Go Solar Energy For Life -

Solar Energy Used to Be Boring

Posted by Dan On April 15th

I remember there was a brief span of time, somewhere within the past forty years, when solar energy was a quiet and peaceful… predictable… sometimes a down right boring business to be involved in.

Not so today. Now it’s a crazy roller coaster ride. So, I figure… might as well have some fun.

Here’s just a small sample of what’s going on these days.

Look! No hands!

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.40.24 AM Solar Energy Used to Be Boring

Give Fafco Solar a call if you want to get in on the solar energy fun!

Dan

Energy Subsidies Black, Not Green

Posted by Dan On April 8th

WARNING: THIS INFOGRAPHIC  MAY BE DISTURBING TO YOU.

energy subsidies black not green Energy Subsidies Black, Not GreenClick on Photo to Open as PDF
“Energy Subsidies Black, Not Green”

Fortunately, this information is from the past (2002-2008), and, in spite of the probability of it being pretty much the same today, the use of solar energy is growing very rapidly. Thankfully!

Dan

Do You Know What “Distributed Energy” Is?

Posted by Dan On March 25th

If you pay attention to energy issues, you might come across the term “distributed energy” (or several other closely related terms)… whose meaning may not be clear.

In fact, at first glance, you might think it means the opposite of what it actually is. I believe it’s an important issue, so I want to make sure you’re “in the know”.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Distributed generation, also called on-site generation, dispersed generation, embedded generation, decentralized generation, decentralized energy, distributed energy or district energy, [1] generates electricity from many small energy sources. Most countries generate electricity in large centralized facilities, such as fossil fuel (coal, gas powered), nuclear, large solar power plants or hydro-power plants. These plants have excellent economies of scale, but usually transmit electricity long distances and can negatively affect the environment. Distributed generation allows collection of energy from many sources and may give lower environmental impacts and improved security of supply.

In the 1980s, large, room-sized computers went through a transformation and became personal computers. In the 1990s, phones went through a transformation and became (personal) cell phones.

Now, large, centralized energy generation is transforming and will become distributed energy. As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, I like to call this “personal energy”.

Here’s a short video (7 minutes) that does a great job of explaining the importance of distributed energy.

Distributed energy increased 41% from 2012 to 2013… a very healthy trend. And this strong trend is expected to continue.

Fafco Solar provides distributed energy to home and business owners and this year, we are celebrating our 40th year in business!

Dan

Friday #5 of “40 Fabulous Fridays in the Field with Fafco Solar”…

My day started with my son, Ian, playing the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” (the official Fafco Solar anthem)… while driving to catch a boat to the beautiful island of North Captiva. We both appreciated that it was a great way to start the day!

My day ended with the best brain teaser ever! With our solar photovoltaic system installation completed, we waited at the dock for the boat back to the mainland. The crew was relaxing and enjoying our celebratory fresh, organic strawberries from my garden…

Fafco Strawberries IMG 2878 335x350 Friday #5   Solar Photovoltaic System Installation Day Ends With The Best Brain Teaser Ever!

Then, out of nowhere, Cory says… “Ok, I’ve got a brain teaser for you.” We love brain teasers… bring it on, Cory!

“You’ve got three light switches in a room. One of the switches turns on a light in another room. In no way, can you see into the room with the light from the room with the three switches. You can only go into the room to check the light once. How do you determine which switch turns on the light.”

Cory learned this brain teaser from his father when he was only seven years old… and since then, he’s never had anyone figure it out! After asking several clarifying, but irrelevant questions, and pondering the seemingly impossible, we all joined Cory’s previous losers. I have to admit, once I heard it, the answer was obvious, and cemented this as the best brain teaser ever. (If you’re up for the challenge, submit your answers to dan@fafcosolar. Put “Cory’s Brain Teaser” in the subject line. If you get it right, I’ll give you kudos in a future blog!)

Oh yeah… I almost forgot! In between the Beatles and the brain teaser… these guys installed a beautiful 4.6kw Sunpower photovoltaic system! (Read about the details, here.)

Here they are doing a Rock Star photo op!

Captiva PV Installers Friday #5   Solar Photovoltaic System Installation Day Ends With The Best Brain Teaser Ever!

From left to right: Cory, Ryan, Jimmy and Ian.

And to top it off, the homeowner got to see his meter run backwards!

How sweet it is!

Just another beautiful day at Fafco Solar!

Interested in learning more about a solar photovoltaic system? Call us at (239) 574-1500.

Dan

 

Friday #4 – “Turning On” a Solar Light

Posted by Dan On February 27th

Friday #4 of “40 Fabulous Fridays in the Field with Fafco Solar”…

We can talk about solar lights all we want, but no amount of talking compares to experiencing one. While she was home for her lunch break, this customer witnessed a solar light “turning on”. Her reaction is pretty typical. Enjoy!

Just another sunny day at Fafco Solar! Ready to “turn on” your own solar light? Call us at (239) 574-1500.

Dan

I want to make the significance of solar energy very clear…

Solar energy represents TWO major paradigm shifts taking place in the world, today.

Personal Energy Independence1 Personal Energy Independence aka Set Yourself Free

The first shift is from fossil fuel to renewable energy. (… from bottom to top of diagram.)

The second shift is from corporate control to control by the individual. (…from left to right side of diagram.)

I like to call the result: “Personal Energy Independence”.

This diagram can get you thinking about a lot of interesting questions… which I plan to address in future blogs. But for starters…

As you know, monopolies do not like giving up control or profits… and Personal Energy Independence threatens to impact both. (Just like PCs and cell phones threatened the control and profits of other monopolies.) So, what kind of resistance to Personal Energy Independence can we expect from them? The newest craze is electric utilities attacking Net Metering policies around the country.

Jason Szumlanski, General Manager of Fafco Solar,  says it well… “Opponents of Net Metering… are pushing their agenda under the guise of less regulation, less government, and lowered solar subsidies. This is the same utility electric industry that would not be possible without strong regulation, government protection (monopoly status), and massive fuel subsidies and tax breaks. This is a power struggle (pun intended).” Read Jason’s full blog.

Here’s an example of one utility company’s reluctance.

An article from Solar Today … on page 10.

And a blog from Rocky Mountain Institute.

Fafco Solar’s mission is to create “Personal Energy Independence”. When you’re ready to set yourself free, call us at (239) 574-1500.

Dan

In celebration of our 40th year, I decided to go out in the field with our technicians for 40 Fridays. I call it my “40 Fabulous Fridays in the Field having Fun with Fafco Solar’s Friends and Family” celebration.

Here’s my report for Friday #1:

For my first Friday, I joined Jeremy and Travis to replace a 13 year old solar pool heater.

By the time I got to the job site, they had already sized up the situation and were quickly removing the old system. As I watched, they were happy to answer questions and give me a little on-the-job re-training… along with a few friendly jabs like being the “new guy” on the job.

I saw them use new techniques that were far different than what I did in the 70′s and 80′s. Not only was I impressed with the speed with which they performed their work… I was also impressed with how well they worked together. When each guy knows what they’re doing, and what the other is doing, the work goes smoothly… everything flows. Its fun to watch.

The job was done in about 4 hours… something that would have taken me all day 30 years ago!

Travis Krater 2014 500 Solar Pool Heater Replacements   Friday #1... of 40 Fabulous Fridays in the Field

“Travis flashes a smile while finishing the roof plumbing.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Fafco Solar Celebrates a Milestone in 2014!

Posted by Dan On January 8th

2014 is a big year for Fafco Solar… it’s our 40th year in business!

To celebrate the occasion, I decided to join my technicians in the field each Friday. After sitting behind a desk for the better part of 30 years, it will be fun to go back to my roots… the roof tops. I’m calling it my “40 Fabulous Fridays in the Field having Fun with Fafco Solar’s Friends and Family” celebration.

I doubt I’ll be running around on the roof tops like I used to… (I just turned 60)… but I’ll look for some fun and interesting material to share with you… so stay tuned.

In the meantime, read how my father got started in the solar energy business in 1974… on our About page.

Screen Shot 2014 01 07 at 2.31.57 PM Fafco Solar Celebrates a Milestone in 2014!

Here we are installing one of our early Fafco solar pool heaters in December 1977. The first several hundred solar pool heaters were installed out of “The Blue Truck”.

Be Back Soon…
Dan

Energy Efficient Transportation Saves Money!

Posted by Dan On December 16th

You like to save money, right? Buy less gas? Do less harm? Of course you do!

Well, here’s my favorite report from the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on energy efficient transportation. Although written in 2005, it’s still relevant… and you may learn a few helpful tricks. Enjoy!

Energy Efficient Transportation Energy Efficient Transportation Saves Money!

To read entire report click on the above photo!

If you’re interested in driving down your electric bill, Fafco Solar can help. Just give us a call at 239-574-1500.

Thanks,
Dan

 

Two months ago, I wrote about Boulder, CO’s attempt to shift away from their fossil fuel focused corporate utility, Xcel Energy, and become a municipal-owned, clean energy focused utility.

On Nov 4, after Xcel Energy spent over $1m to convince the people of Boulder to vote against the clean energy plan, Boulder won.

See how Boulder took back their power in this short video:

And that’s how it’s gonna happen.
One by one… community by community… we’ll take back our power.
We’re ready when you are.

Learn more from our team at Fafco Solar on the best way to get started with solar energy.

Dan