Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's A Negative When The Sun Shines :)

When the sun shines, we go negative :)
We are happily and profitably exploiting a natural resource. 
You can live and drive powered by sunshine, conservatively and forever
Thanks BMW for an awesome car that can drive on sunshine.

" An awesome car that can drive on sunshine "...stop and think about that for a second.
The world is changing for the better.

Spouse of an ActiveE Driver.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Harvesting The Power of the Sun

Our home, Herons' House,  seeks to partner with nature and use the resources provided by nature. One of the greatest gifts of nature is sunshine. We use this gift both passively for heating and actively to generate electricity. As a solar energy generator, it's great to see technology advance to the point where we can power our home and automobiles with sunshine.

SDG&E now allows you to view your energy use online with the My Energy tab. It's a great tool to see how much electricity you use and when you are using the electricity.

For our home (not small) and our electric BMW ActiveE (18,000 miles a year) we are averaging below zero for the entire summer, -11kwhs per day.  

The above chart shows different times of the day and different energy rates.  The yellow line is the average.

The on peak rate (dark blue) is $0.30 per KWH. The off peak rate is $0.18 per KWH, the super off peak rate is $0.14 per KWH. So every KWH of peak generation when we are sending extra energy to the grid, is equal to 2KWH of usage during off peak or super off peak which is when we charge the BMW ActiveE.  It's essentially a 2 for 1 sale. In a gasoline world that would be like buying gas at $4.00 a gallon during the day and then $2.00 a gallon after 6pm and before 6am. When would you buy your gas?

Our last years annual utility bill called a "True Up" was $35.  That's less than $3 a month to live in a 4500 sq ft home and drive a BMW ActiveE 18,000 miles a year. We are still trying to work off a $232 credit from the prior year. It may take us a few years :)

For the rest of our lives we will essentially live and drive on the free power of the sun.

Here is a very nice letter from SDG&E. How will we use those extra KWH's? Hey, we could get two BMW electric cars! :)  Perhaps a BMW i3 and a BMW i8.

System size 7.5 KW --- Generation 11,750 KWH per year --- Home and Car usage 11,250 KWH per year --- System install 5.5 years ago --- Cost $32,000 --- Savings to date $35,000

The power of the sun is unbelievable and endless. The future is here.        

Spouse of an ActiveE driver, 7,700 miles
47,000 total miles powered by sunshine.

Gasoline Cars Are Dangerous!

One dead in Grantville freeway crash, fire
"The crash occurred near Waring Road about 8:35 p.m. The black pickup apparently hit a pole at the center divider, spun so the back end was sticking into the traffic lane, then burst into flames."

Gas cars are not dangerous and they do not explode and kill people.

It's all a big lie perpetuated by the electric car people.

Just saying.....a little perspective.

This happens tens of thousands of times a year all over the country in gasoline cars.

Condolences to the family.

Monday, June 4, 2012

An Amazing Story of High School Solar Car Racers

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task
 Haim G. Ginott

Boy has auto shop changed since I was in high school, it's now science class!

Meet Tom Stueve.  Tom is a friend and high school teacher in Bend Oregon. Tom Stueve, is a man with EV in his name and in his soul,  Tom is teaching, guiding and nourishing a team of young electric scientific minds in central Oregon as they create their second solar powered car, a carbon fiber solar electric racer Helio Centric II.   

Tom as most teachers are,  is always short of resources,  but what he does have is an undeniable spirit and drive the help kids learn, to stretch their imagination, creativity and scientific knowledge.  To succeed with a scarcity of resources, he is forming partnerships and cobbling together a very impressive solar race car effort with the help of  Oregon State University and corporate sponsors such as aircraft manufacture Lancair as well as from individual contributers.

I first came into contact with Tom when my sister Hanne, became the Principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Bend Oregon. The school consists of a preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school.   It should be no small surprise that this high school is on the leading edge of electric car and solar car development given the EV-PV passion of our family,  but the truth is that Tom has had this project well underway before our family became part of the picture.  The Helio Centric II team also includes other high school students from Central Oregon.

Those of us fortunate to be in the BMW Mini-E and ActiveE program are waiting to take delivery of the BMW i3, the result of all our trials, which will be constructed primarily from carbon fiber.    Tom’s students are making their very own carbon fiber car.   Many of us are powering our ActiveE's  from solar power from our roof tops. Tom’s students are making and laminating their own solar modules to be affixed to their racer.

These high school kids will be entering their Helio Centric II solar powered car in The Solar Car Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway  July 12th through the 19th.   The car is a remarkable accomplishment from a high school team and its carbon fiber construction perhaps unique among high school teams from across the nation.  

Here are ways you can help.

Make a small donation on kick starter to help them fund a documentary film of their project

Contact Tom and like their page,The HelioCentric II facebook page at

Thanks Tom and Trinity Lutheran School for teaching our children and preparing them for a very exciting electric future! We are indeed in good hands.

They could use a little help, so any corporate contacts or contributions are most welcome.
Almost make me want to go back to high school auto shop.   Almost...

Spouse of a BMW ActiveE Driver
51,000 Solar Powered EV miles.