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


You are viewing an archived newsletter. 
Call 877-627-4778 or email us for the current pricing an any featured items listed within.

 

OASIS MONTANA HOME-OFFICE SYSTEM
Having sold these alternate energy goods for 10 years, I finally installed my system in January!  Nine years ago I'd purchased eight MSX60s (Solarex 60W modules) and had slowly been acquiring the other basic components.  They sure looked fine in a pile in the garage….  And while I didn't think the world was going to come to an end because of Y2K, I planned to have my back-up system in place by Jan. 1, 2000, "just in case"; however, a very bad bout of the flu put the actual installation off until late January.  Let me tell you--the sun (here in January on the western side of the divide) sure didn't put much power in my battery bank--some days my 480W array put a total of 150 watts into my sixteen 6V batteries.  UGH!  I'd gotten the batteries in mid-December, and wanted  to bring them up to a full state of charge as soon as possible.

     It took 2 1/2 weeks until the LED on my Trace C40 regulator was "solid green" (indicating full charge status).  But now, at this writing (in May), the system is running my ConServ 'fridge, a compact fluorescent light, and computer (with printer, scanner) three to six days a week.  Funny thing about this solar stuff, it seems to require relatively sunny conditions….
SYSTEM COMPONENTS:  Eight MSX 60 watt modules, two 4X mount structures, 70A breaker box with breaker and SOV (surge protector), ground rod, class R Fuses and holder, Trace C40 Regulator with digital volt meter, 16 Surrette (Rolls) 6V, 438 amphour batteries, custom cables (including inverter cables, all made by yours truly), safety disconnect, 110A class T fuse, Trace DR1524 inverter, and of course, wire runs, wire nuts and basic miscellaneous stuff..  I bought a QO breaker box for my AC distribution center, with a line to my refrigerator, computers, and upstairs to the stereo/TV "entertainment center"; I still need to add a line in my garage so I have a solar-powered outlet there.  We also have a line on our back deck for the boom box.
     I built a battery box out of plywood, sealed and stained it (figuring if I have to look at it for 8 to 10 years, it may as well look nice), with a long stack that very successfully vents any battery gas.  The top of the stack is painted black and is in full sun, so if it's charging, it's also venting.  I mounted (to the wall of my shop) the inverter, fuses, disconnects and AC distribution center on a stained 3/4" piece of plywood.
    Module mounting:  the staff and I bolted four modules to the 4X mount structures, and we hung them off the front of the office.  But I must digress!  First, we bolted two rows of 2"x 8"s where the top and bottom feet of the mounts rested--we knew they weren't going to be able to land on any studs or joists, and we have high winds here on the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains--usually in excess of 80 mph every year--so we took special care to lag them in very securely (see above right photo).  You can hang off the mount structures and you can't even wiggle them, so we feel we did a good job.  I had the "feet" for the mount structures custom made at a local metal fabricators; the rest of the mounts were anodized aluminum that had been pre-drilled for these modules.  The basic wiring went easy--though I am still intimidated by the battery bank.  Whew!  One dropped wrench and it could give you a whole new perspective!  With sixteen of the Surrette CH375 batteries, at the 100 hour rate I have about 1700 amphours of battery capacity--or, in more simple terms, about 4000 watt-hours per day of usage for five days, to 50% depth of discharge.  So if my batteries are fat and the power goes out, I can run my efficient refrigerator for maybe 10 days--plus a couple of small lights and my computer (or stereo, or TV) for a few hours a day.  As an engineer friend of mine put it--"a big UPS system!".
     WHY DO THIS WHEN I'M ON THE GRID?   I oppose the promotion of nuclear and coal-based utility power as a fix for meeting future projected energy demands.  I believe there are other alternatives that will be cost-effective if and when many people (and industries and politicians) "buy" into it; we still worship the great god of oil interests in this country.  We are not paying for the real cost of utility power at this time.  Who's paying for acid rain?  Nuclear waste disposal (a very bad game of hot potato)?  Ruined salmon runs?  Strip mining?  Lifestyle choices DO make a difference--simple things like using compact fluorescent lights instead of incandescents, recycling, utilizing low flow shower heads, energy efficient refrigerators and freezers, better mileage or alternative vehicles….so, to wrap this up, making part of my power requirements for my home and office is at least a contribution to the cause.  How can I sell alternative energy to someone if I can't sell it to myself?
     There's a great future of solar, wind and fuel cell technology fast approaching.  I am glad to be a part of it, and will do my best to promote the cause.  And I encourage YOU, the "end user" to see what options exist in your part of the world, whether it be financing options, efficient electrical devices, or by purchasing green power.  One thing I've learned about life in general is "there are ALWAYS more options than you think"--you just need to explore the possibilities!   Okay, I'm rambling--but thanks for listening, I'll get off the soapbox now.  --Chris Daum of Oasis Montana


"We Had To Have A Seminar On How To Use A Screwdriver…."
The Guatemalan Project By YONOSE Foundation  (pronounced YOH-NOH-SAY)
--says Bob Watters, director and co-founder of the YONOSE Foundation.  The project:  to install a solar-powered system to support lights and a refrigerator for the health clinic in the remote village of El Tesoro, located in the mountains of Guatemala. 
     The project began in a 1989 Nissan 4 wheel drive pickup, with the project's solar modules (three Kyocera 120W modules) mounted to the roof, and the batteries (four 6V Surrette CH375s) and other gear crammed into the camper.  They drove six days, through New Mexico, to McAllen, Texas, and through Mexico, along the Caribbean coast.  On the fifth day, the travelers crossed into Guatemala.  They went to the city of Coban, and from there took a small Cessna plane to the remote village.  El Tesoro is 20 miles from the nearest road, and thus is accessible only by foot, horseback or airplane.
     El Tesoro is home to about 450 Quiche' speaking Mayan families.  They're now rebuilding their lives, recovering from the "scorched-earth" campaigns of the Guatemalan military in the early 1980s.  These massacres left half of their population murdered or victim to disease and hunger.
     These people have no amenities that we are familiar with--no electricity, no indoor plambing; they raise what they eat, mostly maize, black beans, and occasionally eggs.  Despite being shy, the people are extremely friendly.  "They are the most cheerful people I have ever met", says Watters.  "I am convinced that it is because they don't know what they don't have.  And what they do have now is the best they ever had."
     The villagers were very willing to help and eager to learn--though they had never seen a screwdriver, wrench or even a screw!  The YONOSE team stayed two nights and a day at the village to complete the project; the installation went well and according to schedule.  The modules and four batteries were wired to provide constant DC power for lights and a small refrigerator.  The team educated one lone electrician for any troubleshooting that might be needed.
     Bob Watters said the project was such a success that the founders of the project are considering another for the same village.  But Watters commented that he'd be bringing his own food and water next time; "They barely have enough for themselves; I don't want to take from them."

   
 
The YONOSE Foundation was formed as a non-profit organization to conduct research on the practical application of existing technologies to the solution of problems faced by geographically isolated or technologically challenged communities. These would include ecology, energy, health and education concerns. It is our wish to be instrumental in the expanded use of renewable resources and inexpensive technologies to foster independence and raise the quality of life of disadvantaged persons.  For more information about the YONOSE Foundation, see their web site at   www.yonose.org

Setting the modules on a pole mount in El Tesoro.     Modules, batteries and regulator supplied by Oasis Montana Inc.

 
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Toll-Free:  877-OASISMT (877-627-4768) or 877-OASISPV (877-627-4778);; e-mail:  info@oasismontana.com

 


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