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

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Call 877-627-4778 or email us for the current pricing an any featured items listed within.


The Mirage of a Growing Fuel Supply
Mathematically, drilling more oil is a losing game.

Reprinted with permission, originally printed in the June 4th edition of the New York Times, written by Evar D. Nering, professor emeritus of mathematics at Arizona State University (A side note: it is generally considered that we have about 50 years of oil left, at the present rate of usage and current growth rate of 5%--and growing--per annum).

When I discussed the exponential function in the calculus classes I taught, I used consumption of a non-renewable natural resource as an example; since there is a national debate about energy policy, it may be useful to talk about the mathematics involved in making rational decisions about resource use.

Here’s the hypothetical situation: we have a 100 year supply of oil—that is, oil that would last 100 years if consumed at its current rate. But the oil is consumed at a rate that grows by 5% each year. How long will it last under these circumstances? It’s an easy calculation, about 36 years.

But let’s say we underestimated the supply, and we actually have a 1,000 year supply. At the same annual growth rate of 5%, how long will that last? The answer is about 79 years. Then let’s say we make a striking discovery of more oil—a bonanza—and now we have a 10,000 year supply. At the same rate of our growing use, how long would it last? Answer: 125 years. Estimates vary for how long currently known oil reserves will last, but all are considerably less than 100 years. But the point of this analysis is that it really doesn’t matter what the estimates are; there is no way that a supply-side attack on America’s energy problem can work.

Calculations also show that if consumption of an energy resource is allowed to grow at a steady 5% annual rate, a full doubling of the available supply will not be as effective as reducing that growth by half – to 2.5%. Doubling the size of the oil reserve will add at most 14 years to the life expectancy of the resource if we continue to use it at the currently increasing rate. On the other hand, halving the growth of consumption will almost double the life expectancy of the supply, no matter what it is. This math reality seems to have escaped the politicians pushing to solve the energy problem by simply increasing supply.

Building more power plants and drilling for more oil is exactly the wrong thing to do, because it will encourage more use. To avoid dire consequences, we need to find the political smarts and will to reduce the growth in energy consumption to zero—or even begin to consume less. I must emphasize that reducing the growth rate is not what most people are talking about when they advocate conservation; the steps they recommend are just Band-Aids. If we increase the gas mileage of our vehicles and then drive more miles, for example, that will not reduce the growth rate. Reducing the growth of consumption means living closer to where we work or play. It means telecommuting. It means controlling population growth. It means basic conservation techniques that work. It means shifting to renewable energy sources. It is not, perhaps, necessary to cut our use of oil, but it is essential we cut the rate of increase at which we consume it. To do otherwise is to leave our descendants in an impoverished world.

 —Mohandas Ghandi

Wind power — right for you?

There are several factors to determine the feasibility of wind generation at your site; the first is obviously a good average wind speed—at least 10 to 12 mph or better. Check with your local weather station or airports to help determine this. Zoning requirements are another consideration; will your community let you put up a tower?

Utilizing efficient appliances and lighting in your home will help make the system cost much less—every dollar spent on efficiency will save you three to five dollars in the cost of your power system, solar or wind.

To figure what components it would take for your system, we need to know 1) your power requirements in terms of watt-hours a day, or how much power you’d like to make with this system 2) the average wind speed 3) your peak loads (the total watts of all appliances, lights, etc., that might be running at one time—this is how we size the inverter) and 4) any special load considerations, like 240VAC loads, utility interactive or not, battery back-up or not.

Bergey Windpower Corporation now offers another option with their Excel 10 model: you can have your system hooked to utility power without batteries—a grid interactive system. When the wind blows, the power you make goes directly against your loads, and when you’re making more power than using, you can sell your power back to the utility. If you’re interested in this type of system, contact your local utility and ask what sort of net metering plan they offer.

Bergey Windpower has a great web site with state-by-state wind maps at www.bergey.com —if your zone rating is "3" or higher, you‘re likely in a very good site for wind generation. You can print pricing, spec sheets, installation manuals and tower options right off their site. For information on small wind gennies for remote cabins with modest power requirements, see

www.air403windgenerators.com/air_403.html —there are links at the bottom with more information on other components, basic wiring diagrams, etc.

Wind power is a vastly underdeveloped resource in this country; there’s enough viable wind power in eastern Montana and the Dakotas to supply the electrical needs of all of North America! But if you have a good site with consistent moderate to high winds, at least you can put it to work for you.

Bergey Windpower Corp’s XL.1 Wind Generator

This is the most technically advanced small wind turbine ever. It comes backed by a full five year warranty. The XL.1 is designed for high reliability, low maintenance, and automatic operation in adverse weather conditions. The unit comes with its own PowerCenter (controller) which includes the ability to add up to 30 amps of photovoltaic capacity. Owner installations are a snap with tilt-up tower options from 30 to 104 feet. . Units currently available are for 24V battery charging systems; the XL.1-S is in the forecast for next year, which will be a grid-interactive unit for batteryless systems! More voltage ranges are coming too.
* Five year warranty
* Maintenance-free design
* Nearly silent operation
*Good low wind performance
* Autofurl storm protection
* State of the art airfoil
* Direct-drive neodymium PM alternato

Bergey is swamped right now—lead time is 4 to 6 months for these popular units. Here’s data on the predicted energy production:

10.7 mph 12.1 mph 13.0 mph 13.9 mph 15.0 mph 18.8 mph
30 ft.
64 ft.
104 ft.

(above output is in Kilowatt Hours)

CONSERV Energy Efficient Refrigeration by Vestfrost

The ConServ refrigerator/freezers offer an AC alternative for efficient refrigeration. Available with stainless steel doors, and white exterior, their tall, slender design is a handsome addition to any kitchen, and their small "footprint" makes them desirable for apartment dwellers or for anyone with a small or galley-style kitchen.


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Now in autumn, we are enjoying cool and wet (even snowy) conditions, but it was one hot and smoky summer and fall for many parts of the western U.S., and Montana was no exception. We were smug with our good snowpack, back in spring. Then our summer started with a week of 100+ degree weather, and continued to stay hot. We were blanketed in smoke from the horrific fires (1.3 million acres burned) until the middle of September, and unfortunately, many homes and a few lives have been lost. We have been able to help some people with water pumping to protect their properties, but our drought conditions and warm temps made for a very dry western tinderbox. If only those folks in Texas could’ve share perhaps 1/20th of their deluge from their state…

Even so, the garden and fruit trees kept us busy, and despite the smoke we still enjoyed camping, fishing, and canoeing in our local river (even though the water was quite low). We hope our legislators will work on commonsense future measures to mitigate the effects of warming temperatures and prolonged drought. One thought we have had (since we were less than a mile from our local small airport, a helibase that launched many helicopters and other aircraft for fighting fires) is that actual planning for these events would be a good idea (seeing as they are now part of our new normal)—how about reservoirs near these airports to make hauling the big buckets faster and more affordable? Here in Stevensville, we have several large irrigation ditches in close proximity to our airfield…. Well, it’s just my 2 cents worth!



PICOCELL controller inverter for array-direct water pumping

 for your 240VAC pump.
In this issue we have some new products to share; one is an exciting new AC soft start pump controller/inverter that can run your 240VAC (or 120V, or 3 phase, or 230VAC 50 hz) 1/3 to 2 horsepower pump directly off of a solar array – click here for more information on the PICOCELL controller/inverter (cost: $1220 plus shipping). This exciting new technology is designed for off-grid use, or emergency back-up. We have installation manuals, spec sheets, and pump kit information on our water pumping site.  Call or e-mail for more information.



New, small Energy Efficient AC refrigerator

We also have a new, small AC refrigerator, 7.1 cu.ft. for your home or cabin, the CP972SS. It’s a great size for space-limited kitchens, only 22”W x 22”D x 57”H and will sell at the great price of $459 plus shipping. With its lean size, the CP972SS is the ideal refrigerator for studio apartments, yachts, offices, and other settings in need of reliable cooling in a slim-fitting footprint. Visit here for more information on this and other (larger) refrigerators.



Just a reminder, we offer a line of non-electric propane refrigerators, freezers, cooktops and ranges at www.LPappliances.com, and a line of efficient AC or DC refrigerators and freezers at www.eco-fridge.com.


The best nuclear generating station is 93 million miles away, and is available for pretty much everyone!
Thomas Edison quote on Solar Energy

Iron Edison Batteries
We also have a new line of batteries to offer, manufactured by Iron Edison;

Iron Edison BatteriesOver a century ago, Thomas Edison found a battery design that he considered to be nearly perfect. Today, Iron Edison is proud to offer an updated version of this incredible design that is specifically manufactured for renewable energy systems. Iron Edison carries a variety of nickel iron batteries: 12 volt, 24 volt, and 48 volt configurations, each configuration with amp-hour capacities of 100 Ah through 1000 Ah.

visit our information on this exciting new product line.


The International Trade Commission (ITC) is responding to a lawsuit brought about by SolarWorld and Suniva (U.S. module manufacturers) that low cost imported (i.e. Chinese) solar modules have hurt their competitiveness, so they are asking for a tariff on imported solar panels to ‘level the playing field’. Many pro-solar groups are opposing these tariffs, as they will increase the dollar-per-watt cost of installed solar power systems, and very negatively impact job growth in the solar sector – which had been bourgeoning in the past few years. In fact, it is estimated that 1 out of 50 new jobs is in the renewable energy sector. The ITC has approved tariffs, but it will be up the President Trump to set the rate; those of us in the industry are waiting to see what will happen, and many jobs are on hold pending the decision. It sounds like costs may go up 10% to as much as 40%. For more information visit:  https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/10/31/breaking-usitc-recommends-quotas-tariffs-on-crystalline-silicon-solar-imports/  and https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/11/13/the-clock-ticks-itc-turns-section-201-over-to-president-trump/

Renewable Energy (and related) news bites

             1912 Warning on coal cuasing climate change


  • When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.
    --Jens Stoltenberg
  • Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.
    --Marilyn Monroe
  • The cost of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
    –Ralph Nader
  • The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can't but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching.
  • A kestrel can and does hover in the dead calm of summer days, when there is not the faintest breath of wind. He will, and does, hover in the still, soft atmosphere of early autumn, when the gossamer falls in showers, coming straight down as if it were raining silk.
    --Richard Jefferies
  • I love nuclear energy! It's just that I prefer fusion to fission. And it just so happens that there's an enormous fusion reactor safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers more than we could ever use in just about 8 minutes. And it's wireless!
  • I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
    -- Andrew Wyeth
  • There has been a systematic repression of solar energy. It seems pretty funny to me that the government, if it is completely neutral--why wouldn't they pursue this far safer alternative of solar energy with the same intent that they pursue nuclear energy? Solar power is the last energy resource that isn't owned yet--nobody taxes the sun yet.
    --Bonnie Raitt
  • The problem with winter sports is that--follow me closely here--they generally take place in winter.
    --Dave Barry
  • If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
    --Anne Bradstreet

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