Quick and Dirty Solar Energy Estimating Tool > ENGINEERING.com http://bit.ly/1zKaX6P

When someone considers purchasing a photovoltaic (PV) system to offset their electric bill, one of the first steps they take is to contact a vendor and pay for a site assessment. The assessor performs many steps, including an electric load evaluation, a visual property inspection, a shading analysis, and a financial assessment. This process helps to determine the size of the array, the optimal location for solar panels and “balance of system” equipment, the payback period, and the return on investment. While detailed assessments are crucial to a well-designed and cost-effective system, a ballpark estimate can determine whether it’s worth doing the complete site assessment. Engineers frequently do “back of the envelope” calculations to determine overall feasibility; if the ballpark figures look reasonable, then the detailed analysis will follow. If not, the idea is scrubbed and no time is wasted doing a thorough assessment. http://bit.ly/1zKaX6P

Net metering will benefit Montana http://bit.ly/1DArz6Z

“We are citizens who lobbied our legislators in support of the recently tabled bills that would have expanded opportunities for individual Montanans to generate renewable energy for their homes or businesses. Known as “net metering,” our proposals would have removed needless legal barriers so that on-site renewable electrical generation could be less costly and more accessible to all Montanans.”


The Future of Small Scale Microgrids and Nanogrids Navigant Research


The Study
This exclusive study will bring together a consortium of utilities, project developers, software and hardware providers, and other key microgrid and nanogrid stakeholders, to:
Discuss best practices and forward-looking business models
Explore regulatory frameworks that can facilitate market growth
Collaborate with industry peers and develop lasting relationships with key partners across the small grid industry in a close, collegial and low risk environment.
Providing access to a high-level team of Navigant small grid subject-matter experts in a casual, in-person group setting, the study will provide answers to the following questions:
What are the most promising economic models for financially sustainable microgrids and nanogrids?
What are the key technologies (and key vendors) playing or emerging in the small-grid sector?
What are the critical deployment issues and opportunities particular to small-scale grids?
What are the primary microgrid/nanogrid growth drivers, markets, and segments?

The #SolarExperience: Power without the cost. Save the planet!

Marketing is moved to the experience zone. We can see commercials where a guy is hanging out with friends at a bar and all of a sudden he’s having the best time of his life. That’s a beer commercial. Companies are trying to marry the brand, the product to an experience. So what’s the solar experience?

If I had to describe for you the Solar Experience, it would start with a scene of a woman’s hand plugging an appliance into a electrical outlet, while in the background, through a window the sun is rising. In a sun drenched bathroom, the husband is shaving. The children are typing on iPad, and watching cartoons. The house has a lush garden, there’s an EV sitting in the garage, plugged in and charging. Then the camera pans to the electrical meter and it’s not moving.

Currently there is no Solar Experience unless your neighbor has one, or you use those little garden lights, or a mobile solar charging mat. What is should be is freedom, airiness, a feeling of detachment, and powerful – electrical, sustaining and enduring.

Wind Engineering: Structural Design for Wind Loads Professional Learning – Scientific American

Engineering standards for designing buildings and structures to safely withstand wind load are highly complex. In this course Dr. Emil Simiu, fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will provide structural and architectural engineers with the practical knowledge and tools needed for the design of structures for wind loads. Taking an intuitive approach, Dr. Simiu uses real-world examples and studies to demonstrate how to interpret and use the provisions of the ASCE 7-10 – standards developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers to identify minimum design loads. He will also cover issues with aerodynamic testing in wind tunnels and how to interpret those reports as well as the modern capabilities of database-assisted design.