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


Featured Appliances & Hot Tips
Oasis Fall 2005 Newsletter

Is Burning Wood Greener Than Burning Gas? Article by Vincent Standley 

A Reader Asks The Green Guide: (reprinted in part with permission of www.thegreenguide.com)
With an expected jump in natural gas prices I was contemplating the purchase of a wood burning fireplace insert to supply additional heat to our home. The manufacturer provides efficiency ratings for these but how do the emissions from burning wood compare with gas? Overall is it cleaner to burn wood or gas, considering all the factors like drilling, processing and transmission vs. wood? 
Thank you, John Wolfe, Philadelphia, PA 

The Green Guide Responds: A properly engineered woodburning system is by far a more eco-friendly source of heat than gas, oil, or electricity produced from non-renewable resources. Like all renewable energies, though, attention to every aspect of the process is necessary—from the origin of the fuel to its final release as gas and smoke. In this way, wood can be fully exploited as a smart alternative to non-renewable energy sources. 

Greenhouse Gas: Ecologists generally agree that wood is carbon neutral. While burning wood releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas also released by fossil fuels—the gas is reabsorbed by growing trees and turned into carbon, which accounts for half the weight of wood. Whether a tree burns in your fireplace or decomposes in the forest, it will release the same amount of carbon into the environment in the form of CO2, methane and other gasses. However, all of this only makes sense when the wood has been grown and harvested according to sustainable forestry practices. For example, selective harvesting preserves the bio-diversity and integrity of the forest, which in turn ensures that the CO2 will be reabsorbed and that you'll have a place to get more firewood. Hypothetically, this cycle can be repeated indefinitely. Fossil fuel can make no such claim. 

Firewood: The firewood must be seasoned, which means exposing split and stacked wood to a summer's worth of open air and sun. Seasoned wood can be purchased by the cord (4 x 8 x 4 ft of tightly stacked wood), though verifying where it came from and how it was processed may be difficult. Obviously if you chop your own wood and season it yourself, your fuel costs will be even lower. On the other hand, you may buy un-split, unseasoned wood, split unseasoned wood or split seasoned wood. For all of this effort to really pay off, you need an advanced combustion stove or fireplace. These appliances burn wood much more efficiently than almost anything made before the mid-eighties. More efficient burning means less wood is used and less smoke is produced. All told, these new stoves and fireplaces use about 1/3 less wood and produce 90% less smoke to produce the same heat as earlier models. They actually re-burn the smoke, which produces more heat and eliminates the build-up of creosote. Consequently, advanced combustion burners require less maintenance than conventional stoves and fireplaces. Lastly, never burn garbage in your fireplace. It produces toxic substances, including carcinogenic dioxins (home burning is the fifth largest source of dioxins in Canada). It can also harm your stove. Reduce, reuse, recycle and, finally, toss out garbage instead.

Product Choices: There are several options when it comes to choosing a new advanced combustion stove or fireplace. Freestanding wood stoves are the most popular, and because of new EPA test standards, advanced combustion technology is now standard. Many factory-built fireplaces are nearly as efficient as freestanding stoves and can heat an entire house when properly installed and maintained. You may even use a central heating duct system to distribute the heat. Your plan to install a fireplace insert is also a viable option, and most fireplaces can now be converted into super efficient advanced combustion stoves, while preserving the existing masonry.

Quadra-Fire manufactures both free standing and insert wood burners, with a wide range of capacities. The 2100 Millennium which heats 950-1,500 sq. ft. to the 5700 Step Top which heats 3,500 sq. ft. Their inserts have a similar breadth: the 2700-I which heats 1,500 sq. ft. to the 5100I which heats 3,500 sq. ft. For prices call 610-346-7894. Other options may also be found at Heat-N-Glo, (888) 427-3973) and Heatilator, (800) 927-684).

Resources: For sustainable firewood, see listings at Forest Stewardship Council's www.certifiedwood.org. The Wood Heat Org. is at www.woodheat.org/environment/environment.htm 
The Canadian Government's Guide to Residential Wood Heating is at www.canren.gc.ca/prod_serv/index.asp?CaId=103&PgId=576

NOTE: We at Oasis Montana have been heating our home and office with wood for years; our source is doug fir and lodgepole pine, well-seasoned leftovers from the local log home industry in our valley. Our stove is called an “Earth Stove”, and it has its own automatic dampening system for increased efficiency. We burn about 3 cords a year to keep our home and office very toasty.

 

Oasis Montana Fall 2005 newsletter navigation

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NEW 20” Stainless Range The Peerless Premier Manufacturing Company has introduced a new member of their stainless model line, the SAK 600BP. If you want a nice but SMALL (20 1/4” wide) natural or propane gas range for your vacation home or cabin, check out this cute model. $680 plus freight. Features include:

 


Model: SAK 600BP  

 

  • Stainless Steel Front, Black Porcelain Sides and Top
  •  Stainless Bar Type Handles
  •  Electronic Ignition (but can be lit with a match in the absence of AC power)
  •  4” Black Porcelain Backguard
  •  Black Porcelain Main Top
  •  Round Cast Iron Grids, Open Burner Style
  •  Chrome Reflector Pans, Two Oven Racks
  •  Easy Access Broiler on the Bottom
  •  Top Burners 9100 BTU, Oven 17000 BTU
  •  Oven Dimensions 16”W x 14.5”H x 18”D
  •  Propane Conversion Kit Included On All Models
 

Visit www.LPappliances.com for more 
information on these stoves.

 

 

The ConServ refrigerator is still available

...and more popular than ever! This slender, sleek Danish-made import is available in: white, or gray with matching stainless steel doors.

Outside dimensions are 79.2”H x 23.6”W x 23.4”D — and with their 2’x2’ footprint, they will fit handily into even a small kitchen. It can sit flush against any wall because it is completely sealed and there are no exposed coils. To add utility, a 5-bottle wine rack is included in the refrigerator. Total capacity is 10.5 cu.ft.; 7.1 cu.ft. is the refrigerator and 3.4 cu.ft is the convenient bottom-mount freezer. 

Call for your pricing, or visit www.conservrefrigerators.com/conserv.html for more information.

Oasis Montana Fall 2005 newsletter navigation

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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 AC pump
In this issue we have some new products to share; one is an exciting new AC 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 Star rated 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.

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;
visit our information on this exciting new product line.

WHY IS THE PRICE OF SOLAR MODULES LIKELY TO INCREASE?

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/  

Renewable Energy (and related) news bites

             1912 Warning on coal cuasing climate change

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

  • 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.
    –Enya
  • 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!
    --Unknown
  • 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