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

Oasis Montana Inc., 877-627-4768 or 4778 toll-free order line, or call 406-777-4321 or 4309, 406-777-2632  fax, or send us an email at  info@oasismontana.com; web page at   www.oasismontana.com


(Home/Office Net Metering System, continued from page 1)   The system was designed to power our energy efficient ConServ refrigerator, and our computer, scanner, and printer.  Any extra power goes towards our household loads.  Most of the summer, just the solar array was able to power these loads without difficulty, and without draining the batteries. 
      We put the Air 403 up in a weekend in autumn, and were initially disappointed.  For a month we didn't get a puff of wind!  Our neighbors thought it was great--"Hey, you guys have moderated the weather here" and generally ribbing us for its lack of performance.  Well, our first real "puff of wind" was a winter storm, with 40 to 80 mph gusts for three days.  Wow, it really was humming!  I was glad we had mounted it on a free-standing tower (originally I was going to attach it to the trusses in our shop, through the roof, but decided not to).  You could hear it just a little bit inside our house, but I'm sure if it were mounted to our shop or house, it would've been
much noisier.  It fattened up our batteries substantially in a short period of time--proving to be a good investment for our battery bank charging in the dark, cloudy days of winter.
      I'm pleased with the system's performance, but I do plan to add more solar modules as soon as I can.  My house faces due south, and an additional row of solar panels above the existing modules or on the shop is very easy to envision….  When it comes time to upgrade the batteries (7 to 10 years from now?), if utility power is still dependable, I may opt for a batteryless system, or maybe a hydrogen generator.  And when my Air 403 wind genny gives up its ghost (10-12 years?), I'm hoping to move up to a larger unit.  In a decade, the battery, solar and wind generation technology will doubtless have improved, with even greater system options.
      In Montana, a homeowner can do their own electrical wiring, or hire a certified electrician.  For our customers, we generally work with their installer, contractor or electrician for their projects.  If you can do your own house wiring, you'll probably be able to handle the component installation for a project like this--otherwise, it's best left to the professionals.
      Our small wind tower (27 ft. above grade) was erected by digging a big hole and placing a large treated timber buried about 6 ft. in it, and then we attached the 1.5" schedule 40 pipe securely to that.  We didn't want guy wires all over the place.  For larger wind generators with bigger towers, you will need the help of a civil engineer or experienced contractor.  And, there may be zoning requirements specific to your area that only allow a certain tower height. 

A special thanks to the following businesses and individuals whose labor, components, patience and support helped make this possible:  Doyle Bailey,  Tony King, Stevi True-Value Hardware, West Electric Distributors,  Dan Healy, Tommy Bishop, Chandra Keeney, Tony Boatwright,….and especially to my spouse Ace Johnson, whose help made this one of the most fun and interesting projects I've ever done!

For pictures of this installation, see  http://www.oasismontana.com/oursystem.html --Chris Daum at Oasis Montana Inc.

Oasis Montana Inc., toll-free 877-627-4768 or 4778; e-mail: info@oasismontana.com; web: www.oasismontana.com; fax: 406-777-2632

HOW TO READ YOUR UTILITY BILL - and what does it mean? 
      So, you've noticed that your bills are creeping upward in cost.  While utilities differ somewhat in presentation, the basic information is the same.  Usually your past month's meter reading is listed, with your present month's meter reading, and the number of days of the billing period.  The difference is the number of kilowatt hours (KWH) you've consumed during that billing period.  A kilowatt hour is 1000 watt-hours (or, 1000 watts used for one hour).  If you burn five 100 watt light bulbs for 2 hours, that equals one kilowatt hour of energy consumption.
      If you divide your bill by the total KWH you've used, you'll get your charge for one kilowatt hour.  In Montana, we still have relatively inexpensive electricity, usually 7.5 to 9.3 cents per kilowatt hour (and less for irrigators, who use more electricity).  Some parts of the U.S., like Hawaii, are paying 20 to 25 cents a KWH!     In California, PG & E is currently charging 31 cents per KWH….    Soon, a utility bill will become like a mortgage or car  payment.  Grim, but likely.
      DEREGULATION was supposed to encourage competition between utilities in the hope of driving costs down--but in reality power producers have been avoiding building new generation stations (or, as with nuclear power sites, paying for their de-commissioning and disposal costs), and now, with increased power demand (which is expected to double in the next 20 years), they are unable to keep up with consumer and industrial demand for electricity.   Those who pay the highest will have more dependable power, while those who manufacture it in their "back yard" can expect brownouts, as their power is sold to the highest bidder.  This is likely to become the future of power sales in the Northwest.  Of course, those in the renewable energy field hope that wind generation, tidal power, solar and other alternatives will be pursued.  But expect to see talk of new coal and  nuclear  facilities; a short term solution, really, when you consider we're still cleaning up after the first generation units. 
      WHAT YOU CAN DO:  It's always very cost effective to conserve!  When you upgrade to a new appliance, be certain it's an energy efficient unit.  If you can do without that electrical "widget", please do so.  And, hey--dump your hair drier please.  1000 to 1500 watts just to dry your hair?  Gimme a break!  Is it worth contributing  to (utility profits and) to acid rain and other pollutants to DRY YOUR HAIR!?  Utilize compact fluorescent lights instead of incandescents, for an energy savings of 75% in lighting.  Most utility companies offer free energy audits, so you can see where your dollars are being spent.  Additional insulation, new windows, low flow shower heads are all  things any household can do to help keep a lid on your usage.  Most Americans live a very energy consumptive lifestyle--and they get major "sticker" shock when they inquire about the feasibility of a renewable energy system for their use.  "Why does it cost so much?"  --because we are the greediest society in the world--and we're just starting to pay for it.  Yet the acquisition  of an SUV or luxury sedan for $40,000+ is considered an "appropriate" purchase.  If you are serious about a renewable energy system, the first step is to become energy efficient--your system (and lifestyle) savings will follow, as trying to power a conventional home is unnecessarily expensive. 

Pages to this newsletter:

P1.Net metering P2.Efficient freezer sale P3.Basic product info Quick index
P4.Generators P5.Trace inverters P6.Propane Freezers Home page
wind generators Gas kitchen stoves Propane refrigerators Email us

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 ˝ 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.


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.


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

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)



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.



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.


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

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.



  • “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.”

  • “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