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Mike Brown's Electric Vehicle Components Primer

If you are interested in seeing what it takes to put an EV together, then this videotape is the way to go. Mike talks about batteries, controllers, suspension, brakes, and other EV parts. Mike has been in the automotive field a long time and is one of the first people in the resurgente EV sector. He has done a lot of R&D out of his own pocket, and has developed kits for transforming RABBITS and other "econo-boxes" to EVs. One of the best parts of this video is seeing the motor controllers and other pieces of equipment that make up an EV. This 92 minute tape is $35 and includes Electro's parts catalog.

For the dedicated EV freaks, Electro Automotive has more car stuff from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Symposium in November 1991. The production values are better than last year's according to the producer. I will have a review of them in the next issue. I saw the originals and they were very interesting.

Hydrogen Video

The American Hydrogen Society has produced a nifty 8 minute tape called The Solar Hydrogen Economy: a good overview of what is being done on this energy front; cars, buses, planes. Citing such sources as BMW and Lockheed, it makes the point that the industrial infrastructure already exists to make a hydrogen economy work. This tape is an excellent tape for teachers It also shows ocean windfarms, ocean tidal electric conversion and a good explanation of the Hindenburg accident. Good production values. $14.98

In the Works

In October, I taped the Solar Technology Institutes' Advanced PV Workshop with Johnny Weiss, Ken Olson and Richard Perez. It is not edited yet, needs some titles and a little cleaning up. When it is done, it will be 17-20 tapes and will be announced here. STI will market it.

I am beginning to assemble a tape called PV In Suburbia, that looks at PV systems which displace grid power in towns. This will include John Wiles in Las Cruces, me in Santa Fe, and more depending on how many other tapes show up to be included. Don't be shy, if you have any tape on city systems, send it to me.

A note on video quality

Producing broadcast quality video is expensive and time consuming. Equipment is expensive and the people operating the equipment get $50+ per hour. VHS is very popular because for a few thousand dollars you can have enough equipment to do a pretty good job. Well, a lot of folks can't afford even that. So they grab their "consumer level" camera and go shoot what interests them. Using a couple of decks and hopefully an editing controller, they cut all the redundant stuff and make a tape that communicates. My point is that "Broadcast Quality" is for those who can afford it. Other, poorer small producers will be giving current information, and information is the entire point. If you can see what is going on, and understand the audio, that's what is important. You won't see any video busted by me for editing glitches.

Please allow me to introduce myself...

I have been using RE for a dozen years now. I have been writing articles and booklets since 1895, editing and publishing the PV Network News. Solar Electricity Today started out as the PV Network News' yearly resource directory. It is based on a booklet I started in 1981 with about 30 sources. The last SET has over 800 sources. From 1982 to 1987, I made Solar Works controls and regulators for wind, solar and water pumping. I have had the same phone for 11 years and rarely hear from my customers.

In 1986, I acquired a video camera and deck and started doing videos about PV and renewable energy. The first Video, PV Places, is a tour of PV systems showing applications from homes, offices, shops, RVs, water pumping, and a remote control model airplane. There a few rough edges in this production. Next was RETSIE (the renewable energy trade show) where I had manufacturers give their briefest speech on their products. No longer available. Next was Windcharger Repair, for the 200 watt WINCO wind generator. How to take one apart, diagnose problems, and put it back together. Windy Dankoff and I did A Short Course In PV which discusses PV from modules through growing systems applications. Two years ago at an RE conference in New Mexico, I taped John Wiles who writes Code Corner for HP. Called PV Meets The Code, John covers switching gear, fusing, and connections with a fast moving slide show of acceptable vs. nonacceptable equipment and methods.


Author: Paul Wilkins, 2303 Cedros Circle, Santa Fe, NM 87505 • 505-473-1067

Electro Automotive, POB 1113, Felton, CA 95018 • 408-429-1989

American Hydrogen Society, 219 S. Siesta Ln., Ste. 101, Tempe, AZ 85281 «602-921-0433

Sun Day 1992

Public Citizen and nearly 200 citizen groups (including Midwest RE Assoc., Great Lakes RE Assoc., Redwood Alliance, and just about every RE Assoc. and environmental group you can think of), businesses (including Jordon College, Snowbelt Solar, Lake MI Wind & Sun, Integral Energy, Solsource & Home Power), government officials and others announced plans to sponsor SUN DAY 1992: A Campaign for a Sustainable Energy Future. The organizations, located in 39 states and the District of Columbia, collectively represent over two million members.

The sponsoring organizations are advocating a national energy policy that, at a minimum, reduces the total energy use by 10 percent and tripling the current contribution of renewable energy technologies by the year 2010.

SUN DAY 1992 is a campaign primarily being built upon activities initiated by individual citizens and local and state-level groups, rather than as a centrally directed and managed program. It will include at least one national day (Earth Day-April 22, 1992). The focus of SUN DAY 1992's sponsors will be developing local and state-level coalitions to advocate for policies supportive of SUN DAY 1992's goals.

Rather than just one-day, one-shot events SUN DAY 1992's sponsors will encourage, support, and launch ongoing educational programs, attracting media support, organizing, and other activities before, during and after Earth Day 1992. Some participating organizations will provide information, encourage model programs, legislation and government policies, lobbying Congress, conferences, and distributing information to grammar schools, high schools, and colleges.

For more information and to find out how you can help, contact: Public Citizen, attn. SUN DAY 1992, 215 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 or call 202-546-4996

A Solstice Celebration of Sun Power

The 3rd annual Midwest Renewable Energy Fair is June 19-21, 1992 at Amherst, Wisconsin. The Energy Fair introduces the public to a wide spectrum of renewable energy technologies and their contemporary applications. The Energy Fair is a fun and educational experience for individuals and families. At the Energy Fair you will have the opportunity to: • watch wind and solar power actually power the fair • see, handle and purchase products that will help you conserve energy, protect the environment, and save money • attend informative hands-on workshops (beginner to advanced) presented by experts from across the country • walk through a model home demonstrating energy efficient construction and appliances, and renewable energy, power and heating • see vehicles powered by alternative energy • network with others who share similar interests • dance to live music played on a solar and wind powered stage Have Fun and More!

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is accepting workshop proposals until March 1, 1992. Please include a brief description and outline with your proposal.

For more information about the Energy Fair contact: Midwest Renewable Energy Association, 116 Cross St., Amherst, WI 54406, 715-824-5166.

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has announced a year-long campaign to change the public perception of solar power, wind power, and other renewable energy sources. UCS will help interested people to plan and carry out educational activities and political actions that promote greater use of renewable energy.

Although the public likes the idea of using renewable energy (RE), most people, including industry leaders, utility planners, and government officials, think of renewables as futuristic, backyard novelties. In actuality, RE technologies could provide a much greater share of the nation's energy supply. However, current energy policies have prevented renewables from penetrating energy markets in a significant way.

The first step in changing the policies is to help people understand the tremendous potential of RE technologies. Public education will be a major focus of the "Renewables are Ready" campaign. UCS activists will also focus attention on policy-makers and work on changing the regulatory climate to encourage the growth of renewables.

If you would like more information on how to get involved please contact the Union of Concerned Scientists, 26 Church St., Cambridge, MA 02238, or call them at 717-547-5552.

Hands-on Solar Workshops

The '92 Solar Home Program at the Solar Technology Institute in Colorado offers a series of How-To and Hands-On Workshops. Learn to design and build state-of-the-art solar homes that are self-reliant, thermally efficient, healthy to live in, and environmentally conscious.

Solar Home Design & Construction-May 4-14, Micro-Hydro Electrical Systems-May 18-21, Wind Power-May 26-29, Practical Hydrogen-June 1-4, Photovoltaic Design & Installation-July 6-17, Advanced PV for Remote Homes-July 20-30, Photovoltaic Design & Installation-Sept 7-18, Advanced PV for Remote Homes-Sept 21-Oct 1, Micro-Hydro Electric Systems-Oct 5-8, Solar Home Design & Construction-Oct 12-22, Advanced Passive Solar Design-Oct 26-Nov 5.

These workshops are for owner builders and persons seeking careers as solar professionals.

For a detailed description of SOLAR HOME PROGRAM WORKSHOPS, costs and scholarship information; write Solar Technology Institute P.O. Box 1115, Carbondale, CO 81623-1115 or call 303-963-0715.

Hands-On Workshops in Maine

The Maine Solar Energy Association has started a series of hand-on solar workshops all around the state of Maine. The purpose of these practical, one day events is to de-mystify solar energy by showing the participants that it is practical today to use the sun to heat your home, make your hot water, furnish your electricity, and even cook your food and grow your vegetables out of season. In the past year we have had a very successful passive solar architecture workshop in Bangor, a solar greenhouse & sunspace workshop in Falmouth, and two photovoltaics workshops. The participants of the photovoltaic workshops actually constructed solar cell modules that they could take home for the cost of the parts. Some people made small solar battery chargers. Several participants assembled large 35 watt power modules.

In the coming year the expanded schedule of workshops will include; solar air heating, solar water heating, solar cookers and ovens, solar electric home, passive architecture, greenhouses and sun spaces, and the immensely popular photovoltaics workshop. The fee for each of these workshops is $25.00, which includes lunch.

For information on sites and dates contact Richard Komp, Maine Solar Energy Association, RFD Box 751, Addison, ME 04606, 207-497-2204

NE Sustainable Energy Assoc.

Over 40 cars, powered by the sun, will race from Albany, NY to Boston, MA May 18-23 1992, 4th Annual American Tour de Sol, Solar and Electric Car Championship. There will be ten free educational displays of these innovative non-polluting cars along the route. For information about the display nearest you, please contact NESEA, 23 Ames

St, Greenfield, MA 01301 or call 413-774-6051 Minnesota Energy Council

The MN Energy Council will hold a number of conferences on new technology in energy and environmental management for housing, small buildings, small business and municipal buildings, aimed at professionals and business people. For more information contact: Roger Peterson, Minnesota Energy Council, Box 8222, St. Paul, MN 55108 • 612-378-2973

Solar Electric Classes in Nevada

Solar Electric Classes for a max. of 4 students for more personal attention. Taught at remote Solar homesite. 2 day class choice of 4th weekend of Feb., Mar., or April 1992. Class will be full of technical info, product evaluation, sizing systems, etc. Students will build a solar system. $75. For Info SASE to Solar Advantage, 4410 N. Rancho Dr. #148, Las Vegas, NV 89130, 702-645-6571

North San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Electric Auto Assoc.(EAA)

All interested persons are invited to the meetings of the North San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Electric Auto Assoc (EAA). The meetings will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the Citibank conference room in Novato, CA. Contact Andy Clary, 1710 Greeneitch Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401, 707-526-7692 from noon to 5 pm for meeting and membership information. For information on the EAA and the chapter nearest you send an SASE to 1249 Lane St, Belmont, CA 94002 or call 415-591-6698, 415-685-7580 or 408-371-5969, weekdays 10 AM to 5 PM Pacific time.


ASES has issued its call for papers for the June 13-18, 1992, SOLAR 92: THE NATIONAL SOLAR ENERGY CONFERENCE, Cocoa Beach, Florida. The conference is the 21st American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference and included the 17th National Passive Solar Conference. Papers are solicited which detail recent and current work in the field of solar energy conversion and utilization. For more information and a copy of the detailed Call for Papers, contact: American Solar Energy Society, 2400 Central Ave., Ste G-1, Boulder, CO 80301, 303-443-3130, FAX 303-443-3212

Free Fowler Solar Electric Inc. Workshop

On April 11, 1992, Jeffrey Fowler, author of the "The Solar Electric Independent Home Book" and his wife Leatrice Fowler will hold a free workshop on solar electricity. The workshop will cover present remote homes and cabins using solar electricity now, and future possibilities.

Efficient lighting and other forms of conservation will be covered. Product display will feature a wide range of solar electric components. Efficient lighting and alternative energy books will be stocked for sale at the workshop. A lecture and slides will be presented from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, lunch (BYO), product display and questions will be from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM at The Harris Center, Hancock, NH 03449 (20 miles NE of Keene, NH) For more information call 413-238-5974 or 603-525-3394

Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)

1992 Workshop Schedule (subject to change). All sessions will be held at the FL Solar Energy Center, 300 State Road 401, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. Photovoltaic System Design Workshop: Learn about solar electric technology and the proper way to design stand-alone PV systems. The registration fee is $300; target audience: solar industry, engineers, government agency reps and interested individuals. Dates are Feb. 12-14, May 12-14, Sept. 15-17, Dec. 9-11, 1992. For more information about any of the FL Solar Centers workshops call JoAnn Stirling at 407-783-0300, ext. 116.

FSEC is also co-sponsoring a SunDay Challenge AE Vehicle Rally on June 14, 1992 in conjunction with the 21th American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference & Solar 92 in Coco Beach, FL. The rally will include commuter and solar/electric vehicles. The Rally will be limited to 40 cars with a limit of 10 cars per each of the four classes. The registration fee is $10 per vehicle. Prizes will be awarded. For more info contact FSEC.

The FL Solar Energy Center is also offering a DOS-based IBM (and compatibles) computer program called Sunpath 1.0 ( for $35 which includes docs, 3.5 and 5.25" floppy disks, and S&H. The user-friendly program calculates the position of the center of the sun in the sky at locations, dates, and times specified by the user and outputs the results to the screen, a print file and to ASCII files suitable for importing into graphic plotting programs. For more info contact, Dr. Ross McCluney, 407-783-0300, ext. 134.

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Hybrid Cars The Whole Truth Revealed

Hybrid Cars The Whole Truth Revealed

Hybrid Cars! Man! Is that a HOT topic right now! There are some good reasons why hybrids are so hot. If you’ve pulled your present car or SUV or truck up next to a gas pumpand inserted the nozzle, you know exactly what I mean! I written this book to give you some basic information on some things<br />you may have been wondering about.

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