Chelsea Green Publishing

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Lots of Rooftop PV = Steady Power

One of the concerns with renewable electricity such as solar and wind is the variability of the power generated. We’ve always suspected that a diverse array of renewable energy installations would average out into a steady supply, and it’s great news to see this confirmed with a recent study by US Department of Energy.


Rebekah up on our roof with the PV.

Turns out lots of small PV arrays on lots of rooftops over a large geographical area produces a relatively steady stream of juice. Imagine what the situation will be like once we have a smarter grid and a decent number of electric cars that need their batteries charged. It’s not hard to imagine a setting for charging the electric car that helps even this flow out even more, taking advantage of large flows to increase the charge rate and keeping the juice out on the grid during the shady doldrums.

A few analogies spring to mind. The original thought of an leveling out from many multiple sources actually sprung from the idea of Hubbert’s Peak, where the output from many small wells produces a fairly predictable and uniform bell curve. Also, tiny is mighty. The millipede has many small legs, and is very difficult to tip over.

Read the original article on The Carbon Free Home.

Stephen and Rebekah Hren are the authors of, most recently, A Solar Buyer’s Guide for the Home and Office.


Solar homes sell 20% faster, for 17% more

It has been over 10 years since we’ve seen a new report on the relative benefits of selling a house with solar installed. Homeowners pondering installing solar frequently ask whether the resale value of the house will be positively effected. So we were glad to see this new comparative study from the National Renewable Energy […] Read More..

Solar Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents

Most solar books out there just focus on introductions to solar electricity. Ours provides a comprehensive overview of the three main solar technologies (photovoltaics, hot water, and heating), understanding financing, dealing with installers, and much more. Here’s the Table of Contents to give you a better understanding: CH 1: Types of solar CH 2: What’s […] Read More..

Solar Power International 2010 Day 1: Lakota Sioux Leading Nation Away From Fossil Fuels

Rebekah is spending the week nerding out on all things solar at Solar Power International 2010 in Los Angeles. She’s picking one item as the “cool solar thing of the day” and blogging on Huffpo about it. Henry Red Cloud is a respected Lakota elder and a fifth-generation descendent of the last Lakota war chief […] Read More..

Carbon-Free Military?

Here’s some news that we would hesitate to call “good” but is certainly ironic! The military, already hip to the reality of peak oil, is ordering less dependence on fossil fuels. They better be careful, because if we succeed as a nation to wean ourselves from those bad boys, we just might not need a […] Read More..

Farewell, My Lovely: Bidding Adieu to Our National Parks

We had an amazing trip this summer doing research for a new book. Along with visiting sustainability activists of all types, we had the opportunity to stay a few days in Glacier National Park, one of the most beautiful places in the world. We even got to see a mountain goat! Very exciting. One thing […] Read More..