Jim McKirdy's Comments

January 17, 2015

Net Zero Living in an Ultra Energy Efficient Home

I like what everyone has posted. More and more people are taking their own future in their hands. Jerry is right. Electric power companies have to change. GA , Is also right. The actual cost of a grid tied system now is more costly and the home is not energy independent at this time. With batteries or commonly called now "Energy Storage System". Does many things. The first function is to supply the home electric power during night time base electric loads. Second it meets the requirements of peak load power periods of any day. The third function is makes the solar PV system function without any loss of energy during days that are not sunny. And the last function is the energy storage system allows the net metering inverter a accurate power output to the grid during day light hours. Having a zero carbon foot print is very important. Energy Independence is also important. The only way I know to have 100% No Carbon Foot Print is to go off the grid. Don't forget the energy this home produces is clean during the day. But at night the home uses carbon based electric utility power. Thus this home is 1/2 or reduced its carbon foot print in half. GA, I guess most people don't understand that their net metering investment is not good for them as it is for the electric power company. This is the only reason why a electric power would allow a net metering system. The home owner has the investment and not the power company. I still like the positive side of this information. It proves we can produce our own electric power.

January 15, 2015

Calculating the True Cost of Energy Storage

What a great subject. LCOE and storage. I like this very much because most people truly don't understand the many advantages of energy storage or the different types of energy storage that are available. It is very easy to say battery storage does not work. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Years ago land line phones used energy storage, cell phones use energy storage, all forms of transportation use energy storage and energy storage is the number one feature of NASA's future expansion. As time continues the LCOE will be a inbalance. Yes the cost of grid energy is now more than the cost of solar PV or wind energy. Thus until recently the grid's performance has had a very poor performance rating. More and more power outages, unstable voltage and mother nature has caused many grid problems. I know the best solution to the electric grid's problem is massive storage. It was not mentioned in article. To Brian, Maintaining a energy storage system is much easier than maintaining the AC grid. The real reason for energy storage is to make in this case the electric grid more reliable. This is different because energy storage just like solar PV has no moving parts to wear out. If you think man is capable of producing a system that does not need to be maintained you are wrong. The water or energy storage did not fail it, was the mechanical turbine's blade. I really like what Tim wrote because in his article it explains why energy storage is a main stay to the energy future of the electrical grid.

January 10, 2015

Even in the Off Season, Utilities Must Prepare the Smart Grid with Storage for Natural Disasters

Last year in Florida was different. We only had a few tropical storms. The reason why this happened is because of the ice melting in the Artic. This made the gulf stream waters cold so that our east coast had no heavy weather. There are many problems with our electric grid today. this above article points out some of the weaknesses of Florida's grid. I have seen people here in Florida without electric power many times even when there is no natural disasters. There is a real simple solution to this problem and that is for homes to go off the grid. A lot of Florida's schools become hurricane shelters. These schools use solar panels, batteries and net metering inverters. Just before the end of 2014 Florida's PUC outlawed all net metering. Thus they have said what is good for us is not good for the people of Florida. This is a huge mistake and has lead to another advancement to the grid. A lot of the net metering homes are adding batteries to their systems and are no longer feeding the grid thru net metering. These homes are going off the grid. Being off the grid is wonderful. These type systems are not affected by any power outages. Because of the PUC's rules it has caused many net metering homes to take a stance and thus most of the net metering home owners have changed from Net Metering to a Off Grid Solar System. Thus to these home owners it does not matter about power outages and the grid going down. For some this is the smart grid. No grid at all! I have been thinking of another industry that depended upon wires. It is very hard to remember the problem because now we have cell phones!

January 01, 2015

We Should be Looking to CEOs, Not Politicians, for Climate Change Action

This shows only one thing. I agree it is not up to political leaders. They really don't understand why the future of renewable energy is so important to all people on this earth. fuels once burned enter into our air. Thus we are polluting our earth and everything that lives and breaths. They are only concerned with taxes and staying the same. They will not take the time to understand and why it is so important to future generations. We were not designed to die. Pollution is one of the major causes of death in this world. Our political leaders refused to join the Kato Treaty because the two biggest polluters in the world is the United States and China. I would hate for all American's to have to wear mask everywhere we go like most people from China. This is the real problem. Our so called political leaders don't care at all about what we want. Thus they don't care about the fine work of the EPA and some other branches of our government. This government elected official admitted to no knowledge of any advantages of using 100% renewable energy. Thus we are hiring people that don't understand that renewable energy does not create anything. The expansion of using renewable energy sustains all our government's efforts to collect taxes. No they want to increase American's dependency on the hand outs. This has forced many American's to be upset with our government's actions. Today we still can vote. But the real problem is this causes delays. There has to be a way to replace state government officials by just firing them. As I see it we live in the United States. That means every American lives in one state or another. There has to be a way to voice our concerns of the many problems our government has created. They are trying to make us dependent on them to protect our interests. This is no longer happening. We are paying more in taxes and getting less results. If we must live by the laws of the land. How come our city, county or parish, state and federal governments will not listen to our demands. Instead they go stupid and tell us they don't understand. Why don't they understand? Instead they pass laws that they have not read! And again understand. Renewable Energy World is a great publication. It is full of good news. Not so with other forms of media. Other forms of media call renewable energy a alternative energy. Renewable energy will prevail because of many reasons. We should not look to our political leaders to help increase this industry. What we should do is fire everyone that does not understand. We must form a more perfect union in the United States. This is very important. Our elected officials should not hinder a better solution to our energy problems. They refuse to even admit we have a energy problem and a health problem. On the bright side all renewable energy systems solve our energy problems. We don't use fuels nor do they require smoke stacks. I just don't understand why they don't understand that we the people in the United States really want to increase our lives and protect our future generations. The elected political leaders don't want to listen to us or work in our best interest. I would fire them with or without a vote if they worked for me. That's the problem. I am only one person. I feel it is important that we stop this madness now. It will only hurt our people and ensure our future to live with mast like the many people in China. We need real change and not just some buzz word.

January 03, 2015

Renewable Energy Review: The Island Markets

I know the many problems that Islands have when it comes to producing electric power. Some types of solar thermal and solar PV will not work there for one major reason. The major problem is because of how solar (both are installed). Islands get a lot of bad weather that blows roofs off homes. Thus any thing installed on a roof may or may not blow away with the roof. Ground mount hot water and ground mount solar PV work very well in almost every condition as far as bad weather. Energy Storage is not a good solution because once that energy is used up you will no longer have electric power. Now energy storage along with solar PV does work. The most common term for this technology is "Off The Grid Solar Systems".. It makes no sense to install batteries without a way to recharge them during a outage. Having 1/2 a solution will still not solve the major problems. How long is a power outage? If you can answer this question then you are just guessing.
During and after hurricane Katrina millions were without power for months. Batteries would not help because the grid in many places were destroyed. There is no cut solution to this problem except not needing the grid for electric power at all. The only solution to the real problems of the grid is to go off the grid. Thus energy independence is a real action and not just some buzz words. This incident was not on a island it was in 3 states. If this happens to a island it will take longer to repair and make operational. There are countries that turn off their electric grids everyday for hours. In this case batteries would only solve 1/2 the problem. Most countries that turn the power off happens during peak power periods. You still have to charge the energy storage system once power is restored. Energy Storage is DC electric power. Solar Panels are DC electric generators. To take AC power to generate DC power is a total waste of energy. Before anyone can comment on the solution. They first must understand the problem.

January 03, 2015

The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE Program: Low-cost, Long-term Financing for Clean Energy Upgrades

I have one simple question. How do you put a dollar value on C-Page? Are these funds for energy conservation along with solar PV to provide electric power? The subject matter is not clear what and how this $50 Million dollars are to be used. I am in the Solar PV industry. I know without energy conservation measures that $50 million will only solve a fraction of the problem. If these funds are used wisely for conservation measures than that is good. But $50 million dollars for solar PV to make 8 MW is way too expensive. That is $6.25 a watt! That is way too much. Now $50 million in energy conservation measures will be a better solution. I grew up in Danbury Ct. Just low cost roof barrier will affect many homes and reduce their energy use. I am not in the roof barrier business. But I know you can conserve energy without changing life styles. I think this would be a better use of funds. I remember many power outages during the cold winter months inside and outside. Its not much fun nor is it healthy. It is very important that the C-Pace funds are used to their best advantage. Solar PV alone, will not solve the problems of many. At least roof barrier can be very cost effective as a true conservation product. Solar PV is not a conservation product. It produces electric power. Plus it would be wiser to impact more homes and business locations.

January 03, 2015

The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE Program: Low-cost, Long-term Financing for Clean Energy Upgrades

Brian, Energy efficiency is as simple as installing roof barrier, low power lighting, power factor correction devices. These products reduce the energy use of a home all the time. Thus if you were to install solar PV on a home the system would be much smaller and cost less than a home without energy conservation already installed. Base and Peak electric loads can be met with conservation first. Without conservation product installed the solar PV system would be larger and cost more. It is that simple. Net metering solar is a perfect example. As long as the cost of electric power is still on the rise. This means a net metering system will take longer for a ROI. Yet conservation products have a direct impact on energy usage; base or peak electrical loads. The same holds true for natural gas heating, oil heating and so on. There is more energy wasted on a home without conservation products. Conservation products work all the time. Not all solar works all day long. Net metering does not work all day long. Only a off the grid solar electric system provide electric power 24 hours a day for years. Please don't say batteries are too expensive! Energy storage is the best solution along with solar PV. It is less costly than a system that can produce on 25% of a home's electrical needs.

December 25, 2014

Solar Energy and Storage Help Caribbean Expats Live the Good Life

This is great news. There is a school in DR that has had solar PV installed for years. The entire school has been using solar now for many years. Two Cigar Companies built the school with money from both companies. In DR there are many diesel powered stand by generators because the power company can not keep up with the demand for electric power during peak power periods. Thus the high cost of electric power is generated with oil based fuels. Schools all over the world are installing solar PV for one good reason. Economics! Using solar PV and batteries will help eliminate the high demand for electric power from the grids of the world. It is true oil companies don't like competition. So what! The world is changing. Oil prices have dropped almost 50% in the last few months. If you follow the money you will know the answer of why oil prices have dropped. Again, if you follow the money and find out where the tariff money is going you will answer your own questions. Solar PV does not need fuel to produce electric power. It also does not need to be taxed. Thus the new term for taxing is "Tariffs". If you always follow where the tariff money goes, you will understand there is a lot of money to be made by governments. It may be short term taxes but it is still a form of taxes. In DR there are no real solar companies. They have to import products. One thing is for sure. In DR there is no tariffs on oil. Amazing! I am not trying to be negative; I am only stating facts. If you follow the money as far as energy goes it will always lead to political leaders and eventually the money will be used for oil companies. We looked at putting in a solar farm in DR. The Government really did not want this to happen at all. Its all about taxes and money. It is no longer what is good for the people. Trade Tariffs will always continue to slow down solar because there is no way to tax the sun's energy!

December 25, 2014

The Detroit Power Outage: A Lesson for Cities about Microgrids

I have read every comment posted. Just a reminder we do not need stand by generators from old cars anymore. When you change a law that only works for a few it is not a good law of the land. Micro grids and mini grids will never allow "Energy Independence or will ever become sustainable. The only real solution is not net metering because it too has a higher price tag than any off the grid solar electric systems. We must change our way of thinking. Our grids are very old and when it fails millions of paying customers go without electric power. Thus it stops everything. NY, Chicago, Detroit and many other cities have seen long extended power outages. Why? Because we are still using 18th century technology. Solar and wind has proven itself as the energy we need. I really don't understand wind very well but I do know solar PV. The term off the grid solar is growing not just for locations off the grid's power but more and more grid connected homes and schools and towns are looking at this as a solution to the high cost of electric power. In most cases the monthly cost of electric power is more than a new car payment. There is no return on investment, no federal tax incentives. So to make this message short. We have no incentives to stay on the grid. Instead we are seeing more power outages ;and a yearly increase for electric power from the grid. Does what I am typing make any sense? Why are we so attached to the grid when there is a better solution for everyone?

December 25, 2014

Researchers Developing Affordable Flow Battery Technology

I like this information. It is about time the cost of flow batteries went down. It also proves that Thomas Edison was right all along. If you understand anything about batteries you know all batteries are DC and not AC. It is almost impossible to store AC power. I have read what Hugh wrote and he is right. But my question is why do we need to think in GW power for batteries. If flow batteries only store so much power in DC you can always increase more flow batteries. One of Thomas Edison's biggest arguments was AC power can not be stored. Yet everything that is flown or driven uses batteries. There is no good reason I know of not to use batteries! DC power can be inverted to AC power yet because of cycles AC electric power can not be stored. Sure there is the big wheel but the big wheel is not a battery. Batteries have been around for thousands of years. I found out the reason why. We did not have electric lights that long ago. They used the spark from DC power to start fires for cooking and heating homes years ago. Again this all leads back to fire. Today we don't need fire to produce electric power. There is not one renewable energy that uses fire to produce electric power.

December 19, 2014

Solar Tariffs: Throttling America's Biggest Job Creation Machine

I look at solar tariffs differently. If the income derived is used to increase solar on US soil for Not R&D but for new production I am all for it. If the tariff funds are to be used for other purposes I am not for a solar tariff at all. This is still a small industry but it is part of the energy industry as we know it. It was decided long ago to give money to big oil so that we don't run out of oil. I really feel the same should happen to all renewable energy systems. Thus we would be on the same plane as other energy industries. I know solar PV very well and I can see a time in the future where solar PV will be as important to the new energy future in the USA as in Germany. I am part of the green party. Our biggest concerns are pollution, fair playing energy field. Most important the future generating system for future generations. If we were not so greedy and wasteful. There would be no REC's or Carbon Credits. The power plants of the world created a new carbon penalty carbon production system.

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