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Small-Scale Solar Power for Home/Apartment

Hello!      Are you interested to learn how to set up your own small-scale solar power production, for example, to power your laptop? I'm interested, too.      That said, I know little, except that buying solar panels is ex-pen-sive!      If someone knows a person who would be willing to speak with us on this topic, please suggest him or her. Ideally, you would contact him/her beforehand to gauge his/her interest.      I'd like to suggest two angles for finding someone to talk: i) perhaps a speaker who owns a solar-parts business and could potentially sell to us, or ii) perhaps we could charge a modest admission fee ($5?) and turn the proceeds over to the speaker?    All comments and ideas welcomed. - S. Patrick

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  • Patrick

    Another interesting article on D-I-Y Solar, small scale: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago116.html

    May 6, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Thanks, Daemienn! I'll look through the links you sent.

    March 3, 2012

  • Daemienn

    Designing a tiny and cheap solar power system for a pop-up camping trailer
    http://www.otherpower.com/popup.html
    Ward's Cheap Solar Power System
    http://www.otherpower.com/wardsolar.html
    Making decent solar panels series
    http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php/topic,145005.0.html

    March 3, 2012

  • Daemienn

    Tracey, Wind in an urban environment is a fools errand... All of the small scale turbine kits I've seen (including those mentioned at the meeting) will produce nothing in terms of use-able power. IMO the only useful generation tech for an urbanite is combination solar thermal panels (electricity + hot water)... www.otherpower.com

    March 3, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    I'd love to discuss this with others. I plan to create/install solar hot water and wind/photovoltaic in the coming year. Ideally I'd like to build my own solar panels with a group, and install a small turbine from a kit. I'm awfully frustrated by sales folks saying "Sure, you can do it!" but my not being able to get concrete answers as to how to begin. I'm mining Live Green Toronto presently for info. http://www.toronto.ca/livegreen/greenlife_saveenergy_renewable.htm

    March 2, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    This is the city by law, which looks to me to effectively ban wind generation because all parts must be located "in the main building envelope". If you have a more positive interpretation, please DO respond! http://www.toronto.ca/building/pdf/renewable_energy_flyer.pdf

    March 2, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    If you want to contribute to renewable energy now, before you set up your own system, you can join Solar Share http://www.solarbonds.ca/ and of course offset your consumption of electricity and natural gas through Bullfrog http://www.bullfrogpower.com/products/naturalgas.cfm .

    March 2, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Solar Hot Water Heaters: Questions and Answers

    http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/568

    (This info is as of 2009 and is not current.)

    How To Tap into Funding for Solar Energy

    http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/573

    March 2, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    My blog entries, with photos & slideshow, about my solar hot water heater:
    http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/531
    http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/530
    http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/553

    March 2, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Hi everyone!
    We ran out of time for me to show you what I've done with regards to solar and wind energy, so I promised to email links to people who gave me their emails. I am going to post those links here, too. I am looking to make photo voltaic panels for my rooftop in the coming year ad hope this group can help me discover some new how-tos.

    March 2, 2012

  • Adam

    The Presenters were great ;)

    February 27, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Thanks so much Patrick, Adam, Alex and organizers!

    I am very interested in holding a gathering at my clinic at Bloor and Dovercourt to see the DIY solar panel DVD together and talk about what I've discovered so far in installing solar hot water systems in Toronto homes.

    February 26, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Unfortunately, we didn't get to the part where we learned about how to do a small scale solar (or wind) installation for a Toronto home or apartment. I wish we could find someone to talk to us who really knows the process, approvals and the down-to-earth implementation. (For example, do I stick a panel out on my balcony and run a wire through the balcony doors to my desk with my laptop? Do I put the inverter and battery and converter thing-y under my desk, too?)

    Thanks so much Patrick!

    That being said, there's a lot of terrain to cover and I think we just lost focus repeatedly. I do thank you for convening us!

    I am very interested in holding a gathering at my clinic at Bloor and Dovercourt to see the DIY solar panel DVD together and talk about what I've discovered so far in installing solar hot water systems in Toronto homes.

    February 26, 2012

  • Patrick

    And members who attended: Thanks for coming out and showing your support.

    February 26, 2012

  • Patrick

    Dear Adam, Alexander, and Tracey: Thank you all for volunteering your time and knowledge to introduce our members to some of the issues related to solar and wind power. It's not easy to put oneself on the line and stand up and talk - especially with tight time constraints like we had. Very much appreciated. I hope that if anyone has more questions that he or she will contact our presenters through Meetup. Simply click on the person's name or icon and select "Send e-mail."

    February 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Patrick for facilititating this. I learned some new things

    February 26, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    Hi all. I will be there to talk for a few minutes about the rooftop solar hot water system I had installed for my home and Anarres Natural Health Clinic and to give you links to current options. See you soon!

    February 26, 2012

  • Katie

    Thanks for the info, Patrick!

    February 26, 2012

  • Patrick

    Patrick the organizer here, Katie. Each library branch states on its website if there is free parking nearby. None listed. Why not Google Map the location and see if there might be some on a side street. Be aware that all the nearby streets seem to be one-ways. I might suggest trying Huron south of College or maybe Cecil. Glasgow might be an option. I make no claims as to free parking availability on any nearby street. Good luck. Map address is: 239 College St., Toronto, ON.

    February 25, 2012

  • Katie

    does anyone know if there is free parking?

    February 25, 2012

  • Daemienn

    wow... 41.. this is going to be awesome !

    February 25, 2012

  • Alex

    On Sale Now!!! Set of 2 solar panels at Canadian Tire and sale ends tomorrow. 60% off. Price is $99 down from $250. If you're not sure about buying yet, find a store that's out of stock and get a raincheque to use when you're ready to buy. (it's a great tactic for extending deals!)

    February 22, 2012

  • Patrick

    Excellent! Alexander will also present on the topic of renewable energy: solar, wind, biogas, and more. He sounds interesting...he can even make a battery out of the Earth (soil) using a zinc nail and a penny. Thanks for volunteering, Alexander. Look forward to having you speak.

    February 17, 2012

  • W.J.R. H.

    Great idea!
    Here's a video link to a college I attended... they do 2-day, 5-day and 6-month courses, on Solar and Renewable Energy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDSzQbi2A28
    They teach everything to do with calculating the right panel for the right job... everything from the simplest charging jobs all the way up to doing your own MicroFIT installation on your rooftop to earn money on power sold back to Hydro. And things are pretty relaxed out there, too. Hope that helps!

    February 16, 2012

  • Homebase

    Hi there.... I can give you all the information you need.... I've been in the business for about 7 years but an enthusiast all my life. If you're interested in solar, wind, renewable biomass... I'm your man, and btw solar panels are not expensive and have come down a lot. I can sell a 300 watt mono solar module now for $650 easily. That's what a 135 watt Kyocera cost a year and half ago. Prices have come down a lot. One panel getting 4 hours of sunlight a day is what you need. btekenergy.com

    February 16, 2012

  • Patrick

    Venue and time are set. $3 admission to recover room rental costs ($34 total). Meeting Room "A," downstairs. 239 College St., Lillian H. Smith Toronto Public Library. Access by TTC. See map. Paid parking on Huron and across street at C.A.M.H. (Mental Health Institute).

    1 · February 14, 2012

  • Patrick­ changed the date and time to Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    February 14, 2012

  • February 14, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    I'd be happy to talk about my experience with solar hot water heating. I am also happy to offer my space. How much space do we need? The ground floor of my house is my clinic - Anarrres Natural Health at Dovercourt and Bloor 1.5 blocks from Ossington subway. How much space do we need? How many people?.

    February 12, 2012

  • Patrick

    Heard back from Adam. No free room available where he was inquiring, so we'll have to use the paid library room. If we get a low-to-medium turnout, might have to charge $3-$4 per person to recover costs of room rental. That said, if we get more speakers, you get more value for your time and funds.

    February 11, 2012

  • Patrick

    IMPORTANT: Would anyone else like to present at the upcoming solar/wind power meetup? Confirmed as Sunday, Feb. 26, 2-4 p.m., downtown Toronto. We have a bit less than two hours total, so having an additional presenter (or two) is possible. Please contact me A.S.A.P. by e-mail (click on my name) and tell me about what topics you might present, please, and what your background/experience level on this topic is. Thank you.

    February 10, 2012

  • Patrick

    Notice: I have tentatively booked a room at a Toronto Public Library (Lillian H. Smith, 239 College, just east of Spadina, west of University) for Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 to 4 p.m. Cost is $34 (cheapest rental in town), so we'll have to charge admission of about $2 per to cover - depending upon attendance. Adam, our speaker, is trying to obtain a free room in central Toronto, and will let me know closer to the end of this week. Once this is settled, I will notify Shane and he can post official info.

    February 7, 2012

  • shane

    Patrick if you are able set a date/time/location and I'll let the membership know

    January 25, 2012

  • Terry B.

    Definitely interested in this. There is so little available in grants and savings for people renting apartments. It would be nice to get a chance to learn something like this and maybe even (eventually) put the screws to the hydro company. LOL

    January 24, 2012

  • Patrick

    Adam has kindly offered his expertise. Thank you, Adam. Adam and I will discuss and then I will report back to the group with some ideas for where and when this interesting meetup might take place.

    January 23, 2012

  • Tracey T.

    @Grace
    I have brought solar powered lights indoors and it's quite nice. During the infamous Toronto power outage, we were without electricity for 4 days because our substation kept flooding, and remained very comfortable with solar lights inside and my old school gas stove. There are different qualities of solar lights of course, but they are accessible. I prefer the kinds that will sit straight on a table though!

    January 23, 2012

  • Adam

    I've setup a small (1kw) system for myself and I'm able to teach people the technical aspects of what I know if you still need a speaker. I'm an electrician by trade with an electronics technician certificate.

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm interested in this. I know they are "ex-pen-sive", but especially if you want power in the wild, it may be worth the cost to get light rollable panels, like from PowerFilm. If you want to go big and power a laptop, they normally need 19 Watts of power.R-21 21w Rollable Solar Panel Charger is $440 at Amazon.ca, but on special for US$270 at Amazon.com. You can also connect it to a small battery, like the "Tekkeon - myPower ALL" to power and charge your portable devices, including a laptop.

    January 23, 2012

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