Archive for » April, 2009 «

Friday, April 24th, 2009 | Author:

Typically when we size a renewable energy system, because of the higher cost of larger wire, we usually will allow and account for a 2% line drop loss. Although, we don’t really follow this rule when it comes to battery cables. Oversize your battery cable and shoot for a 0% loss. American Wire Gauge (AWG) #4/0 is the minimum wire size we suggest for typical battery banks, but 500 MCM sounds good too. All right I’m kidding, 500 MCM is far too difficult to work with. We generally use X-Flex #4/0 cable, similar to welding cable with its fine strands and flexibility. Flexible cable is a lot more cooperative and can make your short battery-to-battery connections and longer runs much easier to deal with. You’ll find that Trace inverters don’t give us much room to work with so flexible leads are pretty important although Outback Power Systems has done a super job of making this much less of an issue with their well designed system components. The point is, in low voltage systems we need all the current carrying capacity we can get. We don’t want our cable size to strangle our batteries and we don’t want any high resistance connections interfering with our flow. A big pipeline will reduce resistance and give us a greater load surge capacity.

Category: Renewable Energy  | Tags:  | Comments off
Friday, April 17th, 2009 | Author:

New Yorkers can choose their supplier of electricity and natural gas and are no longer forced to buy their energy from their utility. Known as Energy Service Companies (ESCO), these energy suppliers increase competition and therefore increase efficiency and innovation which will decrease costs and increase value for each dollar consumers spend on energy.

Customer education is crucial for the success of this competitive energy market. Below are some of the ESCOs which you can choose from in New York State.
For a more complete list you can visit the Public Service Commission at

IDT Energy

U.S. Energy Partners, LLC (electric)


Agway Energy Services,Inc.

NYSEG Solutions, Inc.

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Author:

It’s almost common knowledge that the more batteries you have in parallel, the more difficult it is to evenly charge them. This is why we prefer the buss bar method of connecting batteries instead of the ol’ series-parallel method. Using buss bars distributes what I like to call, charge/discharge impact over more batteries so that they all are treated as equally and fairly as possible. Charge/discharge impact is the extra use and abuse of the batteries that the leads connect to for inputting and outputting power. The thing to understand here is that the batteries connected to the leads do most of the work, they cycle deeper and more frequently, while the interior batteries just replace what was consumed from the battery ahead of it. See the diagram below for a demonstration of this idea.

Category: Con Edison, Electricity, Uncategorized  | Tags:  | Comments off