Going Solar Blog

The Going Solar blog will feature ideas and information relevant to installing and optimizing home solar energy systems. Our low cost panel racks have been replicated three times in our county, and at least a dozen times across the country and South America that I know of.

We recently added a few galleries and updated old galleries to a new format (this site is used test software I’m developing for my client’s websites).  There are also some useful resources related to our Solar Open House.

Sorry I haven’t gotten to more ‘how-to’ posts than the panel mounting rack yet, but I’ve been swamped with website work and building projects.  I’m working to extract myself from various website maintenance loops (by automating my client’s sites with WordPress) and hope to begin adding more technical posts sometime in 2016 or 2017.

Upcoming ‘how-to’ posts will cover topics such as low cost ultra-low power DC lighting and using DC/DC power supplies to eliminate vampire transformers so your inverter can run in stand-by mode (every watt-hour is sacred, especially in an off-grid system).  Also how to modify a frost-free refrigerator to work with an inverter running in stand-by mode – without modification a frost-free refrigerator will experience severe mood swings.

11 posts found
May 7, 2016 Going Solar Mary Wildfire
Come to the Rubberstamp Rebellion: Ride with Us, Tell Off FERC
So why am I planning to go to D.C. again, this time to participate in Beyond Extreme Energy’s Rubberstamp Rebellion?
Issues: Extreme energyFERCRant
October 20, 2015 Going Solar Mary Wildfire
Environmental Injustice
The term “environmental injustice” typically refers to a situation in which one group of people, usually poor and minority, suffers the environmental harms of an activity while another group, usually more affluent and white, reaps the benefits.
Issues: Extreme energyRant
October 13, 2015 GalleryGoing Solar Mary Wildfire
Marcellus Tour 2015 – Sunday, October 11
Thirteen people gathered on Sunday, October 11th for a tour of Marcellus drilling sites in Wetzel County.
Issues: Climate ChaosExtreme energyFracking
October 10, 2015 Going Solar Mary Wildfire
First Steps to Solar
Mary Wildfire’s presentation from the Solar Open House at Hickory Ridge.
Issues: Renewable energysolar
October 5, 2015 Going Solar Robin Wilson
Why go with solar power and how to make it happen for you
Robin Wilson's presentation from the Solar Open House at Hickory Ridge
Issues: Renewable energysolar
October 5, 2015 GalleryGoing Solar Don Alejandro
Solar Open House at Hickory Ridge
A few pictures of the Oct. 3, 2015 solar open house at Hickory Ridge. Includes Mary's presentation (First steps to solar) and Robin's presentation (Why go with solar power and how to make it happen for you)
Issues: Renewable energysolar
March 3, 2015 Going Solar Don Alejandro
West Virginia gets an extreme energy makeover
Apparently the makeover to the West Virginia State Capital has proceeded much further than merely wasting a lot of money on gold leaf for the capitol dome. WV's legislature now appears to be captured by out of state corporate/billionaire interests.
Issues: Extreme energy
March 10, 2013 GalleryGoing Solar Don Alejandro
Additional photos of low cost adjustable solar panel rack
If you’ve built a version of this rack design I’d love to add a picture or two to this gallery.  To be included send a couple pictures and info for a caption (description, location, profound revelation, whatever) to don_alejandro at spectrumz dot com.
Issues: Panel mounting
February 5, 2013 GalleryGoing Solar Don Alejandro
Low cost adjustable solar panel rack
Mary and I live off grid, so we wanted to mount our panels near ground level, where we could easily keep the snow off (i.e., not on a two story tin roof) and adjust the panel angle seasonally, because every watt is sacred in a non-grid-tie system, especially December through February in WV. Also, the panels would be more efficient in warm weather (due to being cooler than if mounted on a hot tin roof). We didn't want to spend a lot of money on a pole-mount rack, so I came up with a simple design that we built from treated lumber, common hardware and hinges.
Issues: Panel mounting
February 5, 2013 Going Solar Mary Wildfire
Facing Energy Addiction
Forty years ago, I watched a junkie shoot up. He melted some white powder in a spoon and put the liquid in a syringe, then tied a rubber cord around his arm, pulling it tight with his teeth, before injecting the contents of the syringe. I haven’t thought about it in years, but lately that image keeps coming into my mind as I observe all the happy talk about the “new” energy sources that are “making America energy-independent.”
Issues: Extreme energyRant
February 3, 2013 Going Solar Don Alejandro
SpectrumZ.com repurposed as Going Solar Blog
The Going Solar blog will feature information and ideas for solving common problems with small solar power installations, and provide space for others to share their experiences and innovations through comments or guest posts (contact Don).OBJN News, Esoteric Media, etc. will still be available at the same urls, and, of course, my partner or I may be inclined to post a rant or irrelevant digression every now and then, as the need arises.
Going Solar © 2015