When the lights went out and peace came in

Our solar electric system went on the fritz andthat brought us some unexpected blessings Our house is "off the grid"—the only external input is a refill of propane gas every two or three months—and the system worked well until last Friday afternoon when our solar electricity rig crashed, taking down with it all appliances and electronic …

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Buy more panels and call me in the morning

After several suggestions and theories--from two installers, an electrician, Stew, various blog readers, friends, and equipment manufacturers, among others--it turns out that Stew's German orthopedic surgeon-cum-solar energy wizard was right all along. We don't have enough panels in our array to keep us going through the shorter days of winter. Doktor Schmidt says his house …

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It's Not Easy, or Inexpensive, Being Green

Building in the country will force us to revisit assumptions and calculations about how much we are willing to pay for a so-called green or sustainable home. Hey man, using photovoltaic cells or wind turbines to generate your own electricity sounds awesomely cool and progressive, doesn't it? Maybe so, but when you get an estimate …

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