrical loads are on certain devices. Is your refrigerator really an energy hog? How much more juice does your PC use than your laptop? This device is a simple way to determine your electrical usage. You plug it into a wall socket (or perhaps onto an extension cord, to make it easier to read) and plug your appliance or device into it. It will give you instantaneous readings on voltage, watts, amps, and frequency (hertz) numbers. It also gives you cumulative data—so you can see how much power your ‘fridge pulls in a week. If you plug your refrigerator into it, it should cycle and give a higher figure from time to time—that means your compressor is running then. These are still a great deal at $25 plus shipping!


 

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RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS BITES:


States That Produce Renewable Energy Have Cheaper Electricity: http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/renewable-energy-prices A study released by the venture capitalist firm DBL Investors shows that states boasting robust green energy programs have the nation’s cheapest electricity. The trend lines suggest it’s only going to get better for their consumers. In 2001, electricity cost more in the 10 top renewable energy states than it did in the 10 states with the lowest proportion of green energy production. By 2013, the situation had turned upside down: States with the most green energy now offer cheap electricity, while the dirty power states are the most expensive. The 10 states with cheap green energy are Maine, Iowa, South Dakota, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, plus Washington, DC. The 10 laggard states in the DBL study were Florida, Connecticut, Delaware, South Carolina, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Cow poop makes more than a mess in the NE: http://www.greenmountainpower.com/innovative/cow/how-it-works/ Good bio-digester info.

New Tesla Battery Will Power a Home and Maybe the Electric Grid Too: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/02/12/this-new-tesla-battery-will-power-your-home-and-maybe-the-electric-grid-too. Tesla is working on a battery that can power a home and even help large-scale utilities store energy more efficiently, according to company chief executive Elon Musk. If Tesla's stationary battery takes off, it could change the way electricity is priced and traded on a market scale. Musk said the designs for a home or business battery are already complete and will likely be unveiled to the public "in the next month or two." Production could be as little as six months away, he added. "We are trying to figure out what would be a cool stationary (battery) pack," Musk said. "Some will be like the Model S pack: something flat, 5 inches off the wall, wall-mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play." There's no word yet on price.

Solar PV Will Be Cheapest Form of Power Within a Decade: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/02/25/solar-pv-will-cheapest-form-power-within-decade/? A major new study from a leading German think tank and renewable energy specialist says the cost reduction potential of large scale solar is still misunderstood, and predicts that solar PV will be the cheapest form of power within a decade, and cost less than $0.02/kWh by 2050. The study by the Berlin-based Agora Energiewende says that the end to cost reductions from solar plants is “not in sight”, even after falling more than 70 per cent in recent years. The balance of systems costs are expected to fall by up to 2/3 in coming decades, and combined with a fall in the cost of finance, could cut the cost of solar technology in areas such as the U.S., Australia, and parts of Europe.

Clean Coal and our future: http://exp.grist.org/clean-coal Take a few moments and check out this informative article about one of our least clean fossil fuels, its cost, consequences, corporate interests and benefits.

The real future threat: peak water. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jul/06/water-supplies-shrinking-threat-to-food With burgeoning population and more water going to extract gas and petroleum, just how much water do we have to lose?

Will solar plunge off the tax credit cliff? http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/02/will-solar-plunge-off-the-tax-credit-cliff?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-February25-2015 The solar tax credit will expire at the end of 2016. Will we preserve this job-creator?

States should fuel community solar growth: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/03/three-steps-states-can-take-to-fuel-community-solar-growth?cmpid=SolarNL-Tuesday-March17-2015

Making light on remote reservations: http://www.upworthy.com/shes-going-door-to-door-with-light-and-older-navajos-have-never-seen-anything-like-it?c=upw1

A very cool 'small hydro' idea increases efficiency and makes power: http://www.businessenergy.net/DE/Blogs/2191.aspx

There is solar, and there is solar: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/01/there-is-solar-and-there-is-solar?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-January28-2015

A day in the life of a wind farm operator: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/01/photoessay-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-wind-farm-operator?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-January28-2015

15 ancient house designs you can build for cheap: http://offgridquest.com/973

Turning fecal sludge to black gold: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/02/how-the-chinese-are-turning-fecal-sludge-into-black-gold?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-February4-2015

 

Solar powered water wheel cleans 25 tons of trash a day..... http://billmoyers.com/2014/07/22/solar-powered-water-wheel-can-clean-50000-pounds-of-baltimore%E2%80%99s-trash-per-day/

 

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Quotable quotes:

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” —Chinese proverb

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"When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring." — Madeleine M. Kunin

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"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!" ——Sitting Bull

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“"One of the great dreams of man must be to find some place between the extremes of nature and civilization where it is possible to live without regret." --Barry Lope

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“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.” -- Kobayashi Issa

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“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James

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“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.” ― Natalie Babbett

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“Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself.” —Harrison Ford

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“Lawyers believe a person is innocent until proven broke.” —Robin Hall



You have received this newsletter as you have indicated a previous interest in renewable energy and/or efficient appliances. If you have received this in error, we apologize; ours is a small, hand-maintained list. To be removed simply hit 'reply' with REMOVE in the subject line.
 

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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!
 

 


Greetings from our solar powered office!

In the event of a lengthy power outage, what are your critical loads?

With the presence of winter storms, hurricanes, tornados and aging grid infrastructure as part of daily life, many people are rethinking how reliable utility power really is, and we are getting more calls for back-up power for certain loads. Some of our customers just need to have power for charging their cell phones, Kindles, tablets or similar devices (and a couple of lights or a small TV for an hour or so); a small system for them might entail the following components:

System #1, small system: One ~300W solar module, 300W sine wave inverter, charge controller, 12V 55AH AGM battery, combiner enclosure with fuse, flush roof rack, panel output cable; $1449
For additional information on smallish, RV-type systems, visit http://www.oasismontana.com/RV_systems.html.

Other folks are concerned about losing their food if the grid goes down, so they’ll want to power their refrigerator and perhaps a freezer too. If your appliances are of more recent vintage, backing them up will cost much less than if they are older, less efficient models. An efficient refrigerator shouldn’t use much more than a kilowatthour a day, and a freezer might be in the ~1.5KWH range (but contact the manufacturer to be certain). A system to power those loads, plus a couple of lights, might entail these components:

System #2, medium system: (MS2812 Magnum inverter, 6 ~300W solar modules, 6X top of pole mount, Classic 200 MPPT charge controller, 4 L16 type batteries + cabling, battery monitor, interconnects, combiners and disconnects; $8700

If you don’t have city water, a common concern is powering your well pump. One can live without a lot of things but water is not one of them! And many deep well pumps are 240VAC; if you needed a backup power system to run your ½ HP 240VAC pump, say, one hour a day, plus extra power for a fridge and small loads, you might be looking at a system of this size:

System #3, large system: (Radian GS4048 – loaded, on a pre-wired power center that includes the charge controller, MATE3 system monitor, disconnects, etc., 12 – ~300W solar modules, 16 – L16 type batteries, pole mount, battery cabling = $14750

Costs do not include freight, installation, concrete footer for pole mounts, ground rod & clamp, and miscellaneous electrical widgets or wire runs.


       

Some people think solar modules are ugly – but I think they’re beautiful…and how wonderful it is to get electricity from sunlight!
And, you can enjoy saving money while saving the planet.


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Are you looking at a stock watering project this year? Or you want power for a pump if the utility fails? Or perhaps you have a pond to fill, or fruit trees that need irrigating? A remote cabin? Contact us for all your remote water pumping needs; visit www.PVsolarpumps.com for more information.


If your only concern if the power goes out is water and you have a, say, 1.5 HP 240VAC pump, we can now run many of those pumps array direct whenever the sun is shining. So if you need water for irrigation or stock, this new PicoCell system might be just what you need. The PicoCell, from SunTech Drives, is now part of our line of quality solar products, and we look forward to the next generation of their solar evolution as the newer and more robust water pump solutions come on board. Being powerless doesn’t mean being waterless any more! Depending on your water pump make and model, we may have a solution for those times when the power is gone but the need for water exists and the sun is shining. Three-phase water pumps and motors under 2HP manufactured by Berkley, Franklin, Flint, Goulds, Grundfos, Myers and Wailing are all great candidates for using the new PicoCell from SunTech Drive to run your water pump while the sun is shining and conventional power is out. Single phase pumps up to 1HP from these same manufacturers, including Sta-Rite are able to operate effectively also. Call for more information or to see if your pump will work with a PicoCell. 406-777-4321


Cows LOVE solar water pumping!


 

We offer the Grundfos, SunRotor, Dankoff and Lorentz pump line, from submersible to surface pumps. And we can power your 240VAC pump too! 406-777-4321 for tech support on pump systems.


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TAX SEASON is nearly upon us! If you had a solar power system installed and running by 31st December, 2017, you are eligible for a 30% tax credit of the cost of your solar module installation, less any state incentives or rebates. The 30% tax credit is still available through the end of 2019, so now the time is ripe for investment in the solar power system of your dreams. It is also available for certain types of solar thermal (hot water and space heating) systems. https://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/solar_energy_systems for the links about the federal tax credit; http://www.dsireusa.org for a state-by-state database of all renewable incentives; and https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf for the personal tax credit form. We are NOT tax experts, so when in doubt, consult your accountant or visit the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i5695?utm_source=Iron+Edison+Newsletter&utm_campaign=35a4413d23-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_eaf26bfcab-35a4413d23-135295541&mc_cid=35a4413d23&mc_eid=6d3c772416

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OUTBACK POWER has a new charge controller, the FlexMax 100! This will allow for longer strings of solar modules and is fully NEC 2014 compliant with the Outback ICS Plus. It offers:

> a rainproof outdoor IP54/Type PR enclosure
> 100A output for up to 5KW of charging
> suitable for 24, 36 or 48V battery banks
> updated MPPT software algorithm means more power than other controllers
> up to 99% efficiency; LED indicators status display
> Five year warranty
> system configures quickly (MATE3S required)
> minimum battery bank size: 100ah
> had built in GFCI, field-replaceable cooling fan
> built in 128 days of data logging

You can view more information on this exciting new charge controller at http://www.outbackpower.com/outback-products/make-the-power/flexmax-series-charge-controllers/item/flexmax-100?category_id=531
Now available at a special introductory price of $1045 plus shipping (offer good til 4/30/18)

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NEW PRODUCT FEATURE

MNChinook 200 Wind Turbine Now Officially Available http://files.constantcontact.com/aaa32e00401/5cc9c46b-fd24-4c58-8538-64e359dee783.jpg
The Chinook 200 is now new and improved, a direct-drive micro-turbine designed for use in 12, 24 or 48 volt DC battery charging applications. Its attractive low-profile design, exceptional performance in low winds and low rotor acoustics, make this turbine the ideal choice for almost any application. It’s also very quiet, and mounts on a 1.5” Schedule 40 steel pipe.

The Chinook 200 can also work hand-in-hand with PV panels to ensure that power is being generated in all weather conditions; they can be charging the same battery bank, and are also suitable for marine use. The MidNite Chinook Diversion Load (CDL) is an integrated solution designed to prevent 12, 24 or 48 volt batteries from overcharging and is included with the Chinook 200. Compact and easy to install, the CDL incorporates a 300 Watt resistive heating element and controller board in a powder coated steel enclosure. $995 plus shipping includes its dump load controller. The output voltage is not field selectable and must be ordered for either 12V, 24V or 48V battery charging. Designed in Montana and still made in the USA, if you have good average wind speeds (10-12 mph+) you will find this to be an excellent addition to your battery charging scheme.

https://files.constantcontact.com/aaa32e00401/ad3a72d6-c36d-423c-b2ac-0e7328fddb78.png

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SOLAR PANELS: Despite the 30% import tariff on certain incoming solar modules, there are still a lot of good deals to be had.

NEO Solar Power 360W Mono 72 cell, Tier 1 module Vmp 39.01V Imp 9.23A 77” x 35”, pallet quantity is 30; minimum order quantity is 10. Cost is $309 per module in pallet quantities.

MightyMax Solar 150W 12V nominal modules, 24/pallet, Vmp 17.7V Imp 8.47A 39.’” X 39”, cost is $215 each in pallet quantities.

Hanwha QCells Black Q.Peak G4.1 295W Vmp 32.19V Imp 9.17A 65.7” x 39.4”, minimum quantity 4, cost $269 each

Canadian Solar MaxPower CS6U-325P (poly), 325W, Vmp 37V Imp 8.78A 77.2” x 39.1”, minimum quantity 4, cost $298 each

LG Mono 330E1C-A5 330W AC module (includes Enphase IQ6+Micro-inverter) 66.38” x 40”, minimum quantity 4, $555 each (max string 13 of these AC modules)

SolarWorld Plus SW300 Mono 300W Vmp 32.6V Imp 9.31A 65.95” x 39.4”, minimum quantity 4, $360 each

GLC 325W Multicrystalline Vmp 37.6V Imp 8.64A, 77” x 39.05”, 26 per pallet, cost is $269 each in pallet quantities.

We can also source a variety of other solar products including Trina, ET Solar, Yingle, Jinko, Csun, etc.
Many of our suppliers have a substantial fee for less than pallet quantities.

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Yes it’s finally SPRING and we are offering our gorgeous indigenous corn seed to you for the price of postage. An ounce is about 100 seeds and (since the P.O. considers this a ‘package’), cost to mail you about 1.5 ounces is $1.21

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No power is no problem with our gas refrigerators – now featuring the new economical HOMESTEADER line by Diamond

The manufacturers of the Diamond propane gas refrigerators are now offering a non-CSA certified offering available as a refrigerator/freezer unit in 19 cu.ft. and 21 cu.ft. capacities. While this means we cannot ship these to Canada, their cooling performance is not compromised in any fashion – in fact these have the same identical cooling unit as those installed in the Diamond gas fridges of the same size. These are some of the finest performing gas absorption units in the industry. Both sizes will be offered in the popular white, black and also stainless steel finishes, and they are less costly than most other models in the full size range. Here are the specifications:

19 cu.ft. Homesteader

 

 

 

 

Our customer Rick Freeman from southern California swaps out his old batteries for new to re-charge his PV system.
These 6V batteries weigh about 110 lbs. each.

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

  • “Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”
    --Gustav Mahler

  • "We have to prepare our cities for the increasing scarcity of resources by increasing their density and energy efficiency." -- Mathis Wackernagel

  • "Saying that you don't care about privacy because you got nothing to hide is no different than saying that you don't care about freedom of speech because you got nothing to say."
    --Edward Snowden

  • “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
     --William Shakespeare

  • "In reality, studies show that investments to spur renewable energy and boost energy efficiency generate far more jobs than oil and coal."
    --Jeff Goodell

  • “Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”
    --Virgil

  • “At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.”
    --Thomas Friedman

  • “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
    --Leo Tolstoy

  • "As the saying goes, the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones; we transitioned to better solutions. The same opportunity lies before us with energy efficiency and clean energy."
    --Steven Chu

  • “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” --Robert H. Schuller

  • "Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us."
    -- President Theodore Roosevelt
     

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