Dulcimoo.com uses 100% carbon free electricity for all electrical uses.
Our web hosting facility, fatcow, is 100% wind powered.
And our corporate headcowters electrical needs are 100%+ solar photovoltaic, provided by Sun Fusion Solar power.

If you use electricity and you own your home or office then go solar!
I did - this is the dulcimoo solar farm
solar array on the home barn

Why go solar? There are many reasons to go solar, but here are a few:

Does it work? Yes! ... when there is some sun light!

In the first 6 Months of operation - we made over 3.8 MEGA Watt hours of electricity! ...
... In terms of CO2 That is over 110 BBQs worth!

You can see the difference in our power consumption ...
kWh usage Jun 17 vs 24
... the line is before solar ... the bars are after solar.
Note: During the day time hours ... no energy was used from the power company.

Below see our system (if there is some sun light) working

Note the data is lagged about 45 min.

Still in the dark? ...

Here is an excerpt from my July 2011 Power bill. ... this was the first full solar month
first full month bill excerpt
That -287 kWh credit is going to be worth about 25 dollars at the end of the year
The small charge is the cost of using the power company as a battery

How are we doing after the first full year?

Graph showing increasing production over the yearThe graph on the left shows The cumulative Solar Production over the first year.

Chart showing production higher then estimated in Summer and lower in Winter The graph on the right shows the actual output in relation to the estimated output given by the PV Watts tool (see below). In summer production was above the estimate, but in winter a little below. Some Eucalyptus trees shade my array in the winter afternoons so my production is not as high as I'd hope ... but the bottom line due to the great production I get in Summer does not justify getting rid of them at this time.

The bottom line...54.51 credit on bill

So after a year I had excess production of 1,941 kWh, for which I received a credit of $54.51 on my SDGE bill

So ... really how is this working out for me

After 2 years ... I have a credit balance of over $75 ... never pay an electric bill again ... what a great feeling!
after 2 years a 75 dollar credit
But wait? Isn't the credit getting smaller? ... Well yes and no ...
The first year I actually paid each month the minimum usage fee (even if I did not have to) because I was not entirely sure how it was going to work out. However after the first year I had a credit (about half from paying the fee) so that's never deducted any more. The actual extra credit I have for the past year was $62.22 which is still larger that the first year. The total (including carry over from the first year is a bit larger than $75) as long at it keeps getting larger ...
...and it really helps with those reduce your use days too!Reduce Your Use Credit of 3.75USD

Soooo ... after 4 years I have a credit of about 300 dollars (USD). In the past year I only used a little power one month. Here is my usage in the past year:
after 4 years a 300 dollar credit

Some of the questions I get asked are How long will a roof top solar install last? and Does Solar degrade over time?
In a study done by Queens University Canada, of 204 modules that have been in the field at least 19 years,
it shows that modules should last at least 30 years and perhaps more. In addition power degradation is less
than 1 percent a year (it averaged 0.86 percent per year).
What does this mean? This means that if you are worried about degradation, add one extra panel now
for every 10-20 panels you install and you will generate all the power you will need, but that is probably not necessary
as energy efficiency (for example LED TVs are more efficient that LCDs) will continue to increase so it is not
going to be a big deal in twenty years and the degradation is very small anyway.

Solar Planning Calculators

CSI Solar Sizing Tool - plug in your electrical usage and dial in the system size you need. A SUPER good tool! I give this one 5 milk buckets!

NREL PV Watts home page

PV Watts notes for Enphase users

SolarWorld Solar Saving Calculator

Sharp Clean Power Estimator

Electric Cars and Plug In Hybrids

CODA (R.I.P.) Was All Electric Car from an all electric car company

Tesla Motors Premium Electric Vehicles

Fisker Automotive Lux Hybrid with serious (like 50Mile) range on Electric alone

LEAF The All Electric from Nissan.

Volt The All Electric car with an integrated generator from Chevrolet.

Ford All Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Ford Fusion and Focus

prius plug-in A 15 Mile Electric range then it runs just like the regular prius - From Toyota of course.

Smartcar Electric A small car for the Big City

Interesting Links

The Bell Solar Battery - the start of PV in your home

The EPA CO2 Equivalency COWculator ... how many barbeques propane tanks will your solar offset?

Electric Cars are for Girls Blog

Solar Power Forum

Solar Panel Talk

Some one did it themselves ... not my cup of tea


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