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Cohen Roof

Installation in May 2010 of solar hot water and solar panels at Adam Cohen's house. The PV system is 48ea M190-72-240-S12 Enphase microinverters with 48ea Suntech 175W panels (8.4kw dc nameplate) Typical AC output is about 85% of dc nameplate

Hanson Bergey Install

Installing the Bergey wind turbine in May 2010, an XL-1 (1kw max) on a 60' guy'd tower, 30' radius anchors in concrete. It charges 4ea T-105 GC batteries 30V max for back-up lights, fridge (with inverter) and wood-stove blower. So if the power goes out at least I've got heat, light & cold beer.

Electric Vehicles, Power of DC Race

Hagerstown, Md June 5th & 6th 2010 More fun than anyone should have in one week-end. Got 2nd place in saturday's hybrid autocross & got to drag race on Sunday with no gassers on the race track. See and for EVents. My circuits (EV & RE) are now on

Mike Burgoon's Oct-Nov 2010 Thermal Solar

Mike Burgoon's Thermal Solar Consists of an SPP-30A from in a closed loop anti-freeze configuration using a SS304 30k/btu/hr 20 plate heat exchanger from DudaDiesel Alternative Energy (also available on Ebay)
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Electric Cat Sept 2010

Solar Electric Cat see Has 10kwh worth of Thundersky batteries (32ea 100ah in buddy pairs) 16 x 3.2V = 51.2V nominal. Charges overnight from my grid-tie solar system. Goes 15 miles on the lake on a charge. The reeva club tried a inboard drive to compare to the existing 48V outboard (4hp Briggs-Etek-R) and the efficiency was the same. Pontoon efficiency measured 28% less so the pionty cat type hulls are the best. Now trying a 16" x 16" pitch prop on a 9.9hp converter Johnson with a 2k rpm Etek-RT 1:2.44 ratio outdrive = 820 rpm's
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Electric Porsche

The Electric Porsche (16ea STM5-180 ni-cads, 30 mile range at 60mph, 330wh per mile) I converted (Mark E. Hanson) updated the controller & charger to my design in 09' see and for the E-Cat
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Solar-Wind House 2009-2010 Projects

Originally built in 92' as Jimmy Carter's Solar Home Plans House, added onto in 2000' and PV in 09, with additional thermal SPP-30's 4ea from in April 2010. The PV has 42 Enphase inverters, one for each panel & monitored for SREC's at The panels are 1/3rd each of Evergreen, BP-Solar (Solarex) and World Solar, 7kw dc nameplate, 6kw AC-side. BP-3165 x 14 = 2310w + SW155 x 15 = 2325W + ES-180 x 13 = 2340W or 6975W total and adding another 13 BP3225T additional 2925 for 9900W DC nameplate total (8.4kw actual on the AC side) The SREC's reduce payback to 5 years, see (80% wattage warranty is 25 years) Circuits on

Tony's Place July 2010 Project

Tony has 48ea 230W PV Solar World Panels with Enphase inverters like Adam'a & Mark's place. This we built on a fixed rack facing south at a 35 degree angle for Virginia Sun, and lot's of it! Tony's been overgenertaing since the installation and doing great on SREC's
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Mark Howard's Cool Solar Lamp Post Aug 2010

This was a fun project, a solar lamp post with a 12V controller from (also see good info). We were on the annual solar home tours with Mark & Mark's places.

Wind Turbine Classes

I tought a night time 2010-2011 Wind Energy class normally on Wednesday evenings 5:30-8:30pm as part of the Dabney-Lancaster CC in Clifton Forge, VA wind program to bring Wind Jobs to Virginia and West Virginia. Green Jobs update on
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Kurt's Oct 2010 Solar

More Enphase inverters used (actually all our projects so far) This was an interim project between others (I helped to dig the holes.) SolarWorld panels about 3.4kw
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Rob's Jan 8th Thermal Solar

Rob Leonards see for thermal solar schematic of the SPP-30A panel installation. It's a closed loop system using a weird name heat exchanger, amazing small thing you can hold in your hand, 40k BTU/hr transfer. The project is finishing over several week-ends due to the snow. We finished up at the Feb 5th project meeting. A fun project.
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Cone-Wind project March 2011

DJ-Jahnke & Sharon Metzgar's cool cone wind VAWT refurbishing project March 5th, 2011 project & ongoing. They're off grid and have PV with Xantrex inverters (Mark Howard installed), The premise is the Coneheads crashlanded from Planet Xenon and are now repairing their Cone spaceship.
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Trashy Day - Electric Lake Cleanup

May 7th 2011 was the electric E-Cat Smith Mountain lake cleanup with the solar charged E-Boat. Lots of trash & lots of fun on the electric cat with canoe trash shuttle service. Mark hanson, Mark Howard, Brad Bowles & Bruce Knappe were along. We found a couple messages in bottles and other odd things.
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REEVA goes to Windpower Expo in California

I went to California May 2011 to help obtain a 100kw wind turbine (and parts for wind turbine students training-older "legacy" turbines in photo) for Dabney-Lancaster and represent REEVA at the show. Thanks EnXco Mike & Scott for the donations! Also got info for community wind (installing your own wind turbines for co-ops and helping thwart NIMBYism)

The Great EV Race

The Great EV Race 2011 is held annually in Hagerstown, Md the first week of June, this year June 11,12th 2011, Autocross Saturday & Dragrace Sunday, see for who won, times & info. Check out the E-Delorean from "Back to the Future", Flux Capacitor, the new Leaf, Volt and Teslas. The Teslas won in the drags & autocross although I got a hybrid award for REEVA. Everyone had a great time.
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July 9th 2011 Electric Karmann Ghia Project

We met July 9th 2011 for the Electric kamann Ghia conversion project to see how an electric motor interfaces with a 74' bug transmission & adapter plate/flywheel/clutch. we also looked at the circuits I built now posted on that included the LiFePO4 (lithium) battery balancers, motor speed control and battery charger. Note a second tranny was purchased since AAMCO trashed the first one.
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Bergey 10KW Excel August 2011 project

The beautiful 10kw Bergey went up with installers and some from our club bolting tower bolts, attaching an anemometer etc. This was a *cool* project. Doug & mary have 12mph annual average wind speed on top of the mountain so it was a great wind site. About 1% of residents actually live on top of mountains in a good wind site >12mph though. Giving lat & Long coordinates to (click on state) will get back local AWEA wind data from the Renewable Energy coordinator. With a 33% typical duty factor the 10kw machine should meet all their grid tie energy needs to be net zero (about 1200kwh per month average) carried forward up to 12 months.

September 2011 Wind

September was spent (as well as the summer) getting speakers & letter writing for the small and then large wind ordinance that both passed the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Sept 13th. Many thanks to REEVA members, Seirra Club and Cool Cities Coalition! October we're helping with the solar home tours Oct 1st & 2nd and here in Roanoke, VA showing our homes October 8th Saturday. We're also carpooling up to the lots of good ideas and where VA-tech solar home won previously.
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October 2011 Solar Home Tour and Decathlon: REEVA Goes to Washington

We toured the in the Wash DC area on Saturday and the on Sunday. We saw many new cool designs for new solar development and LEED architecture.
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Green Energy Expo Nov 2011

Thanks folk's for helping with the Green Energy Expo November 4th and 5th. Mark Howard had a great solar panel display near the REEVA booth and Doug & Mary's wind power display next to JMU. Adam and Stuctures DB PASSIVHAUS cool display was a couple aisles over. Thanks everyone for a great success
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PassivHaus thermal solar instal December 2011

We went to Jason's place to see StructuresDB PassivHaus and to install a SPP30A evacuated tube thermal solar system. StructuresDB did an excellent job on this German PassivHaus design encapsulating the house in a 6" closed cell styrafoam in addition to the standard 2x6 construction making the walls about 12" thick with R-30 values. the Ireland imported triple pane doors/windows were about 2" thick. To meet PassivHaus standards of .6 Air Changes Hour (ACV at 50 pascals of pressure we observed a blower door test with measuring equipment (actually a sucker door test). To achieve this level of tightness special seam sealing tape from Germany was used on exterior OSB and around windows/doors. The basement cement slab was also on closed cell foam about 5" thick. A Heat Recovery Ventalation (HCV) unit is used to ventalate the house through "GeoThermal" water lines to pre-heat the incomming air above freezing and for summer intake at 50F. It was great weather with friends and a cool project.
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January 2012 Bergey Wind Turbine Improvements XL-1 & Jason's place

The Bergey XL-1 makes a 2kHz sound "eeeee" eminating from the nacelle-generator acting as a loudspeaker through the resonance of the hollow pole thus annoying the neighbors. The fix is to isolate the boost converter control loop with additional chokes and caps inside the basement near the controller. I used dual C-59U Triad chokes in parallel together in series with the positive line and 10kuf worth of low-ESR caps across the line after the inductor. A dual 100A diode was used for bypass when it goes out of boost mode above 20mph or 20V (boost noise occured 6-20V in 6-20mph wind). Now the neighbors are happy, very silent operation. This is proof that there's an electronic solution to a mechanical problem. The club was going to lower the turbine and stuff the pole with itchulation (top 10'). Photo #1 shows the ckokes, caps & bypass diodes. Photo #3 shows the new 270ah 8D-MHD Johnson Controls (Interstate) batteries in parallel for 540ah (run fridge 3 days), "Shinny Happy Batteries Holding Hands". Photo #1 shows the lightning rod behind the nacelle. The shunt dynamic braking overspeed regulator made from an old golf cart speed control coil is photo #4 I also added a 2.5' lightning rod (1.5" alum angle) behind the nacelle that protects the stator-generator when struck. A friend had his XL-1 fried so I made this mode to prevent future fryings. -------------------------------------- Then on January 21st we continued the thermal solar install SPP-30 on Jason's German PassivHaus designed by Adam Cohen . Also see Jason's chronological blogspot . He was a gracious host & the Chilli & salad was good too. REEVA dishwashing soap & solar/wind reference material was handed out to participants as we plumbed in the 100 gallon solar tank to the roof thermal evacuated tube SPP-30 collector from . The house is a thermos, encased in 5" thick stryafoam making the walls about 1 foot thick! Also the 3 pane windows and doors are from Ireland. Everyone had a great time!
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April 2012 Bergey wind turbine and Green EV REEVA Parade

We lowered and raised a Bergey XL-1 wind turbine from for maintenance, torqed blade & tower bolts to 40 foot pounds and installed a new nose cone and lightning rod. We had a great time transfering the guy wires from the anchor to the gin pole & winch. This was at the renewable energy education center, a great place in Floyd, VA to see renewable energy, solar & wind for those considering it. Dave brought his Nissan Leaf which was a marvel EV design.
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May-June 2012, Wind, Solar & EV's

The May 5th project we aligned/tightenned my Bergey XL-1 guy wires with the Chicago Grip, Com-a-long and Loose Guage to get them all even and equal 50lb tension/deflection. Then we rode around in the electric Karmann Ghia wringing out any bugs. Also a visit to the Salem power plant was interesting as they've included solar grid tie for their municiple customers. The June 2nd project was a blast with great friends & food at Mike & Monica Burgoon's place putting together the solar racks for his grid tie and battery backed up dual solar system with 28 205W Evergreen panels for about 80c per watt. prices on solar have really dropped so we're seeing more activity. After Mike's place I went to the annual C&B co-op power company meeting to help edvertise their wind REC's now available on your power bill and demonstrate the electric car and lawmower. They had a cool HV operating set-up of the pole transformers, fusing and connections to a house. It was good to see the "Kilowatt Ours" movie on nasty coal and then see how power is transfered realizing that it can all be renewable energy, not dirty coal.
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July-August 2012

We continued work on Mike Burgoon's place, grid tie solar and a battery back up solar system about 6kw presently and may grow, great fun, lots of good folk's to meet and help/learn renewable energy. I also finished another PassivHaus solar controller similar to the one I did last year for the CEED center for renewable energy. The annual EV races see: will be Aug 18, 19 this year.
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Sept-Oct 2012

Finishing up Mike & Monica Burgoon's 16 205W panels for Enphase inverters and half for Xantrex Battery backed up system. Note the 3 nice peak anchor holders Mike made in his shop for roof harnesses. In October We set up a demo at the Sedalia Center with the EV and solar/wind info with REEVA. The theme was to start your own DIY club (for cities outside of Roanoke).
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Nov-Dec 2012

Renewable Energy Expo Nov 2012, I had the REEVA booth and Mark Howard had his Powermark Electrical/Solar; Adam Cohen & Rob Leonard had PassivHauss with Structures DB and Andy Kaplan had EV's with Dominion Dodge (all REEVA members). We had a great time and signed up 6 new members. The December EV parade and then REEVA Christmas Party was at my house in Fincastle, VA & had a great time after discussing club business and seeing Brian's Fairbanks Alaska solar installations (slide show) he narrated. Dec 17th John Carlin from Fox 21/27 stopped by to do a story on REEVA to be aired Feb 2013. Shown is Mark Howard who runs and John Carlin. Dec 18th I (Mark Hanson) represented REEVA on the solar-wind tech team in Richmond forming the state's wind and solar ordinances.
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Jan-Feb 2013

Roger Beale had an excellent homebuilt wind turbine 3kw with 3kw of PV solar added for a battery based, grid tie hybrid system. He wound his own 3 phase coils, made his own blades and welded together a 100' tilt down tower! Last photo #40 is Mark Howard in front of his PV array at For Feb 2nd project we met at Mark Howard's house to take apart a chinese made wind turbine generator that failed & did a face-plant during the June 2012 deracho storm. The generator was a fairly standard wild-ac 3-phase wound stator with neodenium magnets epoxied to the rotor. There was 3 brushes on the pole mount to transfer the power down the pole that had rusted to to a poor seal on top. Due to the non-serviceability of the welded case it could be used bypassing the slip ring with an easterly rotor stop & cable twist. Mark also showed his Xantrex solar hybrid with battery back-up and pv panel array. On Feb 17th REEVA went to Wash DC for the Renewable Energy Rally, see photos
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March-April 13'

For our March project we lowered my Bergey XL-1 wind turbine for maintenance and painting the blades red-ahite & blue. We had to lengthen the gin pole cables 30", lowered the turbine and torqued all bolts to 45 ft/lbs, greased the main bearing & tail shaft bushing. In April Earthday was the main effort/event. It was a great showing of thousands of folk's in Grandin Village downtown Roanoke, VA

May-June 13'

In May we had a regional meeting at the solar home of Joy Loving in Harrisonburg - talking with other groups in Virginia on growing solar clubs and promoting solar/wind through projects & legislation. I also met with Tony Corraza on a hydro site survey at his solar home. The 2 story Mother Earth News composting toilets were the latest in toilet technology & didn't smell. Kid Wind in Harrisonburg was great too and REEVA (me) set up a demo with my EV and REEVA info. The project I'm working on for June is a converted electric wheel barrow (adding electric drive) to haul firewood from the bottom of the mountain, runs on 24V - same packs as my electric lawnmower. I used a McMaster 6280K632 5/8" bore 9 tooth sprocket for #40 chain on the motor (Surplus Center 160rpm gear-motor right hand). The chain was #40 1/2" pitch 6261K173 and used a 80 tooth sprocket on the 15" wheel. Then a brush rigging modification was completed, I did on my EV to eliminate dissimilar brush wear. (brush rigging must of equal milli-ohms feeding each brush to armature.) Drill-tap 10-32 (1/4-20 better) centered holes for the ARM cross bar. Then for the other two quadrants use a 1/2" OD smashed flat copper water pipe that reads .1 milli-ohm in parallel with the .2 milli-ohm bar. Also the Mersen C-2482 brushes using graphite grade CB821 (48V rated 80A^2" .65m-ohm) were replaced for better wear with A121 carbon based C-4282X (100V rated 90A^2" .89m-ohm) June 1st meeting in Grandin Village - we set up a solar waterpump and are working on a waterwheel display/pond solar landscaping animated feature along Grandin Road.

July-August 13'

Ben & I went to the electric vehicle race at the International Pike's Peak Hill Climb and had a blast. For all the info see It was amazing to see an electric motorcycle get the world's record and beat *all* the gassers. EV's don't care about 1/2 air on top of the Peak. Many thanks to Dave McNeal-EV enthusiast with the DEVC who took some great race photos & got great seats. We also went to NCAR, NOAA and NREL. NCAR showed us the global warming data from 40 years using Cray supercomputers I worked on while living there. The latest is one from IBM. We flew back to do another solar landscaping project & others helped at the July Saturday project meeting. It's nice to see the waterwheel,falls and fish-pond operating off the sun!

Sept-Oct 13'

For the September meeting we did a solar site survey for member Jim Bier at his place based on what I (Mark Hanson) learned from the new NABCEP solar class and PV-UL with OSHA-30 training for solar installers. The equipment was spec'd and purchased from to be installed for the October project. The Sedalia RE Fair went great with Mark Howard (PV contractor) and Roger Beale (wind enthusiast/engineer). The Mother Earth News Festival was fun and Ed Begley Jr. gave a great talk on incremental renewable energy (helping folk's save money while saving the planet)

Nov-Dec 13' RE Expo & Solar-Trailer

Nov we set up at the Green Energy Expo and December helped build a solar trailer for Sustain Floyd with Rick Brown solar installer. We also had a blast at the Green Living & Energy Expo at the Roanoke, VA civic center. I met many fellow RE folk's and caught up with RE friends, got some new REEVA members too. The December REEVA Christmas Party was a great time at Adam & Elizabeth's place with all our REEVA friends. We elected Brian Lang as Project Coordinator to help with adding projects.

Jan-Feb 14' Solar Trailer and Solar-Wind Seminar

Jan 4th: Mark, Mike, Rick & Billy helped with Rick’s direction installing brackets on the top of the solar generator trailer for mounting the panels (see attached). At lunch we talked about the solar site survey apps for the I-pod/I-pad/I-phone from the Home Power article HP136 pg 70-75 for solar installers. Now there’s more on the I-phone store. We looked at the NEC codebook for wind/solar/EV’s and tabs that are useful in finding all the information, about $14 on Amazon. Feb 1st we did a blower door test (actually sucker door) and IR viewing of all air leaks with recommended improvements (caulk all window-door leaks, ceiling down-lights, foam wall concrete walled basement-joist band & attic floor.)

March-April 14' Solar Draw Bridge, Solar Chicken Coop etc

For March Sat we had a meeting-solar seminar at Prudent Supply on rt 779 & Blacksburg road. met a lot of new folks and went over the energy efficiency, solar and wind that we do in the club. April 5th Sat We had a great time at Tony’s (Common Ground Community) near Lexington installing the solar roving chicken coop electronics. It had an automated (poultry butler) door and led lights powered from the solar panel with battery back-up and a solar controller to keep the battery happy (between 10.5V & 14.5V). Tony also installed a GE heat pump hot water heater for make-up hot water on cloudy days when the SPP-30’s (thermal evacuated tubes) solar system is below 120F. The heat pump water heater although blows a little cold air is more than made up by the 750 – 1gallon jugs attached to the ceiling basement for thermal storage! See photos. He lives in a double envelope solar house (previous owner built) and has solar powered composting toilets (see photo) that work well. The 40ea 230W (9.2kw Enphase grid tie) system makes the home net zero. With the SolarWorld panels his output at 40 is about the same as mine at 55 (older 155-180W) panels – 9.6kw DC-nameplate total. Of course the actual AC generation is about 85% of that or 8.1kW (from Enphase web-based monitoring).

May-June 14' Bergey Update, solar-wind projects

We had a great time Saturday May 3rd tightening the Bergey XL-1 guy wires with the Chicago Grip attached to a come-a-long and using the Loos Gauge for the 50lb pull 1' deflection. . The standard procedure is to go in one direction, say CW and do all the lower wires, then mid and then upper (per retired wind guru Dale Delassandro). I found if you pre-check with a level vertically on the pole on the axis in question (see photos) then you can adjust mainly on one side of that axis, tightening and straightening the pole at the same time. After Steve & I did one axis we moved to the other which was already vertical so we had to adjust both sides. If I was to do it over again I’d pour a concrete pad first (Bergey said isn’t necessary) so the metal pad doesn’t keep settling into the ground and require annual guy wire tightening. I also noted with Bergey that they weren’t that interested in the lightning rod (2’ aluminum stick) I added to the top but I’ve seen a couple lightning strikes hit mine and safely divert around the alternator windings (nacelle) to the NEG grounding (2 rods at base). I also added one to Billy’s a couple years ago since his fried in lightening. The other improvement to the Bergey (we did last year) was to move the boost converter power components (choke, cap & power-diode) to just outside the control box in the basement. In order to save $100 they use the inductance in the windings of the magnet alternator for the boost converter at 1500 hertz (right in the middle of your hearing). The result of course is a perfect loudspeaker on top of the 60’ pole screeching “eeeee” and making unhappy neighbors as the turbine spins up. At full PWM of course the boost converter carrier frequency goes away but they (+12mph) the blade tip noise is pronounced since Bergey refused to make standard NACA airfoil tapered blades (that are wide at the base & narrow at the tip) again to save a few $$.

July-Aug 14' 6kw solar ground mount; Pikes Peak (EV's Rule!) & 4th July Parade

Todd's 6kw ground mount solar project is a lot of fun, trenched 18" for grey 3/4 PVC for #8 red-blk-wht-grn for 240vac M215 Enphase inverters with 280W Solar World panels on two racks 12ea (24 total) 6720W total DC nameplate (AC is about 85% per NOCT ratings). Iron Ridge rack & parts were ordered from distributor. We went to the Pike's Peak annual Hill Climb, last year a EV motorcycle beat all others and this year an electric car by Mitsubishi came in 2nd place. In a year or two EV's will be in the top spot since they don't care about 1/2 air at 14,110 feet! We also had fun at NREL, NCAR seeing the climate - global warming data. We were in the 4th of July Buchanan, VA parade with the REEVA-mobile. On July 12th we installed the M250 Enphase inverters and 280W Solar World panels (12ea) after concreting in the 3" schedule-40 pipe IronRidge racking. We'll do the second rack next session.

Sept-Oct 14' 6kw complete and thermal salt water pool

Todd's second 3.3kw rack was completed for a total of 6.6kw and then work is continuing on his salt water solar pool with two thermal solar panels also ground mount. Folks are also involved in the Solar Home Tours presenting their homes to the community.

Nov-Dec 14' Green Energy Expo & Jim Bier's Solar Project & Christmas party

We had a blast with the "shiny-happy-panels-holding-hands, installed 20ea 250W Canadian Solar panels on Jim Bier's home with M215 Enphase inverters. The permitting process took awhile due to inconsistencies between counties, Franklin required a roof analysis from a PE structural engineer. November was also the month for the annual Green Energy & living Expo where I had a REEVA booth and met lots of fun renewable energy folks. The REEVA Christmas Party was Net-Zero, used 25kWh but made up the next day with the 9.9kw grid tie generated 45kWh. We all had a great time & some were in the solar hot tub. Some helped at the EarthCraft-3 habitat for Humanity "Blitz Build" a house in 2 weeks for Christmas, they complete about 1 energy efficient blower door tested with ERV per month.

Jan-Feb 15' Thermal Solar (saltwater-pool) project with Todd & Walt's electric Mercedes battery balancers & solar home

We helped Todd with his solar thermal project for his saltwater pool using two flat-plate collectors in a heat exchanger configuration. We helped build the wood racks for the two-panel copper flat plate collectors. For February we'll work on Walt's EV, an electric Mercedes that needs new battery balancers installed etc.

March-April 15' Blower-Door and Walt's electric Mercedes & solar home

We had a great time at the March meeting at my solar home with Rob Leonard of StructuresDB doing a blower door test & using an IR camera to spot air infiltration and insulation amounts. Reduction from last year's 3500 was down to 2700 CFM, 800 less from adding Urethane foam around banding joists and sealing around windows/doors. In April we met at Walter Barry's cool solar home (PV & thermal) with rainwater 1500 gallon collection. We worked on his electric Mercedes replacing 4 bad battery balancers and moving the battery links to below the balancer circuit boards.

May-June 15' Prius Battery Service

Chris gave a great demonstration of how to fix individual cells in a Prius for $25 instead of $6k from the wheeler dealer (no schematics in the shop manuals anymore). This was a *very* useful meeting and we learned quite a bit on the Prius and reading/resetting codes on the OBD-2 port.

Sept-Oct 2015

Worked on Greg's Enginer Prius plug-in kit that wasn't feeling well. The design was a prototype needing better battery balancers that wouldn't kill the Lithium Pouch batteries. Recommended replacing with a better BMS and CALB or T-Sky/Winston LiFePO4 batteries that have a good track record (essentially a redesign). Also included is the comparison from the Nags Head, NC trip to compare 5 Bergey 10kw wind turbines in 50mph, 3 were on Janette's Pier.

Nov-Dec 15, solar buck transformer project, annual party

Solar Site Surveys and REEVA Christmas Party, started on Apple Ridge Farm Solar Train Project. Ordered parts and dug holes, trenches for two solar array mounts for a 3.9KW off-grid Outback system with 24ea 3 rows L16 6V 370ah in 6S3P configuration. 370ah x 3 x 48V = 53KWH of storage, should be good for 3 days of rain with Daikin mini split, PC's & lighting loads. We had a great time at the REEVA Christmas. Folks looked at the two Hammond Toroids that were placed in buck mode 6V down on each side of the 240V line to reduce the high line condition from 252VAC to 240VAC to stop Enphase microinverters from overvoltage (264V max at end of line). At the Christmas party we looked at the 55 solar panels, wind turbine, solar pond and solar draw bridge. Everyone had a great time with food, drinks, fire works and virtual reality games.

July-Aug 15'

Pikes Peak EV Race, Renewable Energy in West-VA, Colorado and Machu-Picchu. Also visited NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) where we installed the 1st Cray-3 in 91 for global warming/climate change studies.

Jan-Feb 16 Apple Ridge Farm Solar Train

Work continues on the Apple Ridge Farm Solar train project. We hooked up all the 24 L16 6V 370ah 24 batteries in 6S-3P Configuration for 48V at 53.3KWH for 3 days autonomy. James and Dang were very helpful as I connected the cables. There were several EV's at our annual Christmas party, Mitsubishi iMEV, Leaf & my Elec Kar (Karmann Ghia EV), then reviewed the SMART Electric Drive at 380V battery pack Manganese Cobalt Lithium now more preferred than the LiFePO4 I have in my EV. The solar pond had solar goldfish babies doubling the population. The solar with the rainwater feed from the roof is apparently amenable to producing more fish. I completed several solar site surveys but no projects yet, the national average is 1 per 20 surveys although the REEVA club averages 1 per 10.
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March-April Apple Ridge 2016

We continued and then finished the Apple Ridge solar train STEM project at Apple Ridge Farm near Floyd. It's a 3.9KW solar off-grid system using Outback 48V 55kwh L16 batteries with a Morningstar solar controller. We had a great time finishing and testing as well in April. The ribbon cutting ceremony is set for June 9th.
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March-April , April Australia & NZ 2016

the final update in two subfolders is from Franz Josef showing the 2010 glacier photo installed (with melting from 1930 - 2010 with projection melt to 2100 but the photo I took from the same vantage point now shows the melting has surpassed the 2100 projection due to exponential non-linear melting. If you want to see this glacier better check it out in the next couple years. Note the year 1954 in photo 1116 and then in photo 1130 the 2010 photo (when the forest service made the plaque) and the projected melt in 2100. Now look at the photo I took #1140 from the same vantage point which shows a further melt than the 2100 forecast! Photo 1135 I climbed a couple miles closer. All photos are in the link below to download what you like. It was fun hiking 4 miles out of town and then several miles to the left glacier fork & back and then 3.5 miles up to the second fork & back and then 4 miles back to town for a full day of hiking after the helicopter cancelled due to mountain top clouds occurs 53% of the time due to 200 cloudy/rainy days. I visited the wildlife & Kiwi wingless bird reproduction sanctuary. I then went to Greymouth to ride the Kiwi train to ChristChurch over the western wetland (from the prevailing westerly's - rain shadow) through the continental divide The renewable energy contrast between New Zealand and Australia is that in New Zealand the government provides RE (per utility control with dual metering) whereas in Australia the homeowner is encouraged to provide RE - but under utility pressure has dropped most solar grid tie incentives after 25% solar PV. In NZ the government has set a goal to provide 100% in 10 years, currently they're about 80% with hydro most at 67% , geyser geothermal in Rotorua 13% and wind 4%. To get to 100% it will be some more thermal bores drilled to access steam and more wind turbines on the mountain tops. There are some homes in the North Island with solar but due to the cloudier climate (especially south island and west coast and peaky mountains) solar is not as prevalent as Australia with 25% residential. The glow-worm caves in Waitomo going to Auckland where amazing, with a tour of the white limestone caves prior to riding a boat through the cave to see the speckled glow-worms unique to New Zealand.

May-June 2016, Apple Ridge Done & AWEA Wind Expo

We finished the Apple Ridge solar project and will be adding small wind turbine X-Air-40 (was SW Windpower). The grand opening for the STEM High school renewable energy train car classroom is on June 10th. I went to the AWEA Wind Expo to represent REEVA talking to all the booths and learning what's new in wind power in seminars. Apex Clean Energy that we helped (with the Sierra Club) get passed the 25 wind turbine farm in Botetourt County gave out lanyards to the 10K members and did a couple seminars on wind farm design. See for show summary. Vestas had some interesting blade turbicles tweaks on the trailing edge. GE bought the Alstom 6MW wind turbine & rebadged, putting 5 off Rhode Island as "Block Island" wind project. KidWind (Botetourt County Wendy Grimshaw) did a super job in winning the state of Virginia with her students and coming to the nationals, won the award for best student participation.

July-Aug 2016

John & Sue's 8.4KW Solar Project Had a great time building & installing their solar panels.

Sept-Oct-16 Plugshare Charge Stations Fincastle, VA

Installed two 6KW charge stations for Fincastle, VA area charging at my home. The kit was great with display, also the GE charge controller with added kWh and amps display secondarily monitored with "CurrentCost". These are FREE charging stations for EV's passing through.

Nov-Dec 2016, Wind Blade Classes with Roger

Roger Beale, an engineer and best blade designer I've seen gave a class for REEVA and KidWind on making a NACA tapered-twisted standard air foil blade like the one's used on large wind turbines. We also had a great time at the Christmas party (Mark Hanson's place with free EV charging from the sun)

Jan-Feb 17' Solar Projects

We worked on Mark & Natasha's 6.6KW solar array ground mount with Enphase inverters on a spring like week-end after getting everything lined up in previous week-ends. We're also working on another 4.6KW array for them that's across a creek so a bridge would be nice to house the conduit instead of telephone poles. Also we're working on Chris's 7.7KW array as well.

Mar-April 17' Solar Projects-#58

Earthday April 22 was a lot of fun talking with everyone about renewable energy and solar installations throughout the year. The Renewable Energy Climate March in DC April 29th was great running up on two Sierra Club busses & with the Unitarians. A beautiful 91F degree April day in DC perfect for Global Warming demonstrations. My blinky sign was "National Renewable Energy Standard Now!" Runner up was "Don't Trump on My Planet"

May-June 17'

We helped Mark Snyder's 4.5KW solar array and installed a telephone pole to span 100' across a creek to get the 16amps/240vac of solar energy into his home. Roger Beale and I also helped with KidWind at Roger's wind powered classroom and workshop near Lynchburg. Roger designed the twisted/tapered NACA air foil blades based on Hugh Piggott's homemade wind generators and own alternator design using neodendium magnets. The high school team "Off-the-Grid" won the national championship in May 17' at the AEWA annual wind conference in Anehiem, Cal thanks to Roger's patient explanations and diligent blade wood carving & coil winding assistance with the kids. The Pikes Peak race with electric cars/bikes was great as usual June 26th. Tony stopped out with Ben & I to meet the DEVC annual picnic, all EVs in Denver with Bill Dube and Eva Hakansson with the World's fastest (0-60 .7sec) electric drag bike and world's fastest 270MPH electric motorcycle with side car using LiFePO4 A123 cells . I got stuffed in the bike & was allowed to pop the drag chute. We also went to NCAR, NREL, NIST and NOAA. Due to tightened security only NCAR is now open to the public and I got to see the Cray-3 I worked on with Semour Cray back in the early 90's. The hiking trails around NCAR were fantastic. Also we finished up Mark Snyder's solar project for final inspection.

July-August 17'

The REEVA party July 1st was great. We discussed project attendance, insurance etc and decided to have folks help with at least 3 projects prior to us working on their solar installation.

Sept-Oct-17, Two 6KW Solar Arrays

Mike's 6.4KW Solar Project and Habitat for Humanity 6KW Solar array. We had fun installing Mike's 6.4KW array, parts now only $8.2K plus poles, about $9K total with Canadian Solar Panels & M250 Enphase microinverters only $1.40 per watt, last year was $2 per watt. The Habitat 6KW donated solar array was was about $1.65 per watt since Solar World costs a bit more but is US made and 11" shorter (more efficient). So life is full of tradeoffs.

Nov-Dec 2017 Habitat Solar & Christmas Party

Habitat Solar & Christmas Party: We completed the 6KW (20ea Solar World SW300) Habitat Home solar array with 5KW 20ea M250 Enphase microinverters with Home dedication on December 16th. With costs now down to $1.50 per watt hopefully we can do more solar homes like Jimmy Carter invisioned and states like Colorado and California do (typically 2KW or 8 panels per home $3K). We also had a great time at the annual Dec 9th Christmas Party, checked out the solar powered weather station for the town of Fincastle, ZomeWorks sun tracker crank adjustments on three trackers using trailer crank from Harbor Frieght & had fun dancing, virtual reality Space Station walk and fireworks.

Jan-Feb 2018

Completed the Solar Fence for Habitat home we solarized and finished at Christmas with 6KW 20ea 300W Solar World panels with 20ea M250 Enphase Inverters I donated for the Habitat project on a ground mount array, system was about $10K and fence $2K. Working on Rodney's solar battery back up project, 3.8KW solar array and to add more later, ongoing project to 10KW or so. Replacing old batteries with L16s 380ah, 6V batteries and weeding out some bad panels that were installed in the late 90's. Laura's Solar RV Project with Renogy kit 400W (4ea 100W 20V panels), wired in series parallel for 40V , 10A into solar controller and to 400AH 12V batteries in parallel (2ea 200AH), using a 2000W inverter/50A charger/transfer switch also by Renogy. Added a 200A breaker switch on main battery pack and eliminated "rub points" under vehicle for 2/0 battery cable routing. Also added 200A battery fuse and 100A breaker-switch by BlueSea (West Marine) to link the starter battery to the RV battery for periods of no sunshine or shore power (120vac)