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A&C Green Energy, www.acgreenenergy.com 115

AAA Solar Supply, www.aaasolar.com 111

ABS Alaskan Inc., www.absak.com 129

AEE Solar, www.aeesolar.com 5

APRS World LLC, www.winddatalogger.com 129

ART TEC, www.arttec.net 123, 127

Abraham Solar, www.abrahamsolar.com 133

Alternative Energy Store, www.altenergystore.com 24

Alternative Power & Machine, www.apmhydro.com 120

Apex Solar, www.apxsolar.com 112

Apollo Solar, www.apollosolar.com 95

Apricus Solar Co. Ltd., www.apricus.com 15

Artha Sustainable Living, www.arthaonline.com 134

BZ Products, www.bzproducts.net 112, 129

BackHome Magazine, www.backhomemagazine.com 117

Backwoods Solar Electric Systems, www.backwoodssolar.com 55

Big Coal, www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com 97

Blue Sky Energy Inc., www.blueskyenergyinc.com 4

Bogart Engineering, www.bogartengineering.com 105

Brand Electronics, www.brandelectronics.com 133

Butler Sun Solutions, www.butlersunsolutions.com 134

C Crane Co., www.ccrane.com 134

CMS Magnetics, www.magnet4sale.com 115

Conergy Inc., www.conergy.us 3

Electric Auto Association, www.eaaev.org 133

Electro Automotive, www.electroauto.com 125

Electron Connection, www.electronconnection.com 74

Energy Systems & Design, www.microhydropower.com 116

Energy Wise Solutions, www.energywisesolutions.net 133

Exeltech, www.exeltech.com 96

Fronius USA LLC, www.fronius-usa.com 10,11

Fullriver Battery USA, www.fullriverdcbattery.com 90

Gorilla Electric Vehicles, www.gorillavehicles.com 123

Green Festivals, www.greenfestivals.org 83

Green Ridge Wind Farms LLC, www.greenridgeenergy.com 107

Green World Biofuels, www.greenworldbiofuels.com 133

GroSolar, www.grosolar.com 57

Harris Hydro, 707-986-7771 112

Home Power Web site, www.homepower.com 75

Home Power 20-Year DVD-ROM, www.homepower.com/20years 82

Hydrocap Corp., 305-696-2504 116

Hydroscreen Co. LLC, www.hydroscreen.com 129

Innovative Solar Inc., www.scsolar.com 113

Jan Watercraft Products, www.janwp.com 124

Kaco Solar Inc., www.kacosolar.com 56

Liberty Enterprises Inc., www.iloveebikes.com 133

Lorentz GMBH & Co. KG, www.lorentzpumps.com 40

MK Battery, www.mkbattery.com 67

Magnum Energy, www.magnumenergy.com 49

Midnite Solar Inc., www.midnitesolar.com 66

Mitsubishi Electric, www.mitsubishielectricsolar.com 17

Morningstar Corp., www.morningstarcorp.com 80

N. Am. Board of Cert. Energy Practitioners, www.nabcep.org 121, 125

New Society Publishers, www.newsociety.com 124

Northern Arizona Wind & Sun, www.solar-electric.com 125

Northwest Energy Storage, www.solaronebatteries.com 105

Offline Independent Energy Systems, www.psnw.com/~ofln 124

OutBack Power Systems, www.outbackpower.com 8, 9

Pacific Renewables Group, www.pacificrenewablesgroup.com 127

Phocos USA, www.phocos.com 116

Power Battery Company Inc., www.powerbattery.com 64

Purist Energy LLC, www.puristenergy.com 117

Quick Mount PV, www.quickmountpv.com 111

RAE Storage Battery Co., 860-828-6007 123

Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Fair, www.the-mrea.org 91

Rheem Water Heaters, www.solahart.com 47

RightHand Engineering, www.righthandeng.com 124

SMA America Inc., www.sma-america.com 41

Samlex America Inc., www.samlexamerica.com/solar 112

San Juan College, www.sanjuancollege.edu/reng 124

Schuco USA LP, www.schuco-usa.com 65

Silicon Solar, www.siliconsolar.com 96

Simmons Body Care, www.simmonsnaturals.com 123

Sol-Reliant, www.solreliant.com 106

Solar Converters Inc., www.solarconverters.com 106

Solar Depot Inc., www.solardepot.com IFC

Solar Energy International, www.solarenergy.org 81

Solar Pathfinder, www.solarpathfinder.com 121

Solar Wind Works, www.solarwindworks.com 121

SolarWorld California, www.solarworld-usa.com BC

Solargenix Energy LLC, www.solargenixchicago.com 120

Solectria Renewables, www.solren.com 23

Solmetric Corp., www.solmetric.com 113

Southwest Windpower, www.windenergy.com 13

Staber Industries Inc., www.staber.com 107

Steca GmbH, www.stecasolar.com 95

Stiebel Eltron Inc., www.stiebel-eltron-usa.com 21

Sun Frost, www.sunfrost.com 121

Sun Pipe Co. Inc., www.sunpipe.com 120

Sun Pumps Inc., www.sunpumps.com 97

Sun Spot Solar, www.sssolar.com 39

SunDanzer, www.sundanzer.com 113

SunEarth, www.sunearthinc.com 117

SunWize, www.sunwize.com 48

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, www.suntech-power.com 19

Surrette Battery Company Ltd, www.rollsbattery.com IBC

Sustainable Choice.net, www.sustainablechoice.net 107

Thermomax, www.solarthermal.com 126

Trina Solar Ltd., www.trinasolar.com 25

Trojan Battery Co., www.trojanbattery.com 33

U.S. Battery, www.usbattery.com 73

UniRac Inc., www.unirac.com 2

Wattsun (Array Technologies Inc.), www.wattsun.com 117

Western NC Renewable Energy Initiative, www.wind.appstate.edu 134

Wiley Electronics LLC, www.we-llc.com 111

WindMax Energy, www.magnet4less.com 134

Windstream Power LLC, www.windstreampower.com 133

XC3 International LLC, www.xc3solar.com 116

Xantrex, www.xantrex.com 1

ZAP!, www.zapworld.com 22

Zephyr Industries Inc., www.zephyrvent.com 133

Zomeworks Corp., www.zomeworks.com 120

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People

Who: Dan Lewis & Jill Brandsborg Where: Guemes Island, Washington When: 2003 to present What: Solar-electric system Why: Simplicity & elegance

In 1996, Dan Lewis and Jill Brandsborg left professional careers in the Denver area to simplify their lives. Jill realized that the hectic pace of the city and her teaching career was taking its toll on her physically and emotionally. She frequently recalled her childhood dreams of living in a simple and purposeful way, and realized that her fast-paced life had left those aspirations behind.

Dan was likewise struggling with the pace and the consumption in their life. "Traditional America says you work hard, get a big paycheck, get a big house, and continue paying for it for much of your life," says Dan. "We left that because it wasn't really the quality of life we wanted. For us, real quality of life is not measured by money, but how we can live."

After traveling for a few years, they found 13 acres on Guemes Island, Washington, and built a 250-square-foot cabin, carefully designed to satisfy their needs while using less. Dan and Jill initially lived without electricity, using candles and kerosene lamps. These days, they use a small amount of propane to cook and heat water; they collect rainwater and compost all their organic materials on site. Both Dan and Jill bicycle and walk a lot, and they are moving toward growing some of their own food.

What impressed me most when I first met Dan and Jill continues to impress me today: They are committed to a thoughtful approach to their life and lifestyle. For several months after they moved into their cabin, they had few furnishings—a mattress in the loft, a simple kitchen countertop, and a few chairs. When I teased Dan about this, he said, "We want to make sure we get absolutely what we want." They were not in a hurry to get it done; it was more important to do it right.

Given their thoughtful consideration of every aspect of their lives, it is no surprise that they chose a small PV system for their minimal electrical needs, such as lighting, water pumping, and a computer. The 600-watt system typically meets their electricity needs ten months out of the year. When there's not enough energy in the winter, Dan and Jill either go into pre-electric mode (candles), or travel to visit friends and family. They do not own a generator.

The couple's simple life reflects the land they live on, the community they live in, and their own hearts and minds. Their financial needs are minimal, with few bills, so they don't spend their lives working to pay for their lifestyle. Their example of living lightly on the land has inspired dozens of people who tour their basic but comfortable home.

Jill says that when she visits "real" people in "real" houses with "real" jobs, she knows those lifestyles "don't fit this place." She says, "Slowing down has allowed us to enjoy the beauty in everyday, simple things. Since I allowed myself to do that, I don't want to go back."

—Ian Woofenden

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Plug-and-Play

Kathleen Root's all-electric Zenn plugs into her home's solar-electric system.

Apr / May 08, Issue 124

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