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 renewable energy newsletter for spring 2008

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Hot stuff at Oasis Montana! Last year’s garden was very successful; at this writing, we are still eating carrots, ‘taters, garlic, and the last of the squash. And we are also enjoying our dried apples, plums and peaches, as well as several types of fruit wine. But what gets us through these cold Montana winters are the hot peppers! We’ve been seed-saving a couple of varieties for several years, and our favorites are a Cayenne type and another we call a Portugal pepper. They’re both hot, around 60,000 Scoville units or better. The Cayenne is a long, slender pepper that hangs down on the plant and the Portugal is shorter, fatter and is held upright. Both are as easy to grow as tomatoes; I start them around the first day of spring and set them out in mid-May (and they are pretty enough to be grown as ornamentals). By late July, I am getting red peppers, and right before the first hard frost I pull up the plants and hang them in my windows. The remaining green ones will eventually turn red. We have a grinder dedicated to the peppers, and when we process a batch, it makes the entire house radioactive! The coughing and sneezing is a pretty good indicator that it’s pepper-grinding time--it’s a tearful experience….

This year we are offering to share our pepper seed; if you will send us a self-addressed, stamped envelope, we will send you a few seeds of either or both (please specify) of whatever pepper you would prefer. Hot stuff is GOOD!

FREE COPY OF AN IMPORTANT BOOK: It’s Lester R. Brown’s “Plan 3B, Mobilizing to Save Civilization”. You can download the entire thing or parts for free at http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/PB3/Contents.htm; subjects include Deteriorating Oil and Food Security, Climate Change, Shrinking Forests and Growing Deserts, Eradicating Poverty, Restoring the Earth, Stabilizing the Population, Rethinking Land Productivity, Designing Cities for People, Raising Energy Efficiency, Turning to Renewable Energy, and Saving Civilization.

kill-a-watt meter to measure your electrical usage
Kill A Watt Meter: The Electricity Detector and Monitor can educate you about your monthly electric bill and help you save a lot of money. You can now be a ’detective’ and ascertain what appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in. Simply plug in the Kill A Watt meter, connect your appliances to it and Kill a Watt will assess how efficient it really is, showing you the instantaneous power used, and also cumulative energy or kilowatt-hours used.

Kill a Watt, with large LCD display, will count consumption by the kilowatt-hour, same as your local utility. With the help of Kill a Watt you can figure out your electrical expenses by the day, week, month or year on a given device. Kill a Watt can check the quality of your power by monitoring Voltage, Line Frequency, and Power Factor.
Still just $29.
Now you'll know if it is time to install a power strip on your entertainment center instead of feeding those ghosts loads while you are sleeping or away from home. Or, find out how much energy you save with a laptop instead of a desktop computer.

  • Operating Voltage: 115VAC Max Voltage: 125VAC

  • Max Current: 15A Max Power: 1875W

  • Dimensions: 5 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/8”

We’ve had fun as well as a learning experience with our Kill a Watt meter; last December we purchased some of the extremely efficient LED holiday lights and were positively thrilled at their efficiency. Some of the strands use a total of as little as 2 watts! It’s also useful in checking your frequency (hertz range); if you are burning out lights or appliances, you may have power quality issues and not know it.

Power strips are a common occurrence around our home and office; while we do leave the fax and answering machine on 24/7, we use these power strips to kill any unnecessary loads when we leave the room. So we have power strips around all computers and printers, the TV & VCR, our entertainment center (stereo, tuner, turntable and CD player). When not in use, all loads are irrevocably turned off.

Magnum MS-AE 120/240V pure sine wave inverter/charger

No more stacking! That’s right: someone has finally made a battery-based inverter that can produce both 120v and 240v interchangeably without needing to purchase and stack two separate inverters. The new MS-AE pure sine wave inverters from Magnum Energy are available in 4000 (24volts) and 4400 (48volt) watt configurations. If more wattage is necessary, you have the ability to link up multiple MS-AE’s in series using a Series Stacking Interface. The inverter is based on the popular MS series that was designed for demanding mobile and off-grid applications and includes a Power Factor Corrected (PFC) batter charger. The PFC uses 25-30% less AC current from your generator than most other leading chargers.

Of course there are additional accessories that are available for the MS-AE. The easy-to-use Remote, allows programming the unit as well as access to various other inverter features. The AGS (Auto Generator Start) Module provides hassle free integration of almost any 2-4 wire start generator.Magnum sine wave inverters

We like to pair up the MS-AE inverters with the simple and cost effective Midnight E-Panel from Midnight Solar. The E-panel comes pre-wired with inverter breakers and cables, AC input and bypass, 500amp/50mV shunt, AC terminal blocks, din rails wall mounting brackets, charge controller bracket, and loads of extra hardware. When using the E-panel, all that is left for the installer to do is mount the inverter to the hinged door, install the necessary breakers and connect a few wires. Not only does this save loads of time, the cost of the panel is not much more than if you were to piece and part it all together yourself. The E-panel is available for a variety of other inverters, including the popular Outback FX and VFX series.
MS-AE 4024/MS-AE 4448 $2499.00
MM-RC (remote) $59.00
ME-AGS $279.00
E-Panel $699.00

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Oasis Montana renewable energy newsletter for spring 2008

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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