Nancy and I had the great pleasure of meeting Scott and Julie Brusaw of Solar Roadways in Sandpoint, ID this last week while vacationing.
They graciously spent an hour showing us how they make their panels and answering all of our questions about how they work.
I was very excited to see their technology, first hand, and learn about their new applications for homes.
We were amazed to learn that every panel is installed by hand right now and to hear about how they plan to someday automate their installation process.
It is definitely something we plan to keep an eye on and we are proud to share the industry with such innovative people.
They have a brilliant concept here that could completely transform the future!
Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think!
The capabilities of today's technology is absolutely amazing, and just keeps improving day after day. Google has recently launched it's newest non-searchable venture called Google Sunroof.
If you are a skeptic about solar power and it's benefits then this website is for you.
Right now it is only available in a few areas, but someday soon they could be analyzing the solar potential of every building in the country.
It works by taking an address and calculating the average amount of hours-per-year of sunlight for that particular rooftop.
It then gives you an analysis of how many solar panels you could fit in that location as well as the amount of money you could potentially save by installing them.
There is still a lot of skepticism and ignorance when it comes to solar energy.
People just don't appreciate the amount of money they could save over the long term or the volume of solar power that is currently bouncing off their roofs, unused.
This website aims to eliminate the skeptics and ignorance while showing them what they are missing out on!
We've all heard of Elon Musk, our very own Tony Stark, but have you heard of his newest plan? How would you feel about turning your entire roof solar? After merging his two companies, SolarCity and Tesla, he announced that his master plan is to release a solar roof. Now let me clarify here, this is not a roof that has solar panels on it with the normal asphalt shingle roof underneath it, but a roof that is actually made up of solar panels! This could potentially open up an entirely new market allowing for the sale of a solar roof instead of just the panels that go on top of it. The possibilities are endless here! Gone would be the days of being limited to the amount of panels that you can install at your home due to the available space on your roof! It's a very interesting concept, one we are very intrigued to learn more about! Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about it, and if you think this is something you would be interested in!
As renewable and solar energy continue to gain global awareness one of the most common questions people have is:
"How Do I Power My Home From the Sun?"
The answer is with a Solar Electric Photovoltaic System.
Solar Electric Photovoltaic Systems, sometimes referred to as PV Systems, have many benefits:
- Reduce your electric bill.
- Take advantage of tax benefits and rebates.
- Help our country become less dependent on fossil fuels.
- And - Watch your meter spin backward (we never get tired of this!)
A photo of our building back in late 70's!
In 2002, I decided to renovate our 25 year old, Fafco Solar building in Cape Coral...
In doing so, I tried to use as many green products and practices as I could afford...
Problem #1: I didn’t know anything about green building.
Problem #2: I didn’t know anyone else who did.
So, I had to go to Sarasota to find someone who had some knowledge and experience with green building.
Unfortunately, after his one visit to my shop, he never called back and I could never get him to return my calls. So, I was forced to search for another builder.
Eventually, I decided to use a local builder.
One I was familiar with, even though he had no knowledge or experience in green building. I had known him and his wife for many years. They both knew my father and on occasion he played cards with him. They also knew my son. They had a good reputation and I liked them.
So, I educated myself a little and told my builder what I wanted in the building. He thought some of my green ideas were strange but he did as I requested. When all was done, I was happy with my decision.
Unknowingly, my decision to renovate my existing building, rather than move and build somewhere else, was my first green decision.
By far, the most visible and impressive green aspect of the building is the 21 solar lights (tubular skylights) installed throughout the building. They allow the employees to work in natural daylight almost all day long without using any electricity... and they love it.
It also is a great demonstration of a product we offer.
People who visit are usually quite surprised when we tell them there’s no electric lights on. Stop in and take a look for yourself when you’re in the neighborhood!
All interior walls were painted with no VOC paint. (That stands for volatile organic compounds.) It wasn’t hard to find...even in 2002. We just had to ask for it.
We sprayed foam under the roof and into the block walls of the air conditioned portion of the building. During construction, it was noticeably cooler under the foamed portion of the roof.
We reused lumber from the deconstruction of the old shop in the new offices.
We installed a tankless water heater to eliminate stand-by losses since we hardly ever use hot water.
We also installed a dual flush toilet, a water cooled air conditioner, low E windows, tile floors (except in two offices) and ceiling tiles made with partially recycled content.
On the outside, we planted native plants.
After moving into our newly renovated offices, we started improving our personal green habits, too. We, now, recycle almost all our paper, plastic, aluminum, glass and copper items.
Ultimately, my goal is to use zero fossil fuel within ten years. That would be a wonderful achievement! There’s still more to do, but we’re well on our way!
If YOU are interested in doing the same, contact me and we’ll make a plan to do it!
Energy independence is definitely possible!
For more information on green building, check out these links:
Have fun 'going green with renewable energy products', I sure did!
The most common question about solar energy deserves the right answer...
If you’ve ever asked yourself --
“Why isn’t there more solar energy used in Florida?”
you’re not alone!
In the 35 years I’ve worked in the solar industry here in Florida, that’s the most common question I hear.
The question is often followed with some version of: “I guess it’s just still too expensive.”
It’s a good question, but the right answer requires you to dig a little deeper. So, instead of just agreeing and letting you off the hook, I’m inclined to reply: “YOU know why.”
Then, I wait and let you think a little while I nod my head and look directly at you with narrowed eyes and a slight smile. When I see you start to fog up, I continue, “It’s because the utilities and the politicians don’t want you to use solar energy.”
Oh, you say. It’s pretty obvious and no one ever disagrees.
Within the last couple months, though, we're fortunate enough to have some help from the top, and I'm excited!
You know in your heart we should be using the beautiful gift the sun gives freely to all. It defies logic and common sense that Florida ignores its natural beauty.
The frustration is always audible. Solar energy is so obviously good and right.
Here are a couple organizations trying to help the people get their fair share of solar energy:
Florida is the Sunshine State, after all, right?!
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