Carol Kneedler, who runs CES’ website, forwarded this to me and I thought it was a good way to plug her business. Thanks Carol for all you do.

  • O3 Internet Consulting

    Owner · Jul 2007 to present
    I create websites that are beautiful, practical and functional. In short, they work.

Small Ozarks Farm Provides Innovative Example For Sustainable Living

 Article | | By Shane Franklin

One farm in the Ozarks is the location of a series of unique experiments in sustainable living.  If these experiments prove successful, it would greatly affect the future of sustainable technologies and how people think about building their homes. KSMU’s Shane Franklin had the opportunity to tour the farm, and has this story.

Rockspan Farm, the home of Dan and Margy Chiles, is unique in so many ways. They wanted to build a farm that could be an example to others, and a test lab for experimental technologies they’ve been personally developing over the years.

“We are trying a number of new technologies here to make houses more efficient and to make a livable space without having to burn a lot of coal.

RockSpan maps and overview

RockSpan is the name for our 12 acre farm and house in western Greene County, Missouri.


The project is the West end of Division street, 11 miles from Springfield, Missouri.   The colorful plan below shows the family farm: approximately 227 acres outlined in red with a possible land use plan.  Our 12 acres are inside the larger farm.



Go there, read and see all the pretty pictures. More tomorrow.


I know that Dufus is at the same time a village name in Ireland as well as a clan name. So excuse me if I use the America slang term for the stupidest person around. But the United States’ economy and its economic policy have been led by angry stupid old white guys for way too long. Coal is dead. Natural gas is an illusion and nuclear is a joke. I say, “let’s get on with it”.

Denmark reaches 2020-goal for solar energy before time

12.09.2012  14:24

Already this year, Denmark will reach the 2020 Government goal of 200 megawatt solar cell capacity.

Huge interest for solar energy solutions has made the amount of solar cells multiply much faster than expected. This is made possible by favourable framework conditions. In fact the solar cell capacity will be a hundred times bigger this year compared with 2010. Currently 36 MW capacity is being mounted every month.

Danish energy sector players, Dansk Energi, and DONG Energy, estimate that this development will result in 1000 MW by 2020 and 3400 MW by 2030.



Go there and read. More tomorrow.


I forgot to give this website credit for yesterday’s post. That is a small journalistic boo boo and I will clear that up now.

What Can Be Found on This Site

This site contains information about my books, an archive of my articles, and descriptions of my workshops on wind energy and Advanced Renewable Tariffs. This site also contains an extensive collection of articles and technical reports on electricity feed laws or renewable energy tariffs. I’ve been an outspoken proponent of feed laws since the late 1990s when I urged the American Wind Energy Association to call for them nationally.


My photos are stocked by Still Pictures in London. For more on my photography and for photo tours of several wind farms as well as a sampling of wind energy icons, see the photos section of this site.


Small Turbine Testing

Beginning in 1997 I’ve measured the performance and noise emissions of small wind turbines at the Wulf Test Field in the Tehachapi Pass. For more information on this work, visit Wulf Test Field.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Not much to say about this. Conference summaries are always difficult to interpret. You miss all the personal conversations, updates, and sense of the future. Still it is a snapshot.

Utility-Scale PV Developers Confront Future of Solar Project Business

They want the “doable renewables.”

Herman K. Trabish: November 1, 2012

Building utility-scale PV solar projects is getting tougher. Greentech Media’s U.S. Solar Market Insight conference concluded with a discussion between experienced developers about the challenges and opportunities.

Moderator and GTM Research Senior Analyst Shyam Mehta asked them to first review the last year.

“In summer of last year, the IOUs issued RFPs, the first in over two years,” 8minutenergy CEO Martin Hermann recalled. “More than 70,000 megawatts of applications were submitted. They shortlisted about 2,500 megawatts.”

The ISO queue has dropped from 80,000 megawatts to 50,000 megawatts and utilities are “looking very diligently to see if there are any show stoppers” before signing contracts. In this “tough competition for PPAs,” Hermann said, developers are “monetizing or cancelling their portfolios.”

In three years, explained SunEdison (NYSE:WFR) General Manager Attila Toth, the U.S. solar market will be 50 percent distributed generation and 50 percent utility scale projects. But about 85 percent of the 3.5 gigawatts to 3.8 gigawatts of utility projects “is already spoken for, in the queues and has company’s names written on it. There is a very limited opportunity in the utility segment.”


Go there and read. More next week.


Here is the MIT report.


New Solar Panel Designs Make Installation Cheaper

Companies in Germany and China have made simpler designs that make it easier and quicker to mount panels to roofs.

With solar panel prices falling more than 80 percent in the last few years, many solar companies are turning their attention to reducing the cost of installing them. Two leading solar companies, Solon Energy, based in Berlin, and Trina Solar, based in Changzhou, China, have announced new designs for mounting solar panels to roofs—the companies say these designs can reduce the installation time by more than half, greatly reducing labor costs. The new designs reduce or eliminate the tools and hardware needed to install solar panels, and standardize solar installations, which have largely been ad hoc, reducing the time needed to design them.

While solar panels themselves used to account for most of the cost of large solar installations on commercial rooftops, the modules now account for about 40 percent of the cost. The rest comes from things like the necessary hardware, power electronics, and labor—which alone accounts for about 30 percent of the total.

Mounting solar panels on the flat rooftops of commercial installations typically involves anchoring long metal racks to the roof to create a framework that will angle the panels toward the sun and hold them together. Installers bolt the panels to this frame, wire the panels together, and electrically ground the racks.



Go there and read. More tomorrow.


The coal companies and the utility companies in this country are morally repugnant and ecologically a disaster.

Solar energy is ready, the U.S. isn’t

By Ken Wells
Published 5:07 p.m., Sunday, October 28, 2012

Clean energy has become a dirty word in presidential politics.

In their second debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each tried to outdo the other’s love of fossil fuels: Obama extolling his record on oil and natural gas production, Romney vowing to take “advantage of the oil and coal we have here.” The Republican candidate has ridiculed the administration’s $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel maker, and accused Obama of living “in an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy.”

The candidates’ coolness to renewable energy comes at a time when the domestic supply of traditional energy sources, such as oil and natural gas, is at an all-time high. And yet this failure to make the promise of renewables a keynote in the debate is a huge missed opportunity. In particular, it ignores the dramatic reduction in the cost of photovoltaic solar power worldwide and the considerable benefits to U.S. consumers and the environment.

Political roadblocks

The untold story of this campaign is that what killed Solyndra may turn out to be a boon for the nation. “Economically and technologically, the game is over,” said Bill Powers, a San Diego engineer and board member of Solar Done Right, a group that proselytizes for rooftop solar power. “The hang-ups in the U.S. are strictly political.”

Over the past five years the price of photovoltaic panels has plummeted 75 percent, due largely to a glut of Chinese-made panels. The fall in prices rendered technically advanced photovoltaic panels, like those produced by Solyndra and other U.S. companies, too expensive to compete.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


This concludes my meditation on handicapped devices for the home. It was never meant to be a catalog or even a realistic sampling. After all, this is a blog about energy and the environment. That said, this is a blog that envisions humans being good to the planet and using nonpolluting energy sources not as living in a cave huddle around a fire. It is actually about improving the efficiency and quality of life for everyone including the handicapped. Today’s post is one from my deep past. My grandmother was in a wheelchair for 30 years. Her legs were paralyzed from the waist down. We had a Hoyer lift in our home for that whole time. So this is for you Treva where ever you are.


Hoyer’s Heavy-Duty Power Lift features a power operated base with a clearance of 4.5″. The 6-point cradle design maximizes patient comfort, and the long padded handles offer a plethora of grip choices. This lift also features an extended reach for floor pick-up capabilities. Emergency stop and power manual lowering for added safety. Optional upgrade model features a scale for convenient weighing.


  • Power operated base
  • 6-Point cradle design for maximum patient comfort
  • Long, padded handles offer a plethora of grip choices
  • Extended reach for floor pick-up
  • Emergency stop for added safety
  • Power manual lowering
  • 700 lbs. Weight capacity


  • One Hoyer Heavy-Duty Power Lift with Optional Scale
  • Free Shipping
  • Limited 1 Year Warranty


Go there and read. More next week.


I have been talking about a workshop regarding being handicapped and the last disability that I tried out was an arm amputation. They used a fancy belt to tie down one of my arms. They chose my dominate hand to immobilize so I would get a stronger effect. I have to admit that it made things pretty difficult. Opening doors was ok, but writing was nasty and do not get me started on going to the bathroom. They asked us to commit to picking a handicap and “living it” for a week. I chose to be an amputee and did it for 5 days. It made going to college a big deal.

And on a separate note, there is some confusion about whether these things we have been discussing are aids or aides. Some people including google seem to be confused about which one is right to use so I have been using them interchangeably. I am no word geek so you can figure proper usage out on your own. Thus people get around it by calling it assistance.

Our new, polyurethane foam wedge allows you to relax more comfortably in bed with less back and neck fatigue. You can sit upright or lay back, simply by changing its position, for visiting, reading, writing, watching TV, or other activities. Unlike stacked, lumpy pillows, this lightweight foam wedge maintains its shape and position during use. It features a removable, machine washable, white zippered cover that breathes for comfort, and will not retain heat. Each wedge is 24″ x 24″ wide, in a choice of three different elevations. Use the Available Options drop down menu to choose the wedge that’s right for you.

Available Options: 


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


When I played at being deaf, it was surreal. They challenged us to try to participate in a activity while experiencing one of the handicapped conditions. I was hungry and they did not provide lunch so I went to the student cafeteria and ordered as best I could by speaking, but there were a few things I had to write down. I also smacked into people a couple of times because I could not hear people coming at me. To top it all off it made the room all bright and glarey. Some kind of weird sensory enhancement I guess. Anyway it was pretty cool. This post is not about hearing however, it is about Bathroom Safety Products.

Bathroom Safety Products & Hygiene Aids for Homecare

As life progresses, you adjust. Through these changes, bathroom safety products and hygiene aids can help you hold on to your sense of independence and dignity – whether recovering from surgery, an injury, health condition or simply just advancing in age.

If you or a loved one needs help with bathing, using the toilet, or creating a safer place for both, can provide you with all the bathroom safety products and hygiene aids to make homecare easier.

The experts at have carefully selected the best among thousands of bathroom safety products used in nursing homes and hospitals, so you can now have access to the same, high-quality items best suited for home use, not to mention, peace of mind.

Bathtub & Shower Safety
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for anyone, let alone someone with a disability or limited strength and balance. Make you or your loved one’s bathroom safer with our selection of bath grab bars, safety rails, shower seats and more bathroom safety products.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


I promised that I would talk about the Child’s Playhouse today and I will but I have not talked about my experiences both of the other three disabilities and the week long pledge I took. The playhouse was a put together model of 2 huge rooms, built on a scale as if human adults were children. Each of the two rooms illustrated many of the challenges children face like tables, counter tops, drawers, and cabinets (the organizers quickly pointed out that they were not saying children WERE handicapped much like pregnancy can be described as a disease but it is really not), and the second room had furniture, peoples legs and a partial staircase. It was so cool because to get to stuff, especially if you couldn’t talk you had to climb on things. The stairs were a huge challenge and kinda scary as was walking around peoples legs.  It was big fun. Here is another thing that helps the disabled and I got to tell you from trying to open the door to the playhouse – it was real hard.


Model 2300 Residential Door Opener


To assist disabled individuals toward independence, or for anyone who finds a closed door a problem… Power Access 2300 residential door opener makes access by opening the door and egress by closing the door easier.

Installation Ease

  • No modification of the door or jambs
  • Plugs right into a regular 115vac wall outlet
  • Complete instructions are packed with every door opener
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Fits in most interior and some exterior door applications
  • Left and right hand door openers are available (hand can be changed in the field in a matter of minutes)
  • Low profile model, for limited room above the door
  • Door opener opens and closes the door

An Array of Companion Controls (wired or wireless)


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


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