Topics In This Newsletter (Fall
From Oasis Montana
Greetings From Our Solar Powered Office: What a summer it
was! Too short, as always—but with some beneficial rains that helped
with the forest fires. Then, we had unusually hot weather in
September, and a nasty cold snap early in October. Still, the
orchard and garden were very generous to us and our friends, with
much cider, plums, potatoes, carrots and other produce to share.
For those of you who aren’t “on line”, or are beginning your
project, we have an extremely informative Product Catalog on disc
for $10 ($18 out of country)—essential for your energy library!
Products, system sizing, pricing, components, importance of energy
efficient appliances, battery care, and wind turbines are just some
of the topics covered. If you are on-line, you can see example
systems (costs, components and power output) at
To assist your information input, we’ve tried to develop as much
on-line information as we can. For solar water pumping, see
www.PVsolarpumps.com; for utility-tied photovoltaic systems, visit
www.grid-tie.com; for efficient AC appliances, DC ’fridges, coolers
and freezers see www.eco-fridge.com; for natural and LP gas
appliances, see www.LPappliances.com. Our main index page is
www.oasismontana.com and we now offer composting toilets at
www.eco-potty.com. Visit our web pages and stay a while!
30% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT —and
reduced solar module pricing make this the ideal time to get your PV
system up and running!
Solar modules have come down as much as 30% in the past year, so
check our pricing page for what modules best suit your power project
(or give us a call). Since the paperwork involving these incentives
can be a little confusing, peruse these online sources for more
http://www.dsireusa.org for a state-by-state database of all
incentives available to U.S. consumers.
http://www.energy.gov/media/HR_1424.pdf This link summarizes the
energy tax incentives of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of
lists federal tax credits for energy efficiency.
This site summarizes grant programs and wind energy productions tax
credits, as well as tax credits for advanced energy manufacturers.
And here’s http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf , the form
for the personal residential tax credit.
The Allure of Wind Power!
Many people are enamored with the prospect of wind power
generation—and unfortunately some make the investment before they
have really ascertained that they have the resource for a wind
system. Solar modules are so boring, they just sit there….but wind
machines are a form of kinetic sculpture, and their spinning
movement is quite entrancing! BUT, while folks are drawn to wind
generation, photovoltaics are often a better approach (often because
wind looks like it’s doing something even when it isn’t, while PV
tends to be the opposite). And there are important issues with wind
turbines; wind devices need proper siting to avoid turbulence, and
most neighborhoods have tower restrictions. Wind generators should
be mounted at least 30 ft. above anything else within 500 ft., and
in an urban situation, usually your lot must be at least 1/2 half
acre or larger in size. Permits, neighbors, variances….all are
factors to be considered before spending money on a wind generator.
The larger the blade span, the greater the swept wind area, so if
you do have an excellent site for wind power, go big and high for
the greatest power return.
If you have some idea of mounting a wind genny on your house….well,
get over it. It’s a very bad idea, and even smaller units have been
known to vibrate a structure apart. Visit http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopMounting.html
for an article about roof-mounted wind machines. And there’s another
site that works to dispel myths about urban wind generators at
http://www.urbanturbines.org (there’s some scary pictures here!). A
pole stuck 10 ft. above your garage is not going to generate much;
now I’m not saying you can’t have a wind turbine in the city limits,
but unless you have good clean wind, preferably mostly from one
direction, with no obstacles to reduce the wind resource, it’s not
going to be a good investment.
Of late we have been receiving requests to become dealers for
several types of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs). These devices
sort of look like egg-beaters, mounted on a vertical central pole
and spinning like a top. In spite of their claims, the basic design
is not suitable, at present, for high power production. And while
they do look cool, no matter how high wind speeds are, the blades
being turned are offset by an equal amount of wind hitting the
opposing blades—so never more than 50% of the winds can be utilized
to create rotation, no matter how efficient the blade design. The
three bladed horizontal axis models still make the most power for
their design. And so, if you WERE seriously considering a
residential, battery-based, grid-tied wind generation system….it
just might entail these components:
- Outback GTFX2524 inverter (2500W continuous
rating, 24V inverter)
- Outback Power MATE controller (system programmer
- Pair 10' 4/0 inverter to battery cables
- XL1 Wind Generator
- Temp Sensor
- Midnight E-Panel, two 60A DC breakers
- 8 - 6V Batteries (no cost included for these)
- 80 ft. tilt-up tower kit
So I have a total of $8100 (approximate; see current
pricing) before freight, batteries
& interconnects, site work, installation, wire runs, ground rod,
those sorts of things. We have had XL.1 turbines in the field since
2002 with few problems, and you can view the installation manual for
this tough turbine at http://www.bergey.com. How much power this
will make at your site depends on your average wind speeds, local
turbulence, and elevation. You can view maps of wind resources at
these sites: http:/www.windpowermaps.org,
http://www.nrel.gov/wind/resource_assessment.html and http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_maps.asp.
You may also want to consult with your local weather resources and
airports—always good places to check for average wind speeds.
|To design a power system for you, we need your power
requirements (electrical load information). See our web
page for system sizing information and examples of power
systems, which are based on the part of the country
you’re in and how much sunlight you receive. We have
design information on our web site, so please feel free
to utilize this. Or, we also offer a product and design
information CD for just $10.00 ($18
international)-—filled with information for your energy
library! We also have a paper catalog, which costs $15
for U.S. residents.
Current Pricing as of November 2009
Solar Module Pricing:
Call for availability, freight costs, and quantities (# of modules)
on pallets for the best deal. You can’t get less than a pallet
quantity to get the pallet ‘deal’. For larger modules, pallet
quantity generally runs between 20 and 30 modules. Call for
single module and pallet quantity prices.
Sharp NT-175UI, 175W
Sharp NE-170UI, 170W SALE!
while supplies last.
Sharp ND-130UJF, 130W
Sharp NE-80EJEA, 80W
SANYO HIT195, 195W
Sanyo HIT190, 190W
Sanyo HIT Double 195W
Sanyo 215N, 215W
Mitsubishi UD-175MF5, 175W
SUNTECH STP-175/24, 175W
Suntech 70 STP12, 70W
CANADIAN SOLAR 230W
Canadian Solar 200W
KYOCERA KD210GX, 210W
Kyocera KD205GX, 205W
Kyocera KD185GX, 185W
Kyocera KD180GX, 180W
Kyocera KD135GX, 135W
(Some Kyocera modules may have a ~3 month lead time)
Kyocera KC130TM, 130W
Kyocera KC85T, 85W
Kyocera KC65T, 65W
Kyocera KC40T, 40W
Kyocera KS20, 20W
Kyocera KS10, 10W
Kyocera KS5, 5W
SOLTECH SOL-1012, 10W
YINGLI YL85, 85W
We offer a variety of mounts to suit your
project, including A-frame roof or ground mounts, top and side
of pole mounts, flush mounts, tilt mounts, RV racks, as well as
Zomeworks or Wattsun Trackers. Call for your cost, avail-ability
and freight. At this writing, some racks may have a 6 week lead
NOTE: the small print — prices subject to change without notice
(sometimes for the better!)
CHARGE CONTROLLERS—call for information!
We offer most models, including those made by Morningstar, Blue
Sky Energy, Apollo Solar, Xantrex, Outback Power, SCI and Stecca.
|From time to time we at Oasis Montana hear of
these supposed marvelous ‘energy saving devices’
which will magically reduce the amount of power we
are using...and purchasing. Well, here’s an article
written by the Association of Energy Engineers which
addresses the sales pitches for these so-called
As quoted: "The problem is that some of these
solution providers have significantly overstated the
savings and the customers are deceived. They often
provide very little, if any, energy savings."
Propane refrigerators, freezers, ranges,
cooktops - www.LPappliances.com for information. No
power is no problem with these gas ‘fridges, freezers and
stoves! The refrigerators and freezer come set up for
propane but can be converted to natural gas for a small fee.
The stoves and cooktops come set up for natural gas with
instructions to adjust for use with propane.
Dometic Servel propane refrigerator, 8 cu.ft.
capacity Call for pricing.
The Servel propane refrigerator can be converted to use
natural gas; call for pricing.
Crystal Cold 12 cu.ft. capacity
propane ’fridge Call for pricing.
Crystal Cold 15 cu.ft. capacity Call for pricing.
Crystal Cold 18 cu.ft. capacity Call for pricing.
Stainless 18 cu.ft. capacity (w/ black textured sides) Call
NEW 21 cu.ft. capacity White Crystal Cold ‘Fridge
Call for pricing.
(it’s the biggest propane refrigerator manufactured!)
Also available as a special order is a 19 cu.ft. black model
for Call for pricing.
The Crystal Cold refrigerators can be converted to
natural gas; call for pricing.
Blizzard 15 cu.ft. capacity upright freezer Call
Blizzard 22 cu.ft. capacity upright freezer Call
The Blizzard 15 and 22 cu.ft. freezers can be converted
to natural gas; call for pricing.
Peerless Premier gas ranges are
available in 20”, 24”, 30” and 36” widths, with model colors
ranging from white, bisque, black and stainless. Even the
electronic ignition models will work without power (you can
light the burners and oven with a match) -- there’s no glow
bar in the ovens on these mechanically simple, American-made
stoves. All ranges are set up for natural gas but LP
conversion kits are included for every model at no extra
cost (and you don’t have to be Mr. Wizard to figure it out).
Drop-in Gas Cook-tops
We also offer propane & natural gas cooktops, Italian-made
by Verona; these professional cooking appliances are
available in a wide variety of finishes (stainless, black,
bisque and white or black glass), with two, four and five
burner models. www.LPappliances.com for pictures and
Outback Power Components Pricing
Sealed inverters: FX2012T, 2524T, 3048T Call
Vented inverters: VFX2812, 3524, 3648 Call for
Grid-tie, mobile, marine and export versions available on
most of these sine wave inverters.
MATE system display & controller Call for
PSX240 Transformer Call for pricing.
Communications Manager HUB-4; HUB-10 Call for
FLEXmax60 MPPT 60A Charge Controller Call for
FLEXmax80 MPPT 80A Controller Call for pricing.
There are way more Outback Power products than we have room
to list….call or e-mail for more information.
or visit their web page at
www.outbackpower.com They’ve got
a nice product catalog there you can download too, at
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
Why buy from Oasis Montana Inc?
Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the
renewable energy field for 20 years. We are happy to work with your
installer, electrician, or contractor out of our area, and we do
install systems locally. We provide
detailed wiring diagrams with the systems we sell. We are a small
shop and take the time to design a system specific solar electric
power system to your requirements. We do not sell solar electric
power "kits". Every system is specifically designed to
meet your needs. Being a small shop with over 20 years
experience we are able to specialize in great customer service.
There are a lot of "newbees" out there now that "Renewable Energy"
is starting to be popular. Buy from Oasis Montana Inc with
confidence and don't be fooled by some "Johnny-come-lately" now that
renewable energy is becoming in vogue.
TO PLACE AN ORDER: E-mail or call us for your freight ; if you
have any questions about your system or product, please contact us.
E-mail is easiest and fastest (but we know that you aren’t all on
line). We accept Visa/Mastercard (personal and business checks are
fine). For our international customers, we accept bank
transfers—e-mail or call us for our banking information. Our hours
are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Mountain Time, Mon. – Fri.
If we‘re on another line when you call, please leave us a message,
and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but you may have to
leave a message if we’re with a customer or on one of the other
lines. 406-777-4321 or 4309 or e-mail us at
for tech support on renewable energy systems, e-mail
email@example.com. We’d be very happy to help you with your
power project — send an e-mail or give us a call!
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 $25.
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, is that laptop really cheaper to
power than a desktop PC?
* Operating Voltage: 115VAC * Max Voltage: 125VAC
* Max Current: 15A
* Max Power: 1875W
* Dimensions: 5 1/8” x 1
5/8” x 2 3/8”
The CHINOOK 200 Wind Turbine is here!
If you have modest power requirements, good average wind
speeds and are looking for a small wind generator to help keep your
batteries full (especially in the cold, dark days of winter),
consider the Chinook turbine. Its maximum output is 250W and it’s
rated at 200W, at either 12V or 24V output. It is made and tested in
one of Montana’s windiest location (near Great Falls). At an average
wind speed of 12 mph you will get about 40 kilowatt-hours per month
(depending on your elevation and constancy of wind).
Technical specifications: rotor diameter is one meter (39”);
rated wind velocity is 28 mph; cut-in rpm 350. At 14 lbs. it is easy
to mount on any 1.5” (48.4mm) schedule 40 steel pipe (commonly
available in most hardware or plumbing stores) and it carries a
three year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Other features:
- Only two moving parts and sealed for life bearings
- Proprietary 3-phase axial PMA utilizing neodymium iron
- Suitable for domestic or marine applications
- Quiet operation with low TSR motor
- Excellent performance at low wind speeds
- Injection molded blades
- Lightweight but heavy duty
- Microcontroller based control system
- ‘Plug & Play’ charge controller with built-in dump load
- Ideal for supplementing solar electric power systems!
- Quality USA made
- Call for pricing.
The DL300 Series controller is designed to prevent your batteries
from overcharging; it’s compact and easy to install, and
incorporates a 300W resistor/heater and controller in a stout 18
gauge powder-coated steel enclosure.
If you have been considering the addition of wind to your PV
system—or you are planning to add a wind generator to your sail-boat
or catamaran, now is the time to try a Chinook! The turbine and
controller is $675 plus freight. The next batch in production should
be ready to ship just before Thanksgiving. We have specs and a copy
of the manual we can e-mail, if you want more information!
WATCH OUT FOR ENERGY SCAMMERS……
While it is wonderful that our federal government has finally
stepped up to the plate with its renewable tax incentives, there are
always unscrupulous persons waiting to take advantage of people’s
interest in these kinds of power systems. There was an article in
AARP’s last newsletter about the dangers of scammers, and how you can
avoid them at
There are other scammers out there too; of late there’ve been many
e-mails about ’making your own solar modules’ with claims of
’powering your home for a $200 investment’. While there are kits to
build your own modules, they are better suited for the student or
hobby endeavor. We are getting calls from folks wanting to sell
power back to their utility with their home-made solar modules or
wind generators. Unfortunately most people are clueless as to the
input requirement for these grid-tie inverters, and it’s a rude
awakening when they are told that only UL approved components are
legal and National Electric Code safe for grid-tie systems. And if
you think that $200 of home-made PV panels will power the average
home, there’s a bridge somewhere that’s for sale cheap too….
SOLAR HEATED STOCK WATERERS!
customers in northern climates have sought ways to keep their
animals watered in below freezing conditions—and we finally have
something for you. The SUNTANK (25 gallon model pictured at right)
will keep your water freeze-free to wind chill of 20 degrees below
zero, and the 42 gallon unit will work to -50 degrees F. These can
be filled from the top with a hose or you can have a direct line
attached with auto-fill and shut-off float to keep full. Call
Other features include:
- Durable! Units used and tested for 18 years are still going
- No freeze-ups, never rusts.
- No fuel or electricity needed, so it can be placed anywhere
in un-obscured sunlight.
- No risk of electrical shock to livestock, with a
shatter-proof passive solar collector.
- No costly fuel or electricity; uses energy from the sun,
still absorbs UV on cloudy days.
- SAVES time and money, so it pays for itself faster.
- Will NOT freeze even when livestock don't drink. Easy
accessible water for livestock, even in ice and snow conditions.
- MADE IN THE U.S.A.!
There’s no minimum number of livestock needed, and this also
keeps water cool and algae-free in summer. Closed system helps stop
West Nile Virus and other diseases. You may have to fence out the
collector side to avoid shading from stock. The 42 gallon unit is
guaranteed to -50F degrees below zero, and the 25 gallon unit
guaranteed to -20 degrees below zero -- during winter conditions
with wind chill factor included.
Renewable Energy and Alternative News Bites:
Kudos to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown for introducing the
"Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology
(IMPACT) Act of 2009." The IMPACT Act would provide resources for
small- and medium-sized manufacturers through a 2-year, $30 billion
manufacturing revolving loan fund, which will provide much needed
liquidity for domestic manufacturers to improve processes, to retool
and expand production of clean energy products. The Apollo Alliance
estimates that, once enacted, the bill will create 680,000 direct
manufacturing jobs and 2 million indirect jobs over 5 years.
Nuclear Power Too Cheap To Meter? ….not really! There’s
little hype or spin in this article by energy policy analyst Matthew
Johnson from Texas at http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/50063697.html;
and you can find more information about the very high costs of
nuclear-generated electricity at http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47906
Pee fuel….it could make beer drinking even more important!
Weighing in on Federal subsidies for renewables vs. fossil
for an article on fossil fuel subsidies far outweighing funds for
renewable technologies—and how that will change in the near future.
Decisions, decisions...should you subsidize your utility
company’s photovoltaic project, or is it more cost-effective to
renovate your own home with PV?
http://www.emagazine.com/view/?4802, and scroll down for some
perspectives and answers.
Intermittency Not a Problem for Wind Power, Say European
reports published in the past month by the National Grid, and other
energy consultancies, all come to the same conclusion - that large
scale deployment of wind energy does away with the problems of
variable wind. The NGO report, "Managing Variability," published by WWF, RSPB, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, also claims that
breakdowns in coal and gas plants generally pose more of a threat to
the stability of utility networks than the relatively benign
variations in the output of wind plant.
for an article on a Formula 3 racing car powered by carrots
and...chocolate? Seriously! It’s a little pricey, but check
out the video footage.
New Economic Data Released on Clean Energy Legislation:
http://www.nrdc.org/media/2009/090917.asp Under the American Clean
Energy and Security Act, there will be more jobs, less global
warming pollution and greater security, all for less than the cost
of a postage stamp a day (per American household), according to “A
Clean Energy Bargain” analysis. The report found that ACES will
drive investments in clean energy and energy efficiency of more than
$300 billion by 2030.
Solar collector roads? Imagine if our asphalt
surfaces could make solar power:
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to
play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body
and soul,” —John Muir
“If you look at the science about what is happening
on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if
you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the
lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a
pulse.” —Paul Hawken
“You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made
a fool of yourself, he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.”
—Laurence J. Peter
“Every business is built on friendship.” —J.C. Penny
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the
truth they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The
great point is to bring them the real facts…and beer.” —Abraham
“Come my friends, tis not too late to seek a newer
world.” —A.L. Tennyson
"Believe in yourself, your neighbors, your work,
your ultimate attainment of more complete happiness. It is only the
farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a
harvest in Autumn. “ — B. C. Forbes
“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
“October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous
months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January,
September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and
February. “ — Mark Twain
“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a
flower.” — Albert Camus
“The foliage has been losing its freshness through
the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself
like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen
one season too many. “ — Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Youth is like spring, an over praised season more
remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the
mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in
fruits.” —Samuel Butler
|WE’RE STILL REDUCING OUR MAILING LIST—with
rising printing & mailing costs, we will be removing some old
addresses from our mailing list. If you receive both this e-mail
version and the paper version, let us know if we can remove your
name from our mailed version if this version works for you.
If you are reading this from our web site and would like to
subscribe to our emailed newsletter please let us know. It
saves paper, labor and postage, and only disturbs a few electrons.
Sometimes we have a great deal to offer, or just some good RE news
to pass on. We do not sell or share our (small, hand-maintained)
e-mail list with anyone. Contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have a sale or new product, e-mail may be your
only notification. And we promise we won’t bother you more than a
couple of times a year.