Solar Power And Renewable Energy Demonstration Center : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There is an excellent print catalog company called Real Goods specializing in solar powered products, sustainable living and other renewable energy items:

They also have a physical Solar Living Center, north of San Francisco, where they demonstrate all the goods, grounds and solar powered toys:

In the next day or so, Ill actually be travelling up there to learn what I can learn. Anyone have any solar energy product related questions youd like me to try and get answers to?


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 06, 1999


In general, differences in use of their solar energy products in a cold climate vs. the sunny climate around their SLC.

Suppose one purchases a modest portable PV panel. In winter -- If it's outside, best ways to keep snow/ice from blocking it? If it's inside, pointing through a window, what advice the novice user might not think of?

How about boosting efficiency on cloudy days by placing an auxiliary reflector (flat mirror) nearby so that it reflects more of what sunshine there is onto the PV panel? What type of readily available auxiliary reflector would be best for this purpose? What happens if this is done in full sunshine (clouds go away)? Overload the PV panel?

-- No Spam Please (, January 06, 1999.


I live on Oahu, so solar products would definitely work for my family here year round. I've already checked out the suggested solar sites given on another post, and have found them very helpful. But I seem to recall reading somewhere about converting sea water to drinking water using solar. Could you find out how this done?


Maureen Kailua, HI

-- maureen g. yuen (, January 06, 1999.

Diane, you are so good to us!

I've been trying to find out about government (fed & state) grants or loan programs for folks who want to go renewable, but so far no good. Everything I've found is either in the form of tax credits or for businesses. What we need is some financial assistance or a loan source to get set up in the first place. Maybe they would have some info?


-- Arewyn (, January 06, 1999.

a good reflector in winter is snow, or pieces of aluminum painted white; white cardboard will work also. your pocketbook will help you decide.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 06, 1999.

Also, anyone know where the solar discussion links are in the threads, esp. the un-obvious ones?

Looking forward to a search engine for this thing.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 06, 1999.

Their ninth edition "Solar Living Source Book" is excellent. It has almost anything you may think of on topics of Independent living. Mike

-- flierdude (, January 06, 1999.

Diane - Ask some of the vendors how CA consumers can take advantage of the new Renewable Energy program. From what I can glean, it looks like CA gov't will fund about half of a consumer's "renewable energy" installation, but I can't get a clear sense of the whole installation and reimbursement process. Let them know that they have at least one very interested customer down San Diego way. The solar energy maps from Home Power magazine are pretty clear; we get some serious year-round sun power down here in the lower lefthand corner.

-- Mac (, January 06, 1999.

For a huge assortment of sustainable energy products, please check out the Jade Mountain website: Since 1972, Jade Mountain has been helping people design their systems, and carries the best products available. We specialize in offering quality and hard-to-find renewable energy products, and will match any price. Our tech staff is on hand to answer your questions about renewable energy and how it will benefit you beyond Y2K.

-- Maureen Mahoney Whitaker (, February 03, 1999.

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