Washington DC is known for being in the political epicenter of the world, but is not generally known for natural disasters. But with a week of earthquakes shaking our foundation and the impending hurricane that is expected to come ashore just about 150 miles away in Ocean City, Maryland, we are thinking about natural disasters and some solar energy products that may help you weather the storm. Let’s go over just a few of the solar power products that SolarTown offers that will help you in an emergency. But there are a number of other solar energy products that will help you through the storm. You may not have electricity from your power sockets, but you definitely should have a solar flashlight or a solar radio. If all of the gas is shut off, your gas oven is not going to work. You can take out your solar oven and cook up a chicken for your family—so long as there is some sun. Right, if there is a hurricane outside, you are not going to be able to use the solar oven, but after the storm passes, the sun may come out, and then take out your solar oven.
Archive for August, 2011
If you are looking for activities to do with your kids—when they are home because of the snow, or earthquakes, or just for a weekend activity, then you may want to check out our new sister site meant just for kids, parents and teachers. SolarTownKids is meant for kids who want to teach their parents a thing or two about solar energy. SolarTownKids introduces the basics of solar energy for kids and explains why and how we should use solar power. Many schools throughout the country are putting solar panels on their roofs, and these solar arrays are great learning tools for kids to understand the power of solar energy. As our kids are getting back to school, we encourage you to visit this special site for solar kids.
The loud sucking noise you hear is the sound of solar manufacturing going overseas. If it were not clear before this month, it is now abundantly evident that manufacturing of solar panels that you may want to put on your home in the United States are not going to come from the US anymore. The trend of manufacturing of solar panels in China is only accelerating as the news in the past few weeks has shown. The evidence is plastered on every news release—we surrender and are leaving town fast. BP Solar hammered shut its operations in Maryland. Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy. And now Solon is closing its US plant. Solar panels are not like nails or screws, but more akin to refrigerators or dish washers—consumers pay more for quality and features. We still hold that view and will advise our customers to shop wisely and look at various criteria to rate solar modules, and of course one of those is cost, but that should not be the end all. The market, as shown by the flight of solar manufacturing, is going elsewhere. Thinning margins means a commodity market and the Chinese are willing to tough it out in the long to capture the lion’s share of the business. The future for manufacturing of solar panels in the United States is bleak.
Starting this week, SolarTown will offer a discount solar panel of the week. Every week on Monday, we will post a solar panel that offers great savings. This year, our distributors and vendors have been offering huge savings on solar modules as prices have continued to fall. And they offer to SolarTown discounts, which we are able to pass on to our customers. Some of our customers are most interested in the least expensive solar module that they can purchase. For those installers and contractors who are ready to purchase immediately, the discount solar module of the week will allow them to take advantage of deep discounts that are available while supplies last.
The cookies were baking in our solar oven, the music was blaring on our solar radio, and our solar car mascot, “the Turtle,” was laboring down the sidewalk. All was good for SolarTown’s open house, which we celebrated yesterday here in our new home in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. We may not have had throngs, but we had a good turnout of friends and neighbors who came to show their support for SolarTown and to share their latest solar war story. The weather was perfect to hold the open house on our patio, but since we held it late in the afternoon we were not sure whether we would be able to “fire up the grill.” In this case, the “fire” had to come from the sun as the solar oven does not store the sun’s rays. It was late in the afternoon, and the first challenge was the large cumulus clouds looming over us. With the sun oven, it is pretty clear, if the sun doesn’t get through, the oven won’t heat up.
SolarTown is pleased to be the host of the premier solar forum Solar Panel Talk. Hosting this solar forum is another way that we can help our customers get the information that they need to get the proper solar panels and other solar energy products that they need. If you have a question about setting buying a solar panel system for your home, or about setting up the system, or what you need to order, then you should join the solar forum and post your question. Likewise, If you enjoy sharing your experiences with other homeowners or installers, then you should visit SolarPanelTalk.com and answer questions from the many other homeowners who need guidance about their home solar panels.
SolarTown has moved to its new offices in Washington, D.C. and we will be celebrating with an open house on August 10, 2011. We are very pleased that SolarTown is now part of historic Columbia Heights community. This gentrifying area is a testament to urban renewal. If you lived in Washington, D.C. ten years ago, Columbia Heights is not one of the areas that would spring to mind if you wanted to go shopping. Many would not even hazard to walk in Columbia Heights. That has now all changed for the better. We hope that you will be able to join us for our open house. Weather permitting, we may be baking some cookies in our solar oven and open our doors to those who want to see our new abode.