Oasis Montana Inc.
Renewable Energy Supply and Design
406-777-4321or 4309
(877-627-4768 toll-free order line)
Tech. Support: 1 (406) 777-4321 or 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
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