Mining Electricity from the Sun
Mining Electricity from the Sun
my solar electricity generating project
comments or suggestions welcome via  [email to me]

As much time and personal energy and money as I have put into it, it amazes even me that I have yet to obtain a kilowatt second of electricity from my solar electricity generating project.  It almost seems as if my original reaction to the proponents of sun power at a state loonie verse itty back in the early 1970s was accurate:  nothing but a bunch of "buzz de buzzy buzzword" spewers whose entire effort was directed towards defrauding all and sundry with a concept which "sounded good" but in reality didn't work at all.  Yet after moving to my beloved home state Nevada on a permanent full time basis officially 030102 (after visiting the state regularly since I fell in love with the desert in 1966), it was a project to which I turned my attention quite soon after getting my furnishings arranged in rented premises.
      As if to prove my original impression of sun power as being a "buzz de buzzy buzzword" fraud, what happened with a serious investment of my capital on 030401 was illustrative.  On that day, I bought a then standard for me initial tax lot of the shares of AstroPower Inc., a company whose address was "Solar Park" in Newark Delaware, which is at the southwestern edge of the Philadelphia PA/ Wilmington DE heavily poopulated fraudopolis along the Delaware River.  In an earlier filing with the SEC, the company described itself as

We develop, manufacture, market and sell a range of solar electric power generation products, including solar cells, modules, panels and our SunChoice™ pre-packaged systems for the global marketplace. Through our Spanish subsidiary, Atersa, acquired on September 11, 2001, we provide solar electric power modules, balance-of-system components and provide system design and integration services. Atersa also designs and builds a full range of module manufacturing equipment.  Solar cells are the core component inside every solar electric power system. Our products provide an environmentally friendly, reliable energy solution at the point of use and are sold for both off-grid and on-grid applications.  In off-grid applications, our products provide the primary source of electric power for rural homes and villages and supply power for equipment in the telecommunications and transportation industries. In on-grid applications, our products provide a renewable source of alternative or supplemental electric power and provide reliable back-up power in the event of a utility outage. In addition to our solar power generation product offerings, we sell wholesale solar electric power under long-term purchase agreements through a joint venture with GPU International, Inc.
Unbeknownst to me on the day that I bought the shares, the munchiment of the company had filed that very day a refusal to submit the required annual financial statements to the SEC on grounds that "we require additional time to gather and evaluate data relating to 2002 revenue recognition matters. However, we cannot predict the time required to complete our evaluation, but will make every effort to do so within fifteen days."  They never did correct that refusal to file financial statements.  Instead the munchiment arranged the sale of all of the proprietary technology and other assets of the company in a planned corrupt bankruptcy court approved fraud against cash paid public stockholders to the Generic Eclectic Craporation, a company notorious for its suppression of relevant technological progress via patent litigation in support of its frequently bid rigged grandiose generating plant projects.  I have suspected since that time that the munchiment had been falsifying the accounts for a considerable period of time and, under pressure from belatedly truthful auditors, decided to go get sinecures with the fraud company against human progress instead of attempting to continue the publicly owned business.  In any event on 030724 I disposed of my ownership interest at a capital loss of -56.0% of what I had in it.  As a result of the criminal frauds involved in the transfer of my solar assets to GE, replevin would be a factor in any questions that might arise in my future dealings with solar technologies.
      Meanwhile, I was busily catching up on numerous sights in my beloved home state that I had somehow never seen during all my years as a nonresident tourist.  One of those sights was the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, 8 miles north of the Spaghetti Bowl intersection of I-80 and Hwy 395 in Reno and 12 miles east on Red Rock Road.  A few months before I had caught a glimpse of a sign indicating the existence of that wildlife park as I was heading north on Hwy 395 to visit some things in northern California.  Finally got out there to visit the sanctuary on the same day that I liquidated my losing position in AstroPower.  While there I got a nice dose of civilized "wildlife" (as distinct from the uncivilized "humanity" with which I normally have to deal).  But I also got inspired by the virtually complete off grid electrical system which had been built as part of the sanctuary.  The photo at right shows a small portion of the "alternative energy systems" in use at the Animal Ark.  No "buzz de buzzy buzzwords" being spewed at me by obvious con artistes.  Only the reality of a functional life support system for the wildlife and their caretakers.  I was impressed with the demonstration.  It was one of the things that "my company" was supposed to have been able to develop.
      I began looking for some land to buy In March 2004.  Quite an amazing thing considering that I had viewed "real estate" to be a classic fraud and deception virtually throughout my entire life, as recounted in my Surreal Estate  article on this Central Blogging Site.  But along with having been impressed with the functional life support system at the Animal Ark, there were a whole set of surrounding economic conditions which influenced me to begin searching for some land to buy.  The "official" end of the Civil War may have been in the Spring of 1865 (which was, as Honest Abe would count it, "seven score years ago").  But the homosexual slave mongering Xian Conquistador wooden head puppet play actor Ronny Raygun and the related series of Confederate States politicians who have been running the "United States" government since 1980, with endless criminal abrogations of the human and civil rights of Americans in violation of the Constitution, have demonstrated that the Civil War in reality never ended.  As was the slave based economy and financial system of the Confederacy, those criminal abusers of humanity and abrogators of the Constitution under "color" of being officials of our government have been intentionally destroying the United States of America.
      Perversion of the American banking system into a set of criminal abrogations of Article IV of the US Constitution Amendments by His British Lordship the criminal mastermind Greedspan, who was appointed by the fascist criminal tax evading Xian perverts of the Raygun/Bush administration in 1987 as a result of his criminal loyalty running cover for the Bush crime family member who bankrupted a savings and loan association in Denver some years earlier, has been an important aspect of those surrounding conditions.  Article IV prohibits illegal searches such as those facilitated by the criminally motivated publication of confidential personal information on their infinitely hackable web sites by bunkos and other financial intermediaries.  It also prohibits illegal seizures, takings without the consent nor authorization of the owner of the funds, such as are being carried on under euphemisms such as Automated Clearing House, Point of Sale Terminals, Electronic Funds Transfer and the new Check21 system for honoring and facilitating the efforts of criminal forgers.  Prior to the reign of terror of that criminal thug Greedspan, honored by those perennial and perpetual enemies of "the colonies", the British monarchy and government, for his treasons in high public office against the Constitution and people of the United States, there had been at least some reasonable level of integrity and lawful behavior by the banking system of this country.  No more.  Not only is there now open season for criminal theft devoid of any lawful order of anybody with the right to issue such an order but there is readily accessible publication of confidential balances and details of personal transactions by the criminally corrupt banking system so as to facilitate such criminal thefts.
      A second line of attack against Americans going on in the surrounding conditions also derives from the wrongdoings of His British Lordship the criminal mastermind Greedspan.  Since being appointed by the fascist/communist criminal tax evading Xian "religion" based Raygun/Bush administration in 1987, His Lordship continuously facilitated, encouraged, and demanded the criminal theft of stockholders equity out of publicly owned corporations under the euphemism "stock buybacks" at ludicrous multiples of net tangible equity in violation of securities laws prohibiting the rigging of securities prices to artificial high levels.  That same criminal theft system of stock buybacks was a primary cause of the mass bankruptcies during Great Depression One as the thereby looted and gutted publicly owned corporations devoid of capital with which to run their businesses collapsed under the sheer weight of the amounts stolen.  Although I have been trading stocks since September 1961, the result of those criminal machinations by the treasonous Greedspan had been to deny me and investors generally a huge proportion of the normal universe of stocks and to make de facto bankrupt debt drunk trash paper out of numerous companies which had been in my portfolio for years/decades.  There was no "capitalism" involved in those drastic subversions of the American financial and economic systems.  It was all criminal theft, grandiose larceny, and intentional "creative destruction" as the treasonous perpetrators liked to style it.
      There was also the influence of more local concerns.  Our dear old electric utility company had been having hugendous problems producing electricity for the rapidly growing population of Nevada.  It was in deep financial trouble as long ago as the merger of the old Nevada Power Company (mostly hydro electric based on Hoover Dam of which I owned shares for years) into the current Sierra Pacific Power, such that I was delighted to be bought out at a fair price (never seen since) at the time of the merger.  The financial situation became ludicrous during the criminal extortion scheme operated by the legis critters of Worsingdone DC against the American people under the "deregulation" swindle carried on by their appointed major campaign contributing criminal gang "Enron".  Sierra Pacific was an aggressive participant in that criminal extortion scheme and went so far as to corrupt the state goofermint to allow it to "recover" its losses on fraudulent manipulation of electricity prices during the Enron swindles.  The bottom line on that aspect of the surrounding conditions is that our dear old electric utility company had been having to import 60% of the electricity required by Nevada's *existing* population, from the incompetently run and frequently taken down for no better reason than the sheer "fun" of it fascist criminal controlled National Grid System.  The company hadn't the financial wherewithal to build the generating plants needed *even* if the efforts of Californicating frauds and the organized crime "casino" industry to prevent economic development in Nevada weren't the influence that they are.  Small efforts such as the "Nevada SureBet" program for redirecting customer money into the hands of "retro fitting" businesses with whom the munchiment of the monopoly electric utility was corrupt, to lower their demands on the inadequate systems, had no potential even for melting the tip of that iceberg of demand far in excess of generating capacity.    When I looked into the possibility of the company making use of their knowledge of real estate to facilitate a project such as mine, which had immediate personal requirements as well as longer run generating capacity potentials, what I found was that they were quite eager to steal my money and my time and energies for their gang's sole and exclusive benefit as what amounted to an absolutely controlled contributor to their capital base and work force devoid even of the potential for me getting a place to live as part of the unconscionable transaction.
      My bottom line was that "maybe" a solar based off grid style of project could be of use to my beloved home state Nevada and to myself.  Voila! the bright idea:  Bob buys some land, takes a few bucks from what he has made trading stocks and invests it in a solar generating based development project, and thereby not only has a rational use of capital but also makes a meaningful contribution to Nevada.  Lots of problems in that notion, not the least of which was the shortage of components for solar panels at the time.  But it was an idea that I wanted to pursue and, with the paucity of rational investment alternatives in stocks resulting from the criminal machinations of Greedspan and his supporters among the criminally corrupt snitters in Worsingdone, something which might be a reasonable use of capital.  As partially detailed in my Surreal Estate  article, the initial requirement of owning some land to develop remained a key problem.
      Meanwhile I continued travelling in broadening circles around my rented premises in Carson City NV.  One of the sights that I saw was initially quite intriguing.  Obviously solar in nature.  The photo at right, recorded on 070215 during a jaunt into the California portion of the Great American Desert, shows key details of how the Solar Electric Generating System that I saw just north of Kramer Junction California works.  According to signage in the BLM's Harper Dry Lake Wildlife Watching area about ten miles east of the photographed SEGS, the facilities use a system of curved mirrors to focus the sun's energy onto a tube carrying a heat transfer fluid (which is recognized by the state of California as toxic cause of a whole range of human maladies).  Through a series of conventional heat exchanger vessels, this heated fluid is used to produce steam which, in turn, runs a steam turbine and generator set.  In other words, it is a demonstration of the Boy Scout method for starting a fire using a magnifying glass ;(.  The result is glorified by BLM signage which indicates that two of the SEGS plants have a combined electrical generation capacity of 160 MW (megawatts) and supply enough solar-generated electricity for about 5,000 southern California homes.



      But what I was looking at was not genuinely solar at all.  Just another method of large scale fascist controlled National Grid System conventional electricity generation whose primary function is maintaining gang control devoid of reliability for the human populations frequently adversely defrauded of electricity supplies by gang warfare.  Its only function is generating some comparatively small addition to the overall gang controlled grid system and sending it over high voltage power lines such as the one shown in the photo at right.  Perhaps that slight improvement in the *amount* of resources controllable at whim by the gangs who run the grid system, but absolutely nothing in the way of reliability nor adequacy of resources for individual human beings.  Susceptible not only to the original extortion scheme run by the criminally corrupt legis critters of Worsingdone District of Corruption against the American people under the "Enron" name and the "deregulation" euphemism for transferring control of all electricity generation to criminal gangs but also to any and all subsequent criminal gang efforts to shut down human endeavors at whim.  Virtually bankrupting the state of California under its criminally corrupt goofernor Gray Davis, who continued extolling the "virtues" of criminally manipulated "market pricing" of electricity supplies even while he was being run out of office in a recall election, and doing substantial damage to human lives everywhere else in the nation for no benefit other than criminal gang control.




      A particularly sad demonstration of the avarice of "buzz de buzzy buzzwords" promoters of "solar" electric generating was seen during my tour of the Ely Nevada area circa 070801, at the eastern edge of my home state's Second Congressional District.  There was a billboard on Hwy 93 (the main vehicular transportation channel through the area).  It advertised a solar electric generating project.  An interesting political discussion with some of the locals revealed that I am not the only Nevadan who views "our" senior Senator Harry Ried as "having lost sight of his roots" as they said (or being nothing but a puppet representative of Las Vegas organized crime as he appears to me always to have been throughout his "political" career).  It is they who spew the gibberish widespread throughout the state that Harry is "against" the thermonuclear Doomsday Machine being built on a tectonic fault line 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas to satisfy the desires of criminal religionists for a literal "end of the world", all the while in Worsingdone he and his junior snitter of the "opposing" political potty are aggressively sponsoring legislation to complete the gathering of seven million bombs worth of high grade thermonuclear explosive materials to be transported to Yucca Mountain at any cost in human lives destroyed by silicosis, by radiation exposures during transport of those 70,000 tons of thermonuclear materials to the site, and by inevitable spillages of those deadly materials during transport.  My photo album Yucca Mountain Doomsday Machine  has more details on that criminal religionist goofermint scam.  One of the key rail lines for that ludicrously high hazard transport has been intended to be through the subject Ely Nevada area.  I see it as a consequence of Harry's criminal supporters' interest in completing that earth and humanity destroying project that he aggressively opposed the construction of a reduced sulphur coal fired electric generating plant in the area so that relevant productive industry might be able to obtain electricity supplies necessary to locate there.  So in context I saw that billboard as nothing but a swindle intended to snooker investor money for the support of its promoters devoid of any electricity actually being generated, especially in light of my own then four years of experience being unable to locate even a minimal amount of land to buy because of the fraudulent conveyancings undermining ownership of all land in favor of Las Vegas organized crime syndicates and my finding the same fraudulent title underminings in White Pine County where Ely and the snookering supposed project are located.
      My own criteria for the solar electric generating project I have been trying unsuccessfully to get together are these:  (1) no outside money nor pottynership nor corporate interests involved in owning the project; (2) minimum of reliable supplies of electricity for all of my own purposes, not interruptible at the whim of National Grid nor other gang decisions; (3) willingness of course to sell any excess generation over and beyond my own purposes on a rational pricing basis to whatever monopoly sales orgie might be involved where I get the project built.  This blog is no equivalent of that billboard.  To the extent that it invites comments or suggestions, it is only those and not "financing" nor other ownership involvements that it invites.  Of course sellers of products or services relevant to completing my project would be welcome to talk with me, any such proposals being duly considered with reasonable speed.  But no investors and especially no projects which are nothing but calls for me to donate capital to the offensively mismanaged and unreliable National Grid System.
      I should also mention at this point that the original inspiring demonstration of what appeared at first glance to be an independent off grid electric generating system also wasn't quite what it seemed to be.  Every solar aspect of the wildlife sanctuary system was a sucker bait demonstration created by crews of tax burning goofermint and quasi-governmental local area agencies.  Not very well hidden at all was the veiled fist of criminal gangs in Nevada who had long since subverted land titles via fraudulent conveyancing to such an extent that, whether they knew it or not, the caretakers didn't actually own a speck of the dirt on which they built their wildlife sanctuary and their own home.  From having chatted with them at some length over a period of years, I suspect that they never bothered *reading* the fine print in the title to the land and didn't know, nor was I about to educate them when they began an effort to have public donations "buy" that title subverted land for transfer to a charitable zoological corporation.  I simply couldn't donate to the, knowingly or not, fraudulent process.
      That primary characteristic of the "solar" industry, maintaining gang control over electricity supplies and human functionality, showed up in every design for solar systems that was presented to me in April 2008 when I visited with numerous "solar contractors" at a Home & Garden Show.  Every system they had in mind was designed to flow "excess" electric generation onto the grid at whatever variable pricing the monopoly sales orgie might want to pay and to depend utterly on the grid for electricity at night, during stormy weather, and any other time when the generating capacity purchased might not be adequate to supply what the investor in such systems might want or need to be using.  "Economic justification"  depended entirely on rigged numbers pretending to describe the effects of tax benefits, assumed costs of construction, and assumed pricing of outflows to the grid and inflows from the grid.  The monopoly sales orgie remained capable of shutting off electricity supplies at whim (or at the direction of the fascist controlled National Grid System) for whatever lengths of time might be chosen to cripple and maim the human activities of the investors in such systems.  There was no storage capability whatsoever involved in any of those systems.
      My previous knowledge of storage capabilities consisted of these aspects:  (1) the inspiring wildlife sanctuary system had a concrete block battery building to create at least "some" electricity storage capacity; (2) the batteries involved were said to produce potentially explosive and therefore dangerous quantities of elemental hydrogen; (3) even with the numerous solar panels on the place, there was said to be a requirement to have a hydrocarbon fueled backup generating system for essential equipment such as the freezers where food supplies for the wildlife were preserved; (4) the concept of electric automobiles has long failed primarily on grounds of inadequate electric storage capacity measured on size/weight criteria along with absolute dependence on the same old National Grid System for recharging; and (5) a gungho salesman of solar panels dropped the discussion altogether the moment that I mentioned the necessity for adequate storage capacity for the electricity generated.
      The impetus for this preliminary writeup of my solar electric generating project was the provision by a representative of the local monopoly sales orgie for the National Grid System of suggestions for how to compute "how much" storage would be needed for even a simple little system designed to supply only my Little House in the Desert.  While I have been tending to think in terms of Kilowatt Hours, the rep suggested that I look at it in terms of the fundamental formula for the relationship between measures of electricity "volts / watts = amps".  He then suggested that the type of battery most likely to be required was a marine grade deep cycle battery with a predicted ten year useful life and that I should look at the AmpHour ratings on batteries to determine "how many" would be required to satisfy my minimum storage requirements.  It wasn't until months later that I discovered his "formula" was the inverse of reality but it did get me started on this writeup.
      Another prospect of somewhat less probable successful outcome is the "buzz de buzzy buzzwords" venture capital run craporation which promotes itself as having a method of photovoltaic electric generation at a cost per unit of output said to be only 10% of the standard solar cells being offered by the "solar" industry.  While showing nothing whatever in the way of actual materials nor equipment, the promoters were indicating a minimum 1 Megawatt plant size devoid of any information on the cost of building that minimum plant size.  It is unclear whether their method would even be doable without the much larger land area and developed uses for electricity that I was looking for throughout my largely unsuccessful surreal estate searches.  It never became clear whether those promoters have any adequate storage systems involved or whether they too are intending to be mere suppliers to the National Grid System.
      Additional photos of the pair of extant solar electric generating systems discussed in this blog are available for your perusal in my online photo album  Sun Power Applied .  In any complex situation, there is of course always some predator or three endeavoring to sell "advice" on how to deal with it.  One such promoter  claims able to provide instructions on how to build solar systems cheaply.  He begins his spiel "What if I told you, that by purchasing all the components individually and assembling it yourself, you can put together a complete system for less than $200 and start generating your own power right now".  All you gotta do is provide your credit card number onto their infinitely hackable whirled wide wubb site and they assure you that you're gonna be charged fifty bucks (extra special limited time only reduced price from one hundred bucks) or so and maybe to send you some books (correction, they don't send anything, they "let you" download some E-books) that describe their version of how to do it "cheap cheap cheap" ;) and if you're really lucky there won't be multiple charges to your credit account and the ebooks might actually have "some" information about photovoltaic cells.  Notice however that he didn't even say that he *was* going to tell you how to put together such a complete system, only asked "what if?"  There are a lot of credibility gaps in the buzz de buzzy buzzwords "solar power" game.
 

090729  For quite a while now, I've been asking around most places that might even conceivably have some about "watcha got in the way of photovoltaic parts or equipment?"  Basically coming up empty handed with at most a few toys based on ultra small solar type panels.  Certainly nothing in the way of parts for me to experiment with (and County Code would require me to use a licensed solar installer for any substantive system anyway).  Meanwhile the scope of my interest in solar electric generation has been narrowed from an entirely off grid development project of 40 acres or more down to "what can I do with solar to solve my own personal problems getting reliable electricity supplies?"  That has resulted from a combination of lack of genuinely ownable land to buy with my own developing arthritis and other complications of aging.
      But a strange phrase popped up in the brochure of a "solar systems" company that I got as a side effect of shopping yesterday for a tool needed for my long jinxed intended irrigation system.  What it said was "during any type of blackout, the system will automatically shut down and restart once the utility power is restored.  This shutdown is required by law."  By sounding even worse than I had imagined the intertwining of expensive private solar generating systems with the offensively unreliable National Grid System, that phrase induced me to resume collecting information about such solar systems as might be available.  Contacted not only the company that issued the warning about shutdowns but also a state level group promoting solar generation and the sales orgie for the National Grid System in the area of my Little House to inquire whether the situation was really that bad as to impose a blackout requirement on me and my house personally regardless of systems installed to assure continued functionality during the the grid system's choice of blackout times.
      While I was at it, I went through my file of brochures and notes from the 2008 Home and Garden Show that I had attended in the closest big city.  Found one solar systems company in that file that had had a representative at the Show along with having genuine online means of contacting them along with another that appeared to be only an installer for the company whose brochure asserted the warning but no practical means of contact.  Rummaged around on my desk and found a scrap of advertising from a different solar systems company that also had genuine online means of contact.  Emailed some of my opening systems questions to each of the two contactable companies.
      The issuer of the original warning appears thus far to be so forcefully oriented towards dumping a salesman into my house before providing anything in the way of relevant information that my web site contact with them appears to have gone astray.  My tolerance for visiting salesmen closely approximates my desire for yet another blown out join in my jinxed irrigation system (i.e. zilch).  There has to be something that looks doable on an email basis long before I get into personal meetings.  Follows from the reality that virtually all of the paperwork and discussions when I was buying my Little House was handled via email, really heavy loads of complex communications most of which never even got printed out but all of which were essential for getting the negotiations and ultimately the transaction completed.  Allowed me to do such things as read up on how the deal was progressing while sitting on the side of a mountain (with transmission tower for my aircard nearby) and to communicate with agents involved without even having a fixed base nor telephone from which to work.  Fact is, even when I do have a fixed base and a telephone available, I find "telephone tag" difficult to impossible within my range of competing priorities and preliminary "personal meetings" (i.e. face to face sales pitches) totally unacceptable.  Emphasizing again, there has to be something that looks doable on an email basis long before I get into personal meetings.
      Along with the legal and technical questions about maintaining functionality during arbitrarily imposed blackouts and times when neither the grid sales orgie nor the sun are cooperating about providing anything in the way of electricity, a key question of mine has to do with the viability of what I understand to be conventional solar panels under local weather conditions.  We have ferocious desert winds around my Little House.  Regularly 40 mph with gusts to 60 and occasional
serious sand blastings with winds driving the sand as fast as 70 mph.  The sandstorm problem is serious enough that one of them, when I was working in my office by natural sunlight, caused a nonelectric blackout of the "where did the light go?" sort to the point that I was unable to see hardly at all in what little light filtered through the sandstorm.  The wind is a serious enough problem that my "20 year 60 mph" rated shingles were being *regularly* blown off my roof in chunks.  Had to overlay the entire roof with a "30 year 110 mph" rated shingles in order to cope with that reality.  The question resulting for any proposed system installer:  how do your company's solar systems hold up under these ferocious wind/sand conditions?
      Since every solar installer emphasizes tax credits for paying to have them install a system, I also went to the IRS web site and downloaded a copy of Form 5695 "Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit" for 2008.  It suggests that there is/was a limit of $2,000 on the amount of the credit for a purely solar electric generating system although it also confuses the issue by saying "What's New for 2009 ... There is no limit on the amount of qualified solar electric property costs when figuring the residential energy efficient property credit".  There were none of the income limitation regurgitationz that I was more than half expecting but instead an opposite direction limit that a person claiming the credit has to otherwise owe at least that amount of taxes.  I haven't yet looked into any state or national grid system sales orgie financial encouragements for installing such systems, although every installer insists that there are significant amounts involved.  My preliminary contacts today really aren't all that much towards getting a solar electric generating system installed.  But they are the most I've gotten done since the 090425 preliminary writeup, so I added them to this blog.
 

090803  Some further information starting to develop on the installation of a solar generating system for my Little House in the Desert.  Initiating aspect was a telephone call from a representative of the local sales orgie for the national grid system indicating that the only relevant aspect of the "system shutdown" is that no generated power be fed onto the grid.  From a technical standpoint that part was obvious.  It would be a severe health and safety danger.  But it is also important to understand how blackouts occur.  Blackouts are created when the control systems run by the electricity sales orgies go screwy, whether due to national political attack against geographic areas (as for example the *Ohio* originating collapse of the grid which blacked out the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States for a considerable length of time) or local supply shortages due to the intentionally disastrous political fraud of "deregulation" for the purpose of removing control of electricity supplies from local people and moving it into the hands of fascist criminal thugs on a national level, mostly for purposes of extortion during the "Enron" era but also whenever the national political thugs "wanna do it".
      The original overstating company (of the nature of the system shutdowns) continued onward with its efforts to dump a salesman into my house before providing anything in the way of relevant information.  Instead of replying by email as required, they telephoned me and went into a long verbal sales pitch (of which my recorder could capture only a portion before the salesman went beyond the message length specification).  What little came through was that they wanted to deal with the blackouts on an average basis (the salesman pretended that the average purchaser of electricity from the national grid sales orgie experiences only "15 minutes" of blackout per year) while there have been several blackouts in my area of four or more HOURS each and numerous shorter blackouts.  There was preliminary indication in that unwelcome telephone sales call that they didn't want to deal with providing reliable electric supplies at all but only to facilitate financing the operations of the sales orgie for the national grid system at the capital expense of property owners.  Not surprising since their foreign parent company has been notorious for many years for lying, cheating, and stealing from American citizens.
      Another of the companies that I contacted after going through my notes also telephoned to talk through some aspects of the situation.  A key point which the caller made was that the installers for that company have no experience installing automated switchovers between national grid system coziness and efficient backup power generating and/or supply systems, regardless of whether the technology exists for accomplishing that RELIABLE CONTINUOUS objective.  Their concept is in terms of a manual switching on of a backup generator, something which couldn't be done when I'm running lengthy complex computer operations at night or when I'm otherwise away from my office, with the inevitable result of computer crashes and destruction of hard drives and related sensitive electronic equipment.  I was a bit surprised, in light of the frequency with which promoters of solar generating facilities mention tax credits and rebates, that the person who called had apparently never even read Form 5695 and was under the misimpression that the Federal income tax credit, as are the potential rebates from the grid system sales orgie, was designed for the sole purpose of providing free financing for the grid sales orgies at houseowner expense rather than being to encourage the use of renewable energy resources.
      Along with all the telephone calls in lieu of relevant written information, I did go have a look at the national grid sales orgie's web site  (accessible only to "Remote Control" infested Constitutionally abrogated computer systems) for whatever details it might be able to provide.  Whatever rebate payments may be available (one source suggested it is 19% of system cost providing that the system is built to the national grid sales orgie's size specifications and nothing at all if it is "oversized"), the process of *applying* for a rebate appears at first glance to be complex and fraught with uncertainties far beyond the unreliability of the grid's provision of electricity, i.e. a person could wind up being already committed to a major capital expenditure without ever getting the installer promised rebate, for that matter without ever getting the installed system connected to the grid for the proposed "Net Usage Metering" on which all of the "economics" of solar system installations are supposedly based.  Getting a functional solar generating system going, even for my now very much more limited single house purpose, is gonna be a tough row to hoe.
 

091009  Still nothing from any of the "solar installers" that I have contacted about a reliable continuous source of electricity for my needs, regardless of what the national grid system's local sales orgie wants to do about supplying anything over their lines.  Latest word from that direction is that maybe I'll hear something after one installer orgie is done with all the last minute peeps wanting to take advantage of the "Federal tax credit" which is nowhere near as significant as the sellers of tax credits (rather than functional solar generating systems) pretend it to be.  Reason for today's addition to my going nowhere fast exploration of mining electricity from the sun is the referral from somebody who saw my Sun Power Applied  photo album and said it reminded him of the way that Orange County CA  is doing things.  My glance at that site suggested to me that it is nothing but another glorification of providing free capital to the local sales orgie for the national grid system with unclear benefits, if any, which are readily modifiable and/or revocable by the sales orgie versus the provider of the capital.  Skepticism about that aspect aside, the county code where my land is located specifies that any such system must be installed by licensed contractors, such as those who have been entirely unresponsive thus far, which compounds the lack of reliability and subservience to the sales orgie issues that I am concerned about.
 

091106  Spent this afternoon at a Home & Garden Show at the county fairgrounds.  Among the exhibitors were a whole slew of "solar installers" supposedly knowledgeable and licensed to install solar electric generating systems.  I talked with several of them and was chagrined to find that none of them was even aware of the name of a manufacturer of thin film technology solar panels which began full scale production on 090909.  Having denied even recognizing the *name* of the manufacturer, one of them went so far as to assert that the solar panels in question were "not UL approved" and therefore not something which her firm would be willing to install.  How she could presume to know that the panels were not UL approved without even knowing the name of the company manufacturing them is not within the realm of my logical abilities to absorb as anything other than bluster (and intent to promote buggy whip technologies in much the same fashion that a then monopolist producer of paper card punching machines maintained that punch cards were a "forever" technology all the while the Personal Computer Revolution was getting rolling to at least temporarily undermine that company's entire mainframe fraudocracy).  Anybody besides me and a few other old timers even *seen* a card punch machine let alone had to futz with one?  Her ignorance based assertion annoyed me sufficiently that I went to the company's  spec sheet  where I was informed that the panels are certified under UL 1703 for electric safety and UL certified for Class-A fire resistance.
      My subsequent lookup of further information about  the company  did provide some insight into *why* none of the local installers were aware of them.  In straight forward terms, all of the locals are "out of the loop" for information from the manufacturer which has chosen or been chosen by its own small group of  project partners  who are the only ones capable of delivering actual solar panels anywhere.  Demonstrating the "efficiency" of the locals having been unwilling to date to provide anything whatsoever in the way of project specs or ballpark costs for installing a solar electric generating system for my Little House of any kind, let alone of the 100% reliability that I require, there were also some things I didn't know yet about the new technology's capabilities.  Quoting from one of the company's web pages, "A 2MW . . . power plant can power 1,000 homes with as little as 10 acres of land".  Smallest project the manufacturer's partners are willing to participate in developing is a 1MW power plant.  What level of power usage that *assumes* is entirely unknown and I have already had one conventional panel manufacturer back away from talking with me because of what he pretended was a lot more usage at my Little House than he expected on a "per home" basis (although his main reason for avoiding me was the notion that I did not intend to be a mere supplier of capital to an absolutely controlling nothing but a sales orgie for the politically abusive national grid system which reserves the ability to shut down individual customers or entire areas of the country at the whim of criminally corrupt politicians -- as in fact they have already done on numerous life disruptive and destructive occasions).  But supposing those numbers have any relational meaning at all, it suggests that my "one home" would be included as requiring the usage of 2KW of generating capacity and 436 square feet of surface area [more information than I've gotten in months of trying from the local posturers at being "installers" of solar systems].  Meanwhile, I have been advised via a mailing list for the company that "contractors and builders interested in beta testing and/or installing a Nanosolar home product" can register at their registration site.  Doesn't mean the company is ready to produce panels for the "my size" market, only that they are looking for expressions of interest.  An attempt to register myself as a mere homeowner led back to the same mailing list that I'm already on.
      Eager as numerous of those I have contacted previously have been to inflict a blather spewing sales person into my home to disrupt my life devoid of providing anything in writing for me to review as to specifications or costs and insistent as they have all been that nobody's interests matter but those of the sales orgie for the national grid system with its intended continuing ability to destructively shut down my sensitive electronic equipment and health sustaining cooling system in the blazing heat of the desert at whim with their blackouts, along with their intent to "right size" the system in relation to *their* needs (mostly for abusive CONTROL of the lives of human populations) devoid of any consideration for what I may need in the way of supplies during future time periods, there was at least some minimal "apparent" progress at the fairgrounds show.  Several of the represented installers at least pretended to acknowledge existence of "hybrid" systems and of power inverters capable of automatically switching between generated electricity and/or grid supplied electricity over to battery backup supplies when necessitated by blackouts.  Several of them pretended to capability of constructing entirely off grid systems such as I am likely to need for my intended development of some land I'm trying to buy for horticultural and agricultural purposes.  So I am likely to "try try again" contacting those who were represented at the fairgrounds show, despite one of them being recognizable as an orgie whose previous representative had insisted there was no way I was going to get the continuous reliable electric supplies that I need from anything her company might install.
 

091122  The silence from the pretended installers of "solar systems" has been deafening.  Not a one of those contacted immediately after the 091106 Home & Garden Show has responded to my email inquiries, neither with regard to a solar system for my Little House nor for my prospective off grid system.  My latest attempt to buy some vacant land fell through yesterday (the egregiously encumbered "owner of record" came through moments before my bid was scheduled to be automatically revoked anyway by the standard terms of real estate contracts with proposed aggravating changes to what was already a contract ludicrously lopsided in his favor).  So I decided to spend a few moments today researching what might be available for me to putter with in the way of solar generating parts and equipment without further waiting for the phony "installers", blatantly corrupt with the abusive sales orgie for the national grid system, to get around to replying to my inquiries.  Found a few possible leads for information and parts via googling "solar panels".  Discarded automatically the frauds intending only to dump an abusive salesman into my office to play a high pressure sales game against me.  Found a few that appeared to be genuine sellers of solar generating parts and equipment including  Solar Boulevard, Solar Panel Store, the Chinese manufacturer  Shine Solar, and a company calling itself  Affordable Solar.  Not a complete list of what is available from the search engine on the subject, but makes me feel better to include at least some leads in this blog.
 

091129  It occurred to me this morning that I have been using an off grid electric generating system for many years now without thinking of it as such.  The generating part of the system is hydrocarbon based which makes it useless for purposes of energy independence.  But the use of the electricity generated involves feeding the direct current from a DC battery to a small power inverter which converts it to the alternating current required by most electrical devices.  I plug my small wattage requiring 110 volt AC device into that inverter and it does what it is supposed to do.  The inverter involved won't handle any larger wattages, maximum of 400 watts, which means I can't run a device such as a microwave oven off of that inverter (typical 1100 watt requirement and the lowest powered microwave I've ever found required 600 watt power source).  But it has been sufficient for several years to power my portable computer with its aircard communications system when I travel and plug the inverter into my hydrocarbon powered vehicle's 12 volt battery maintained electrical system.  Other than its wattage limitations, that off grid electric system has frankly been more reliable than any of the National Grid System's participating sales orgies have been in decades.
      First thing I found when I began to pursue this discussion is that the representative of the sales orgie for the national grid system at the April 2009 local Earth Day celebration lied to me about the relationship between volts, watts, amps, and the relationship of those to the required amp hour ratings for batteries.  Sort of like the lie that other reps of that company spewed in writing and during telephone contact when they pretended they were willing to process payments made by check by sending them to my bank for cancellation but instead retained the check so as to have a permanent record of the routing numbers of my bank account for whatever electronic funds transfer at whim criminal thefts they or any of their least reliable employees might ever want to steal from me.  In this instance, however, the lie was only for purpose of confusing the customer rather than subversion of the integrity of a financial account and eventual, unpredictable as to timing or amount, criminal theft.  The genuine formula is Watts = Volts x Amps x k(one unit length of wire), the inverse of the volts/watts formula for amps indicated by the company rep, instead it is watts/volts .  What the formula says is that my 400 watt inverter for 110 volt electricity is capable of flowing a maximum of 3.63 Amps and any equipment requiring higher amperages is going to blow the fuse (what in fact happens).  Underscores the meaning of my experience with the deafening silence of the phony "installers" of solar systems:  the displays at various shows may be interesting but none of what the reps say can be relied upon.  It was in fact *seeing* a wind turbine face to face at one such show, thereby providing understanding of the perpetual maintenance requiring mechanical nature of the thing, that permanently removed "wind power" from my list of things to consider for energy independence.
      Using  Shine Solar's example  of how to calculate size of solar system needed, I begin by gathering my own usage figures for electricity bought from the national grid system.  In the format of YYMMDD date and kWh hours billed, here are the quantities they say I have been using:  091026 265 kWh, 090924 829, 090825 1070, 090727 1587, 090625 431, 090527 449, 090427 285, 090326 283, 090225 364, 090123 352, 081223 322, 081124 276, 081024 450, 080922 1085, 080822 1356, 080724 1592, 080624 721, 080523 349, 080423 259, 080325 270, 080225 342, 080123 396, 071221 335, previously was a short period just after I bought the house involved.  Omission of the November 2009 figure (not yet received) only slightly tilts the average upward.  The total of all of the kWh figures from the meter readings is 45270 - 31582 = 13,688 kWh used from 071116 thru 091026, a period of 710 days which is an average of 19.279 kWh "per day".  Ignoring their assumption of desiring only partial coverage of electricity usage, this satisfies Step One of their example.
      The second step of the example requires determining how many usable hours of sunlight are available per day in my area.  They suggest googling an insolation map to find that information.  Near as I can tell from the altogether too similar colors used in the insolation map, my area receives approximately 7.0 hours of usable sunlight per average day.  [There aren't any "average days" out here in the desert, but I'm doing this the way Shine Solar says to do it.  Fortunately, the seasonal variation in insolation works in the same direction as my peak electric power needs, so some part of the non average reality is covered by that seasonal variation.]  Their computation continues by taking the average daily kWh calculation, dividing by the number of daily usable sunlight hours and multiplying by 1.25 (to take into account the wasted energy from wiring, charge controllers. batteries, and inverters).  So it is 19.279 / 7.0 x 1.25 = 3.443 kW or 3,443 watts per day.  This compares with the nonsense "average" of 2000 watts per home used by NanoSolar in talking about how many homes can be powered by one of their solar generating plants.  Shine Solar then assumes using 180 watt solar panels to calculate the number of panels needed so 3443 / 180 = a little more than 19 pieces of 180 watt monocrystalline solar panels.  It galls me to realize that, given exactly the same information used in these calculations, not even one of the self styled "installers" of solar generating systems was willing to reply with even the rudimentary information presented here.  Absolute silence from the ex "perts" who were so eager to dump a high pressure sales scammer into my Little House.
      Although I was willing to go through the "average" calculations for minimum generating capacity and number of solar panels, the rest of the suggested calculations were getting too far afield for me.  Not only were their cost estimates based on hypothetical averages but they excluded the cost of wiring, charge controllers, batteries, inverters, and installation fees.  They then went on to make wild assumptions about the availability of Federal and (themselves hard pressed financially) state tax credits and fundamentally fraudulent sales orgie rebates which could wind up never being paid despite the demand for absolute gang control of *whether* the system works for any purpose.  They even included bogus federal "subsidies" which are nothing but temporary *loans*, requiring repayment in future tax years, and don't actually result in any financial benefit to the home owner snookered into buying their song and dance routine on behalf of the fraudulent and unreliable national grid system sales orgies.  But this exercise is at least a start, especially in relation to the entirely off grid system that I want to have "when as and if" I ever get some land bought for "my farm".