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Users that often use this tag:
thewalrus (3)
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How can we optimize our annual family camping trip?

I'm looking for your favorite schemes, gadgets, and systems which make camping with large groups easier and more fun. Things like "a different campsite hosts dinner every night" or "get lots of solar lanterns" or "color code all the tent parts." Our specific details are inside. [more inside]
posted by chaiminda on Aug 22, 2014 - 21 answers

Light to the outdoors

I have a deck, and it needs a light fixture next to the door. There's no electricity on the deck, and I can't cut through the wall (mounting a fixture to the siding is fine). Do they make battery-powered, wireless, remote-controlled exterior light fixtures? [more inside]
posted by mgar on Jul 7, 2014 - 1 answer

4 Solar panels and salespeople that want sales

So I find myself with 4 185 W Solar panels AND 4 enphase M190 Micro inverters (that onboard connect to each panel). The system from what I can tell is "made" for a grid connected solar system. Which is great but NOT what I want/need (Also I am too far from a station to qualify for microfit in Ontario). [more inside]
posted by mrgroweler on Jul 3, 2014 - 5 answers

How would a spaceship be protected from solar wind and deterioration?

Once we develop the technology of manned, long-term space travel (such as star trek, for example), how would our spaceships hulls and housing be protected from things such as solar wind, other "energy debris", and deterioration? [more inside]
posted by lain on May 9, 2014 - 8 answers

Anyone know who runs colorado-solar.org?

As a consumer I'm evaluating their bias in helping me find installers, but I can't find it's affiliations & organizational structure. [more inside]
posted by wonderfullyrich on Apr 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me make this rotating globe

Making a desktop clock out of a 24-hour clock movement, a globe, and an LED. Help me design it within! [more inside]
posted by rebent on Apr 8, 2014 - 2 answers

Vivint Offers to pay for solar panels....what's the catch?

This offer feels too good to be true. Is it? [more inside]
posted by PsuDab93 on Jan 21, 2014 - 7 answers

Where to learn about 12v DC electrical type stuff?

I'd like to learn about the basics of 12v electrics. I'm looking for recommendations for books, videos, websites, etc. [more inside]
posted by Solomon on Nov 2, 2013 - 6 answers

Is PV solar more cost effective locally produced or at a remote "plant"?

ASU (Arizona State University) as made a huge investment in PV solar: https://cfo.asu.edu/solar My friend and I are arguing about the costs of ASU's solar program. [more inside]
posted by cowmix on Oct 24, 2013 - 16 answers

Tell me where to buy / how to make a DC light timer

Our chickens [!] have trouble hopping up on their roost at dusk. We have glued a keychain LED to the inside of the coop and have been turning it on every night, and then off when they are roosting. I would like to have this turn on automatically at dusk and then off again an hour later. If this were AC I would buy a timer from the dollar store. For DC do I need to build something? [more inside]
posted by Acari on Sep 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Help me use a solar panel and splice it all together!

I'm in over my head on a DIY project involving electrical terms I don't understand. I want to use a solar panel to power both a water pump and a computer fan, and need to know if this is possible with the components I have, and if possible how can I splice/connect these non-matching wires? [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Aug 19, 2013 - 9 answers

Best Beach Canopy To Shade The Family?

Going on our annual summer vacation an need to get a canopy for the beach that can: -provide shade -not fall over in typical beach wind -handle the sand [more inside]
posted by thankyoumuchly on Jul 20, 2013 - 7 answers

Looking for a solar lit acrylic, plastic, whatever sheet

I bought a number address plaque from Etsy and I love it. However, the wall it is mounted to is blue, and consequently it is pretty difficult to read the sign from the street. I'd love to mount something behind it to solve this problem. [more inside]
posted by cacophony on Jul 13, 2013 - 4 answers

Electricity math! Need help planning for solar...

So instead of providing an answer, please help me by showing me how you got your result. I have a 12v device that consumes 1W in idle mode, and 5W in active mode. How many "amp hours" am I looking at over a 24 hour period (always on). I am looking specifically for amp hours... I don't understand the relation between amps and amp hours yet.
posted by squirbel on Apr 23, 2013 - 14 answers

Considerations for choosing a solar panel provider

If I buy solar panels for my home, what are things that I need to consider in the supplier and product? [more inside]
posted by gttommy on Feb 26, 2013 - 10 answers

green geek gift

As a gift, I am looking for an "off-the-grid" charger thingy. I have read a bunch of posts and reviews on these things, but I'm a little in the weeds. Plus, it seems like this stuff is developing and changing rather quickly. Hoping you can help! Specifications after the jump. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 4, 2013 - 9 answers

How to keep animal's water from freezing in winter without electricity?

I'd like to heat up a rock or piece of metal to drop in my chicken's water source to warm it up. What should I use? [more inside]
posted by cda on Nov 29, 2012 - 36 answers

Which solar systems should I consider?

We're building a new house and have a roof with plenty of space for number of solar panels, most likely photo-voltaic electric ones. But I'm hard-pressed to find a thorough *current* analysis discussing the pros and cons of various schemes for the systems. [more inside]
posted by wkearney99 on Nov 3, 2012 - 6 answers

Somebody wants to put something on your roof: You say...

Commercial landlords/property management: You are approached by a solar power company or a wireless telecom company that wants to lease space on your roof. Can you list in order of importance (to you and your firm) the issues that you want to be fully informed about and cover point by point in negotiations and any potential lease? [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Nov 2, 2012 - 3 answers

What is the current status of energy self-sufficiency for a homeowner in 2012?

I have a home in Louisville, Kentucky that I want to possibly put solar panels on but I need to know the whole process for 2012. i have read where solar panels cost are lower now given the glut from China.
posted by usermac on Oct 7, 2012 - 3 answers

Solar powered USB help?

Calling all electrical engineers! Need some clarity on how to figure out solar charging rates and consumption of a USB device... [more inside]
posted by griffey on Sep 8, 2012 - 3 answers

How does electricity work?

I need a primer on how (electrical) power works. [more inside]
posted by asnowballschance on Aug 24, 2012 - 6 answers

Single-family home energy advances?

Home energy advances. Are there any new developments I should know about as I'm about to move into an older single-family home after 13 years of living in an apartment? It is a gas/electric home with heavy tree shade.
posted by usermac on Jul 13, 2012 - 6 answers

What should I rebuild my roof with?

I'm torn between just putting up asphalt shingles or splurging on a metal roof. Hoping to get recommendations on materials with a mind to efficiency and environmental sustainability. Also, who should I contact to plan a more efficient roof/home in Hamilton/Greater Toronto Area? What would be the best roof for planning a solar MicroFIT project? [more inside]
posted by tronfunkinblo on Jun 19, 2012 - 4 answers

Time/temp/solar: What is solar?

Time/temp/solar display: what is the solar telling me? [more inside]
posted by hishtafel on May 18, 2012 - 3 answers

Need solar eclipse glasses -- where to buy???

Where can I buy glasses or such things to view the annular eclipse on Sunday -- at the last minute, for a reasonable price? [more inside]
posted by buckaroo_benzai on May 15, 2012 - 11 answers

SolarPoweredApartmentFilter: Still no cost effective non-permanent solar installation for my balcony?

SolarPowerFilter2012: Is there a currently available somewhat affordable solar power rig of any worthwhile kind I could use to take advantage of my westerly facing, blasted-by-the-sun-for-7+-hours-a-day-rented-apartment balcony? [more inside]
posted by bitterkitten on Mar 27, 2012 - 5 answers

Installing hydronic radiant floor heating when building a new house?

Installing hydronic radiant floor heating when building a new house? [more inside]
posted by no bueno on Feb 1, 2012 - 8 answers

How to unstick brass valve?

How do I unstick this brass bypass valve? [more inside]
posted by NotSoSimple on Dec 16, 2011 - 9 answers

How many kWh would be produced in a year in the south of England (roughly)?

How many kWh would be produced in a year in the south of England (roughly)? [more inside]
posted by sockpim on Dec 13, 2011 - 5 answers

DIY Solar Collector Mounting

How do I install solar water collector panels on my (garage) roof without paying for fancy roof mounting hardware? [more inside]
posted by milkman on Oct 22, 2011 - 10 answers

Should we lease land for a solar farm?

Should we lease our land to a solar energy company? We were approached by a solar energy company that wants to lease 5 acres of our family (3 generations) land in Ontario, Canada for solar collectors. We are having some lawyers and other folks make recommendations and look over contracts, etc. What sort of things might we be missing? Will our neighbors hate us? In 10 years, what will make us say, "didn't see that coming?"
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes on Aug 14, 2011 - 16 answers

Which fridge rating should we use to choose a more efficient fridge?

On a small solar system that trips out a lot, what's the most important rating on a replacement fridge to indicate efficiency: full-load amps, or kWh/yr? [more inside]
posted by TheManChild2000 on Aug 12, 2011 - 8 answers

Energy required to turn seawater into drinking water

Assuming an island with its own supply of power via generator and/or solar power, how much electricity is consumed to turn N liters of sea water into potable drinking water? [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Jul 27, 2011 - 11 answers

Looking for new ways to make solar look good in tight jeans?

How do I make solar "sexy"? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 22, 2011 - 17 answers

Manhattanhenge

How do I calculate when the sun will rise directly over a particular landmark? [more inside]
posted by jefficator on Jul 20, 2011 - 8 answers

Small solar panels

Are there decent small-sized, even portable solar panels that deliver safe, reliable (when the sun is out, that is) power? (enough to run, say, a stereo system/tv). I live on the top floor of a building, and have a small terrace; I can't install large permanent panels, but I get so much sun it seems a waste not to try and harvest it in some sense. But is installation tricky, and how do you actually connect it into your system etc.
posted by dearleader on Jul 20, 2011 - 6 answers

Learning about Solar Power

I want to look into planning a solar panel solution for my home, as electricity has hit 50c/kwh and doesn't look like it's ever going down. Where are the best resources online to learn about the various options and techniques? [more inside]
posted by Static Vagabond on Jun 29, 2011 - 10 answers

Help a Python rookie do something slightly out of his league without flying too close to the sun

[PythonFilter] How can I create a location-based web application using Python? Or, what are some good resources to help me get started with this specific task? [more inside]
posted by Rickalicioso on Jun 8, 2011 - 5 answers

Help with solar hot water heater.

Help me find info and/or company for my old Solar Hot Water heating system. [more inside]
posted by NotSoSimple on May 4, 2011 - 2 answers

Solar window treatment options

I have a bunch of thin, old, south- & west-facing windows that need energy-efficiency treatment. I got estimates for both solar film and solar screens, and the cost seems pretty comparable, although I may be able to get the screens a bit cheaper. What's my best option, bang-for-the-buck-wise? And is direct sunlight-blocking actually the most important factor, or does heat leak in/out through thin windows regardless of the light striking them? [more inside]
posted by crookedgrin on Apr 5, 2011 - 4 answers

The awesome power of the sun means nothing without proper conversion

Have Casio Exilim G camera and iPhone. I want to purchase the least equipment needed to make both recharge using the sun. Oh, and I'm in Seattle need to buy everything Tuesday before getting on plane to New Zealand Wednesday. [more inside]
posted by DetonatedManiac on Apr 5, 2011 - 4 answers

Solar energy

Sun Run Solar energy experiences? Good ones, I hope? [more inside]
posted by citygirl on Feb 21, 2011 - 0 answers

Where do i find used solar-thermal collectors?

I'm building a system to heat a hot tub in Minneapolis, MN. I'm pretty handy, have worked as a solar installer (though mostly photovoltaic), have a good sense of how the system will work, have acquired the hot tub itself, and now all I need is the solar collector. [more inside]
posted by milkman on Jan 23, 2011 - 2 answers

Help me find the best available solar bag.

What is the best solar-powered laptop bag available? [more inside]
posted by jeffmshaw on Jan 14, 2011 - 4 answers

Solar panels on the roof?

I want to install solar panels when I replace my roof next summer. What do I need to know about manufacturers, incentives, and costs? I am in Washington state. [more inside]
posted by bq on Dec 14, 2010 - 10 answers

Solar charger for iPad/iPhone

iPhone/iPad Solar charger to use whilst hiking? [more inside]
posted by Eapoe on Oct 27, 2010 - 5 answers

Is solar water distillation not economically viable for a whole home water supply

Is solar water distillation not economically viable for a whole home water supply? Some friends live outside the city limits and don't get city water. They have a well, but it produces smelly, sulfur (?) water that isn't potable (or at least that isn't desirable). I figured solar distillation would be the way to go, but most stills I've found only produce 3 liters a day. Is there anything that can do 400+ gallons a day that the average US home uses? [more inside]
posted by willnot on Oct 19, 2010 - 19 answers

Comparison of different green energy solutions

Comparison of carbon reduction/energy efficiency/ cost-benefit of rain water tanks V solar heating V waste water reclamation? [more inside]
posted by parryb on Oct 17, 2010 - 4 answers

How can I cover a tree in lights? In the middle of nowhere?

What's the best way to string a tree with Christmas lights? Oh yeah, it's out in the middle of nowhere. [more inside]
posted by niles on Oct 11, 2010 - 9 answers

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