power outage

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In Puerto Rico, Off-Grid Energy Is Looking More Appealing

Some communities are without electricity four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the region

Posted on Feb 20 2018 by Scott Gibson

The slow pace of restoring electricity to residents of Puerto Rico is making off-grid solar-plus-storage an appealing alternative.

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Image Credits:

  1. Jeff Miller via Flickr

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Planning for Backup Power in an All-Electric House

A homeowner in Kentucky eyes a solar array to keep his house running in the event of a power outage

Posted on Feb 19 2018 by Scott Gibson

Writing from central Kentucky, Clay Whitenack poses this question: in an all-electric house, what's the best way of providing power when the grid is down?

Whitenack and his family live in a new house, a house that does not have a fireplace or a wood stove. "This leaves us vulnerable in the event of a power outage during a bad winter," he writes in a post at the Q&A forum. "We live in central Kentucky, so the winters here are usually not too bad, but we do have times when the temps get below freezing for extended periods of time."

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Image Credits:

  1. Tablesxxnx via Flickr

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Living Without Electricity

Children learn how to play by being bored

Posted on Oct 27 2017 by Martin Holladay

This year’s hurricane season brought extensive power outages to areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In some cases, electricity was restored in two or three days. In much of Puerto Rico, however, the electricity has been off for weeks, and may not be restored for months.

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Image Credits:

  1. Rajeev - Flickr

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Running Our House on Prius Power

During electrical outages, we can power our house by connecting our hybrid car to a Converdant inverter

Posted on Aug 4 2014 by Paul Honig

On Sunday morning June 30th, we experienced our first prolonged power outage since moving in to our new passive house in Connecticut. A tree came down on one of the power lines around the corner and power was out for about six hours. It was time to see our inverterDevice for converting direct-current (DC) electricity into the alternating-current (AC) form required for most home uses; necessary if home-generated electricity is to be fed into the electric grid through net-metering arrangements. in action — the inverter that we bought from Converdant Vehicles to turn our Prius into a backup generator.

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Image Credits:

  1. Paul Honig

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Are Solar-Plus-Battery Systems Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

SolarCity thinks batteries will be critical to the widespread use of solar, but for now very few residential customers have the chance to try them

Posted on Jun 5 2014 by Scott Gibson

Solar-plus-battery systems that combine photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. panels and lithium-ion batteries are helping a number of commercial electricity customers cut their power bills, but any widespread spillover to the residential side of the market looks to be some time away.

Two solar installers, SolarCity, and SunPower, are offering the systems to residential customers, yet the numbers in the pilot programs are very modest.

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Image Credits:

  1. SolarCity

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Designing Homes and Communities That Can Survive a Disaster

The Resilient Design Institute highlights an important element of sustainability

Posted on Oct 4 2012 by Alex Wilson

Some 27 years ago, following a five-year stint as director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (which was then based in Brattleboro), I launched my own company focusing on information about environmentally responsible design and construction.

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Image Credits:

  1. Hydro Quebec

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