A proven technology that doesn't seem to cause many issues is solar power. Improvements in this technology allow today's solar panels produce electricity just as well on cloudy days as they do on sunny days. Again, were not likely to solve all of our energy demands with solar power but we certainly could add several more drops in the energy demand bucket with it.  To give some perspective on the exact potential of solar power, in 45 seconds, the earths surface receives enough solar energy to fully meet the worlds entire energy demand for that day http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/sustainability/assets/earths-solar-potential.pdf and similarly, another resource states that the earth receives enough energy from the Sun in one hour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy) to power the planet for an entire year, and this amount is for one year is "twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined" in that same year ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy ) . Given this, we should start concentrating efforts on capturing as much of this energy as possible. With prices becoming more reasonable, grants and funding becoming available, and many people and companies having expertise in solar installations, whether we do this individually at home, on rooftops on all city towers and buildings, or as solar farms in fields that are part of Energy Farms, we need to increase efforts on capturing as much of this free energy as possible.

To further develop the idea that the earth receives enough energy from the Sun to make a significant contribution to our "bucket of energy" demand, I spent several months putting together a data set that shows if every home had 225 watt solar panels on 250 sf of roof area (250 sf is an assumption, however a local installer figures for 280 sf), and 10% of all residential home had a Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbine (10% is an assumption), residential homes on the average could supply 44% of our nations total power needs. Click here to view the data I gathered that led to this conclusion. 

To better understand how your home could bene fit from Solar power along with understading what your out of pocket cost (estimated) might be after applying State and Federal tax rebates & incentives, see the solar calculator at the following site:   


Over the past several years, I have been collecting power off of a small set of 15w panels at my home - these panels keep a battery charged that then runs four 12vDC lights in our home. The total cost of this installation was $300.00, 30% of which I was able to write off on our taxes for that installation year. Whether an installation is small like I just described, or large enough to power a home or business, grants, tax breaks, and other funding continue to be available to help with
purchasing and installation costs. The continuation of these sort of incentives will be a key to kick starting Energy Farming in our area of the nation. A good site to view available incentives and credits is: http://www.dsireusa.org/

Below I've shown details related to this installation at our home:

The following web sites show more AC, DC, and integrated solar wiring diagrams:

Throughout the course of a year, the suns location in the sky changes. With that, it is important to keep the panels facing the sun as directly as possible. Some solar installations are fixed so the best angles possible are used when mounting the panels. Other installations allow for manual adjustment, and more costly systems have set ups to rotate the panels automatically to keep them facing the sun directly at all times.

To calculate a proper tilt angle, the following is needed:
a) know your latitude and longitude
    Phoenix NY latitude is: N 43º 13' 52''
    Phoenix NY longitude is W 76º 18' 2''
    Hammond NY latitude is: N 44º 26' 28''
    Hammond NY longitude is: W 75º 44' 36''
    Latitude can be found at: http://www.geonames.org/

b) use the following calculation to set the solar panel tilt angle against the ground:
   * latitude + 15 degrees in the winter
   * latitude - 15 degrees in the summer
   * http://www.freesunpower.com/solarpanels.php

c) The solar panels should always face the equator or within 15ºof due south.

Collection and storage of solar energy is of no use without the consumption of such energy collected. With that, in addition of the three 12VDC lights in our basement, which are used for a matter of a few minutes per day, I have recently added a 12VDC light in our living room so that the energy collected from my solar panels can be put to more practical use (in a matter of hours per day). Assuming I find that this single regularly used light draws nominal energy off of my batteries as is expected, I will then install more of these lights in our house, particularly in locations where light would be needed in the event of a street power outage. Below are pictures of the light in our living room:

Products and parts:

Click here to view details describing how installing solar power fits into the overall concept of Energy Farming, where energy is farmed at a given location from available resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels, and from this concept, jobs and revenue can be created for a community

For more information, requests, or if you would like to share information, please see the Contact Ian page

  Solar Power

Something new I've just installed in the summer of 2016 is a sample installation of thin film solar.  Here, the solar panel/film adheres directly to roof metal, as opposed
to traditional solar installations that are a separate rack system installed on top of a roof.  The advantage I see here is that for metal roof installations, the panels of roof
metal are also the solar panel.   Thin film is not yet as efficient as traditional solar panels, but for large roof areas this could be feasible.  Another advantage is that when
installing a new metal roof, the resident, farmer, or business could essentially install a solar power system at the same time.

This obviously would cost a bit more than a metal roof installation on its own, however the simplicity of a thin film system speaks for itself.

Typically, thin film is installed on standing seam roof metal, which is more expensive than traditional 5 rib screw on corrugated metal roof installations and standing seam is also more complex to install.  As shown below, I've integrated 2 rib corrugated screw on roof metal with the traditional 5 rib corrugated roof metal that is typically used in most metal roof installations in our area.  As of this posting, I can't yet speak to the long term performance of this thin film, however I can say that for several weeks now, I have been successful feeding a micro inverter which then feeds to our homes AC power system.