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


GREETINGS FROM OUR SOLAR POWERED OFFICE!
 

Solar Water Purification: In this day and age of smart phones and gadgets, people often lose sight of what is really important. We may not need the latest electronic toys, but we all have a basic need for clean, potable water. Oasis Montana is partnering with our supplier to provide pumping and purification systems for disaster relief, remote homes, villages, schools and clinics--wherever the need arises. Please visit http://www.oasismontana.com/genpro_solar_water_purification.html  and http://www.PVsolarpumps.com for more information, and do not hesitate to contact us with the particulars of your water project.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


NEWSLETTER INDEX:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Importance Of Keeping Track of Your System! So, congratulations! You are the proud owner of a solar power system...you're either powering your off-grid home, or perhaps you have a grid-tie system, and you are lowering or even negating your utility bill. Hooray! But, before you get too carried away, there are some things to consider. For starters, make sure your system is insured. A call to your insurance company is in order; like any other valued home improvement, you should have protection against theft, vandalism, or weather damage. Next, document your system. Keep track of the serial numbers of all components--solar modules, inverters, controllers, etc. All have identifying numbers on them. If you need any servicing or repairs down the line, this information will help you get the repair/replacement parts or components you need (or troubleshooting advice) much more swiftly. Keep all wiring diagrams, tech manuals, and serial numbers in a safe place. Finally, it may be worth your while, if you are not technically inclined, to schedule a yearly check-up from your installer; he/she will ascertain that all your components are working smoothly and within the proper technical parameters.

And, if you are looking for the latest tax credits or grants in your state, you can always visit www.dsireusa.org, and the form for the residential tax credit can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Did you know that the solar power industry is installing a PV system in the U.S. every 4 minutes? http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/america-installs-a-solar-system-every-four-minutes
for the story!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

SUNDANZER, an established name in quality, reliable DC appliances, offers a new, larger DC freezer, using only 800 watt-hours a day at temps of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The capacity is 14.7 cu.ft. (390 liters), and it will operate off a 12V or 24V power system. It can also run off two 140W solar modules in most climates.

Cost is $1549 plus shipping. For more information on the SunDanzer 390L, visit http://www.eco-fridge.com/sundanzer390Lchstfrzr.html, and for information on our other efficient goods, visit www.eco-fridge.com.


Sundanzer 390L chest freezer
 
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

New! AC SOLAR MODULES FROM BENQ. We are into our second installation of this exciting new technology, using solar modules that are 240VAC nominal, 225W (and up) rated power output (and with an industry standard, 25-year, 80% power warranty rating). The integrated microinverter converts DC to AC in each module, increasing system performance by up to 25%, reducing shade losses and making the PV system safer to install and own. These BenQ modules are installed, monitored, and maintained with ease! They are the first UL-certified AC Module on the market, with more AC modules sold than any in the industry. Call or email us for more information on this exciting new solar product. $575 each plus shipping.

Installation video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDg2OxcUJPg&feature=plcp.  For a side-by-side comparison of conventional modules and the new AC offerings, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMLvhKSbwZ0&feature=plcp.

solar modules


Oasis Montana's newly installed BenQ residential system in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley (Thanks, Mick!)
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Bergey's Excel 1 residential wind generator and its controller make a Classic combination! Bergey's 1KW wind generator has teamed up with Midnite Solar's Classic charge controller for a wind-charging system that offers field-selectable voltages of 12V, 24V, or 48V for your battery bank. If you live in a site with a good average wind speed (10-12 mph or preferably greater), you may find the addition of a wind charging system will really help keep your batteries 'fat.' You can view information about the Excel 1 at http://bergey.com/products/wind-turbines/bergey-excel-1, and for installation information, visit http://bergey.com/technical. Cost of the Excel 1, its charge controller, and a 60 ft. tilt-up tower kit currently comes to $6099 plus freight.

Find wind maps at http://www.nrel.gov/gis/wind.html and at http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_maps_none.asp.


 

Energy News Bites:

*   Jellyfish never stopped a solar power system: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/02/world/europe/sweden-jellyfish-nuclear-shutdown/index.html?eref=edition

*   650,000 solar modules declared a fire risk (not all solar modules are created equal! Watch out for the bargain stuff): http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/650000_solar_panels_declared_fire_risk_2356

*   Solar decathalon: see the contestants and their projects: http://www.altenergymag.com/emagazine/2013/10/solar-decathlon-2013/2140

*  Prompt reporting of ND oil spill? It doesn't seem so: http://news.msn.com/us/nd-farmer-finds-oil-spill-while-harvesting-wheat?GT1=51501

*  Flying wind turbines (high altitude), a very interesting concept: http://www.skywindpower.com/science_generators.htm

*  The air we breathe is the most widespread environmental carcinogen: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/10/most-widespread-environmental-carcinogen-air-we-breathe/7301/

*  Three reasons Germans are going renewable at all costs: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/10/3-reasons-germans-are-going-renewable-at-all-costs?cmpid=WNL-Friday-October25-2013

Deep Purple Song? PV on the water and fire in the skies….A floating solar array in Japan: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/11/running-out-of-precious-land-floating-solar-pv-systems-may-be-a-solution?cmpid=WNL-Friday-November8-2013

*  Is an oil crash is on its way? http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029415.700-an-oil-crash-is-on-its-way-and-we-should-be-ready.html#.Un0rAyfJJSE

*  Grow crops under a PV array….they are doing it in Japan: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/japan-next-generation-farmers-cultivate-agriculture-and-solar-energy?cmpid=WNL-Friday-October11-2013
 

*  Energy Independence Act costing less than naysayers warned: http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2022102890_daviddanneropedrenewableenergy23xml.html

*  Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Outstrip Climate Aid Fivefold: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-20/fossil-fuel-subsidies-outstrip-climate-aid-fivefold.html

*  Wind Energy Slashes Climate and Air Pollution, Saves Water: http://www.environmentamerica.org/news/ame/wind-energy-slashes-climate-and-air-pollution-saves-water

*  Just 90 Companies Are Responsible for Two-Thirds of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: http://grist.org/climate-energy/just-90-companies-are-responsible-for-two-thirds-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions/?utm_source=feedly

*  Buy a portable hydro-electric generator: http://www.gizmag.com/hydrobee-portable-hydroelectric-generator/29839/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=be274dd464-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-be274dd464-76674417
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

WHO WE ARE and ORDERING INFORMATION:  Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the renewable energy field for 24 years, and our system designers will help plan a system for your needs. Our staff offers experience, personalized service, tech support, quality components, and good pricing. We are happy to work with your installer, electrician, or contractor, and locally we can install your power system (or even fly to your site for installation). We provide detailed wiring diagrams with the systems we sell. TO PLACE AN ORDER:  Email or call us for your freight costs; if you have any questions about your system or product, please contact us. Email is easiest and fastest (but we know that you aren’t all online). We accept Visa/MasterCard (personal and business checks are fine). For our international customers, we accept bank transfers— email or call us for our banking information. Our summer hours (April through October) are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Mountain Time, Mon. – Thurs, 8 to 4 on Fridays. 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. Call 406-777-4321 or 4309 or email us at info@oasismontana.com.  For tech support on renewable energy systems, again, email us at info@oasismontana.com. We’d be very happy to help you with your power project — send an email or give us a call!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

QUOTABLE QUOTES: 

"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays."  ―Henny Youngman

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”  ―Albert Camus

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”  ―Martin Luther King Jr.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”  ―Mother Teresa

"The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can."  ―Giada De Laurentiis

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”  ―Black Elk

"I celebrate everyone's religious holidays. if it's good enough for the righteous, it's good enough for the self-righteous, I always say."  ―Bette Midler

“Each age has deemed the new-born year, the fittest time for festal cheer.”  ―Walter Scott

"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory."  ―Gary Zukav

"Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer."  ―Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Thank you for your interest in Oasis Montana.  For more information go to http://www.oasismontana.com/, send us an email at info@oasismontana.com, or call us at 406-777-4321or 4309.  And feel free to share this newsletter with your friends; knowledge is POWER!
 

 

Solar Array Flag
Independent power is as American as apple pie!

There’s never been a better time to go solar!

This is the last year for the 30% federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for a solar power system. Then it will drop 4% and be at 26% for 2020; this includes installations on both residential and business properties – and may even include your RV, if you can call that a second home. The federal tax credit for all installations will end by the end of 2022.mounted solar array

You can also find out what state incentives are available for you at www.dsireusa.org. In some states, their incentives, combined with the ITC, can negate up to 80% of the system’s total cost. And all costs are deserving of the credit with the ITC, including permitting, installation and shipping (and perhaps even a new roof if it is needed).

If you use some tax software, it should ask you if you’ve installed a solar power system in the past year, but if not, and you do your own taxes, be sure to fill out IRS form 5695 – and keep all of your receipts related to your system purchase. IF you need a link to that residential tax form, here it is: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf

Reducing or negating your utility bills, and gaining energy independence (an American value!) through solar power has never been a better deal!


The Importance of WATER...

You can live without a lot of things in the world, but water isn’t one of them; clean potable water is running low or just becoming unavailable in many parts of the world, including the U.S. We’ve been engaged in solar water pumping for two decades, and there’s been many changing technologies to address water needs for residential use, and commercial endeavors such as irrigation, livestock, fish farms and wildlife management. One of the latest is to run a 240VAC pump array direct – that is, it will run when the sun is shining, and requires a solar array but no batteries. These will run a variety of pumps, 120/240V, three-phase, and change a 1 or 2 speed motor pump to a soft start. You can view information about this new technology at http://www.pvsolarpumps.com/PDFs/PicoCell Spec Sheet_Oasis Montana.pdf

Now there are even more options; if you have the need for higher amperage and horsepower, the Picocell will now handle up to 3 HP and 12 amps. These solar-powered pumps will allow your home or business to qualify for a variety of tax credits, grants, and incentive programs. If you are looking for something to power your large AC pump, We Have It!  Check out our new Picocell controllers.  Give us a call for more information, 406-777-4321.

And if you’ve been thinking of an off-grid water pumping project, you are likely to enjoy this short video from one of our pump suppliers, Lorentz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vbONlDqmZQ


If you are a Montanan: Northwestern Energy is proposing some bad news for its net-metered customers; more information at http://montanarenewables.org/programs/general-electric-rate-case/

And if you really want to help support renewable energy in MT, please consider joining the Montana Renewable Energy Association (http://montanarenewables.org/about-us/join-mrea/). They’ll keep you informed as to legislative issues, promote our annual energy fair and offer an informative web site to help promote the advantages of renewables (www.montanarenewables.org). Please consider joining today! Your membership will make a difference.

Why energy efficiency is SO important.

http://files.constantcontact.com/0cef2499301/ac396408-0aa7-45c8-81b7-c3905aebed37.jpg

The cheapest power is that which we do not use.   https://nwenergy.org/ for more information!


Is this proper grounding?
Power line down at river crossing

Power line down at river crossing, often local power production is more dependable

Sometimes utility power is at the mercy of the elements,
as shown by these downed power lines in a flooding Montana river.

We caught these picture canoeing the Bitterroot River last June.


 

Is small wind right for you? Here’s your opportunity to find out!
For a limited time only, we are offering the Chinook wind turbine for half-price, at $495 plus shipping. You won’t find a better deal for a quality, American-made wind generator! With a top end of 250W output, this can be a valuable addition to your battery charging set-up if you regularly have winds of 10-12 mph or greater. These mount on 1.5” schedule 40 steel pipe and come with their own dump load controller. They are available as a 12, 24 or 48V charging unit, and were originally designed and built in Montana (so you know they are tough).

We’ve had one of these here at Oasis Montana for about five years now, and it still works great. Every spring and summer, we have winds in excess of 80 mph but it keeps quietly making power for our 48V battery bank. These are also suitable for marine use, to help keep your navigation equipment charged and working (as the wind on the water generally seems to be blowing most of the time). We have installation manuals and other information we can send you on these; call if you are interested, 406-777-4309, e-mail us at Oasis or visit our web page at http://www.air403windgenerators.com/chinook-wind-generator.html.

 


System Spotlight

We assisted Bryan & Shannon Tarter of southeastern Montana in their system upgrade, adding more solar modules
and going from a 12V system to replacing with a new 48V inverter for their remote home. Nice going!


STAINLESS DOOR REFRIGERATOR FOR SMALL KITCHENS

If you have a space-challenged kitchen (or a small cabin needing a fridge), we have an efficient, beautiful AC refrigerator option for you.
MODEL FF923PL (uses only 865 watt-hours per day, or .865KWH).

.attractive ff923 refrigerator with door open

 

Attractive FF923pl Stainless refrigerator

FF923pl SPECIFICATIONS:

Height of Cabinet

66.63" (169 cm)

Height to Hinge Cap

67.13" (171 cm)

Width

21.25" (54 cm)

Width with Door Open

22.0" (56 cm)

Depth

23.25" (59 cm)

Depth with door at 90°

43.0" (109 cm)

Capacity

8.9 cu.ft. (252 L)

Defrost Type

Frost-Free

Door

Stainless Steel

Cabinet

Black

US Electrical Safety

CSA

Canadian Electrical Safety

CSA-C

Energy Usage/Year

316.0kWh/year

Amps

0.9

Voltage/Frequency

115 V AC/60 Hz

Weight

110.0 lbs. (50 kg)

Shipping Weight

115.0 lbs. (52 kg)

Parts & Labor Warranty

1 Year

Compressor Warranty

5 Years

Price (before shipping)

$585

We have other efficient refrigeration options available; visit www.eco-fridge.com for AC & DC offerings, and www.LPappliances.com, for refrigerators, freezers and gas ranges that operate off of NG or LP gas with NO electrical requirements.


Solar electric power from the sunInverters, solar modules, tariffs & trade deals

The import tariffs put on many incoming products hasn’t terribly hurt the renewable energy sector. True, employment in the solar power field has dropped a couple of percentage points in the past 18 months, and some utility-size projects were put on hold, but in general renewable energy jobs are still a very a bright spot in the U.S. economy. Renewable technologies are a global industry; many solar modules considered ‘made in the USA’ still have cells made in other countries; likewise inverters and inverter parts are often made abroad. If you are looking to buy American, Mission Solar, Panasonic and SolarWorld are cranking out high-quality modules in our fair country, and we also have access to Longi, Seraphim, Canadian Solar, Trina, Jinko, LG, Silfab, CSun, Yingli and more. We can also get ahold of some of the smaller, 12V nominal modules that are sometimes difficult to find. Let us know what you need for your power project, and we shall find what you seek!


 


 

Batteries for back-up power: what are your critical loads?

6v batteries wired in series for 48 voltsThe least costly way to get into solar power (if you are hooked up to a utility) is to have a batteryless, grid-tied power system; when the sun shines, the solar modules on your roof or mounting rack make power that goes into an inverter, which converts the electricity into grid-palatable AC power and makes your meter spin slower – or makes your meter spin backwards, if you are making more power than you use. It’s a simple and direct method of reducing or negating your utility bill. However, without batteries, if the power goes out, these systems shut down (to keep the power lines from being live to protect any line workers). It can be frustrating to have a solar power system but not be able to use it if the power goes down!

There are now ways to add battery back-up to these kinds of power systems. The number of batteries needed will depend on the loads you want to power. It may be very costly to, say, power your entire home or business but if you have any important loads (like a refrigerator, or keeping necessary computers on line) – that’s how we design the size of the battery back-up needed. If your power outages are brief and rare, then you won’t need the number of batteries that someone might need if the power tends to go out for days at a time! Like any other system design, the electrical load information is most important.

We have a lot of basic battery information at www.oasismontana.com/batteries.html; most of the information is about FLA (flooded lead-acid) batteries, but we offer a lot of other options for battery back-up. Call us if you are interested in back-up power in the event of a utility outage!

 


Renewable Energy News Bites


WINTERING CHICKENS AT THE OASIS IN WESTERN MONTANA

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a chicken fancier and raise batches of chickens from time to time. Some of my friends even refer to me as the ‘chicken whisperer’.

Organic Chickens at Oasis Montana

 I’ve been keeping chickens for nearly forty years, and was raised around them as a kid, and I’ve learned some tricks about helping them to survive winter in good health. One of them is to keep clean water in front of them at all times. I have one of those heated dog waterers; it holds about a gallon; I put fresh water out every morning then top it off later in the day, and that provides enough water for my 14 chickens. The waterer itself uses about 40 watts, and when it gets above freezing it shuts off as it is thermostatically controlled. So it is not a large electrical load on my solar power system (still, that’s almost a kilowatt-hour a day when it’s cold). There are companies that sell heated chicken waterers, but they tend to use substantially more power.

I have a small chicken house that is only 6 x 8 on the floor area, but with the nests and built-in roosts, it’s pretty easy to keep clean, and its smaller size enables the chickens to stay warmer in winter than they would in a larger shed. I use a good grass hay for bedding, and rake it out when it getsOrganic eggs grown at Oasis Montana Inc. soiled (and have enough from ‘the girls’ to side dress all of my fruit trees with the manure and hay at least once a year). I have to clean their house more in winter, as the days are shorter and they spend more time indoors. But I do have a 10W LED light and timer that comes on in the chicken house about 3 a.m. – and that increases the photoperiod enough that my hens lay very well through the darkest time of the year. I used to think that hens needed some ‘time off’ in the winter – but I no longer believe that is true; when a hen chick is hatched, she contains all the embryonic eggs she will ever lay, so it’s up to us to provide the nutrition and environment to maximize their egg-laying capabilities.

There are breeds that are certainly more suitable for colder climates (and I won’t go into that in great detail, as there’s lots of information about that available), but the breeds I favor are for hardiness and egg-laying ability. The Plymouth Rocks and Ameraucanas are high on my list (and I love the colored eggs), although I presently have some crossbreeds that are prolific layers of large eggs. I feed my chickens organic grains; it’s considerably more costly but – when you consider what goes into chicken feed (mostly corn and soy) – I’d rather not have any transgenic pesticides in their feed. I eat (and sell) their eggs and sometimes I eat my chickens too, so I want all to be of the highest quality and free of chemicals.

We have designed systems for barns and sheds to provide lighting; like all systems it all depends on how much power you need and the loads you desire to run. We don’t get a lot of sun in the winter, here on the western side of the continental divide, and I don’t have a separate system just for the chicken house; we run an electrical line out there from my inverter system that powers my home/office. And the results are gorgeous, tasty eggs and healthy chickens.
 


Quotable quotes

"One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”
-Charles M. Blow

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer if they’re happy.” 
–Anton Chekhov

 “Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” 
–Sinclair Lewis

 “Optimize the way we use the world’s resources.  Do more with less.  Don’t wait for the politicians.  See what needs to be done and do it.” 
–R. Buckminster Fuller                                              

 “Ah, the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness.  At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, the trees are bare, and all lies in stillness beneath the blanket of snow.” 
–Gary Zukav

“Humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods.” 
–Diogenes

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”
-Big Bird

“People of North America, may the example of all those nations that have preceded you, and especially that of your motherland, instruct you. Beware of the affluence of gold that brings with it the corruption of morals and the scorn of laws; beware of an unbalanced distribution of wealth that will give rise to a small number of opulent citizens and a horde of citizens in poverty, a situation that will engender the insolence of some and the deprivation of others.” 
-Diderot

“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”
- George Washington

 
 

 

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