Solar Power for Emergencies and Disasters.

Jeorge Newberry, a.k.a Solar George drove straight down to the Fla. Keys from Jacksonville as fast as he could when he knew Irma was due to hit in just 48 hrs. “I found a solid cement building at Summerland,” Key Airport, 30 min. from Key West “that belonged to my pilot friend who had evacuated, and stayed there through the storm. When the eye arrived, I went out into the calm, walked a hundred yards onto the center of the runway in front of me, it was submerged under two feet of water, and took pictures before, as the other side of the eye wall moved in. I had to retreat to my shelter.”

He said, “John, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. An army of first responders arrived at the airport so fast immediately after it hit including huge BLACK HAWK army helicopters, a caravan of cargo planes, and the airport is so full of supplies, and volunteers.  I’ve been setting everyone up with solar panels, batteries, cell phone chargers, etc. My house was damaged, but nothing like so many others. At my house, I have two refrigerators, a freezer, fans, lights, and a cell phone charger all running on six Evergreen modules.” Jeorge also has a house and hanger at the airport as well as a ton of PV supplies, as he uses the hanger as his warehouse. “I’m so pumped up after being in that hurricane, and now I’m helping everyone out with all those old small little  GE modules, (4″ x 6”)

“I’m so pumped up after being in that hurricane, and now I’m helping everyone out with all those old small little GE modules, (4″ x 6″) 12 volt modules you sold me. They work perfectly.” They installed a satellite dish at the airport so he and everyone around the airport and all the first responders had internet. The little high-quality GE modules were just what they needed. He had and STILL HAS  tons of inventory of all this equipment right in his hanger at Summerland airport where he was one of the only “riders in the storm”.

Doors: one of their greatest songs:

Solar George deserves to use it as his own theme song, at least for a few years. He deserves it as much as anybody ever did, I think.

AND, he’s still there! I just hung up with him. He let me listen as another converted cargo caravan took off (and waved to Jeorge) as he did, out the window of the plane.

“A big electrical firm with 40 trucks is fixing the electric lines, that travels around the country just repairing elec systems after disasters like Irma. It snapped the old concrete poles in half!” Jeorge told me.

The whole conversation he was all hyped up saying stuff like, “It was so great I’d give anything to be in another one, it was such an incredible experience”. I’m not afraid to tell you that because he was very concerned about his friends and neighbors, he’s a great guy, his new name should be “Fearless Jeorge”.

I could tell you many crazy stories about Jeorge, how his family is so successful and famous in Argentina (great uncle was the first person to fly over the Andes and started their Air Force), all about his flying trips with me as his co-pilot around Yucatán and the Everglades, and he’s famous in the Keys where he has helped thousands of people in the keys to solarize their off-grid island homes for 40 years (he’s installed nearly 100 homes by himself). He’s been in the solar business longer than me, has built his own home, has several PV cars and is an electrical/mechanical genius, although he has blown himself up at least once, building a jet engine powered beer keg cooler. Best party guy and all around funny guy I ever knew too.

So if you know anyone in the Keys, where it’s a total disaster (they are opening the road to residents for the first time tomorrow), have them contact Jeorge. He’s willing to help and he said I can put this number out for those people who need to call him.

Here it is:

(305) 923-4777

Send in your own stories or ideas on how solar power can help save the day in natural disasters!

Spread the word.
There are five types of light: firelight, electric light, sun light and divine light.

Email from Dean

Hi John,

Here’s a photo you might be interested to see. This was in St. Thomas. The panel in the lower right corner seems to have had every grain of fractured glass blown away, but most look like they might still work.


After Hurricane Ivan, we were without mains power for 5 weeks. We didn’t have any solar at the time, but we had battery backup and a diesel genset, so we had most of the comforts of home and the way we had it arranged we only used 43 gallons of diesel. After a ‘cane, comforts are important. Even though we came through it well, we felt a little dazed. Others we came across didn’t fare so well and looked shell-shocked.

I think it is Tide that offers one bit of comfort in disaster areas. They bring in a big trailer loaded with water tanks, generators, washers and dryers. Anybody can come and get their clothes clean. (We borrowed back a hand-cranked antique washer that we had loaned to a museum for my Mom to use). What a great service!

How could solar be useful to provide community relief? I look at what I could do in my neighborhood with my solar boat, Sun King. It makes plenty of power with the solar panels. It has a water filtration system, so any water from pond, puddle or pool becomes fresh and clean. It has a microwave, a fridge, and a coffeemaker. If nothing else, neighbors could have a cup of coffee, nuke a Pop Tart and keep insulin or other meds in the fridge. That would be a tremendous morale booster.

What about on a bigger scale? Pensacola’s electrician’s union has a solar demo trailer. It could be put to work. A flatbed 18 wheeler trailer with a tall rack of panels comes to mind. Below, water tanks, batteries, inverters, coffeemakers, microwaves, fridge, icemaker, etc. Low grade, high-volume food, like biscuits, tortillas or waffles could be prepared cheaply and quickly. There are all kinds of possibilities that come to mind. It could be put together as a consortium: a solar company, a trucking company, appliance company, FEMA, Red Cross, etc. Keep things humming along in a schoolyard or park. Give folks one tiny bit of normalcy.

Then there is phone service. We had landlines. The SLIC down the road was fine for a couple of days until the batteries ran down. The telco had generators on major installations, but there are just so many gensets and we were orphaned. Seems like there is room for some solar cooperation, there. Most of the cell towers didn’t blow down, but their batteries went down, too. Those with generators had a limited supply of diesel.

Railroads, too. CSX chained generators to crossing gates to keep up the batteries in the crossing signals, at least at major intersections. Maybe they should go solar?

This might be a good time for some of your installer-customers to get some new business.

Just some thoughts. I hope your warehouses and your staff come out of this OK.

Neal

We bend over backwards to resolve problems.

I just resolved a problem you would not believe with Sun Power modules that did not work, and it was literally at the end of the Amazon River. We had to refund and replace 120 modules plus air freight costs from the USA, river freight from Manaus up the Amazon to Peru, reshipping everything by air to Iquitos Peru, then river again to the site. That cost me $40,000 dollars. Sun Power did nothing! The panels caught fire to the building, a cancer treatment center!

Now to see little problems that grow into huge problems because people don’t call me at the first sign of a problem just kills me. I plaster my phone number everywhere and ask people to contact me directly if they need help. Instead of just calling me, whose job it is to solve problems (well at least one important part of it),  and then so much delay and anger are well… bizarre. On both sides, not just the customer’s side.

PLEASE ALWAYS CALL ME IMMEDIATELY, AND I WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO RESOLVE ANY PROBLEMS YOU MAY HAVE.
John

I’m the owner, I can do anything. Don’t freak out, just call. I can solve any problem. I’m great at resolving problems. Try me. After 45 years I’ve learned how, right?! Try me.

305-322-1086

Why and How do most solar companies try to keep you from comparing solar panel prices? The normal way the PV industry compares costs of solar panels is by comparing the price per watt.

How and Why they don’t want you to know that:

1. Panel sellers don’t give you the price up front. They tell you everything else, except the price.

2. They try to get you to make a decision to buy panels based on fluff rather than shopping around for the best price. Did you know that contractors often charge you more for the installation than for the entire PV system?!

3. They don’t point out that all solar panels are much more similar than different.

A. Essentially, they all, every single one, last a remarkable 30 to 40 years and even longer!

B. They are all made of the exact same components: 36, 60 or 72 crystalline silicon solar cells, one sheet of tempered glass, two sheets of ethel vinyl acetate plastic laminating film, a Tedlar white back skin, an anodized aluminum frame, an electrical junction box, and two MC 4 cable connectors. They are all structurally the same!

C.  They act like the price per watt isn’t an important consideration when buying your electrical power. They try diverting your attention, just like a magician does, somewhere else, to other substantially less important subjects. It’s as if your cost per kilowatt hour rate on your utility companies electric bill isn’t important! They don’t want to make it easy for you to compare their panels with anyone else’s. Otherwise, you’ll just Google “lowest price per watt solar panels”. Go ahead try it.

D. If you could line up all the solar panels made and you had a race like the hundred yard dash, they’d all come in within a few feet of each other. But the one who won by an inch would be advertising how they were so much better than the rest.

E. The efficiency of today’s solar panels ranges from 14% to 21%. However, the 21% efficient module is a $1.50 to $2/watt and the 14% one is $.35/ watt. And to even get the 21% ones you have to either be an installer or use the installer the manufacturer selects and buy all the rest of the system from them.  You pay substantially more per watt for the highest efficiency module. Maybe 3 to 4 times as much! And that’s not the last of your issues.

F. Efficiency is only important if you have limited space like a boat, RV, space satellites, etc. or your putting in a huge number of modules like a solar farm.

G. If the American general public would learn they must get the cost per watt of solar panels, and even inverters and systems, to be able to make an educated decision when going solar they could lower the cost of going solar by half, I believe. They need to do exactly what the solar companies do when they go to buy their panels, the first thing they do is look at the cost per watt SO THEY CAN COMPARE AND SHOP AROUND!

OMG this blog is way too long! I’ve got to learn to shorten these blogs.

Anyway, I hope I didn’t confuse you and saved you a lot of money. Trust me I’ve seen all the other web sites and you know when a company doesn’t give you the cost per watt of their solar panels, there’s a reason; they’re gouging you.

The worst offenders are the companies that do installations and don’t even bother to give you a price for the parts and then a price for the labor. How can Americans act so dumb?!  They wouldn’t let the auto mechanic get away with that.

Thanks for considering what we’re saying here.

We always give you the price per watt, location, delivery time, shipping cost, inventory, what’s in stock or an honest ETA. And we dont play games or perform magic tricks to get you to go solar.

I’ve seen and read the 3-ring training binders the biggest PV companies use to train their salesmen. They are deceitful and misleading like you would not believe. I’d never let one of those guys into my house. I feel bad saying that, but I had a guy walk into my office and hand that manual to me, to make copies. I still have it. He was demoralized and he was scared to do it. He was really scared the company would find out. That was about five years ago; I doubt it’s all better now.

Thank you for reading my blog, and yeah, I know, it’s way too long. I apologize and I’ll  try not to do it again.

JK

Sun Electronics, Employment Opportunities – Sales Engineer

We’re looking for a PV Sales Engineer to work in our Miami Lakes office.

Send resume to: [email protected]

Would like someone who is:

1. Honest

2. Easy to work with

3. Religious

4. Has a family

5. Oh yeah, is married

6. Has no criminal record

7. Is legal

8. Is flexible like me, John

9. Will show up on time

10. Will not leave early

11. Understands English

12. Speaks Spanish, Creole, or Mandarin

13. Is passionate about protecting the environment, solar, renewable energy, and people

14. Is smart, witty, funny, entertaining and just an all-around good guy.

15. Likes the water, body surfing, skin diving, traveling

16. Likes sports.

17. Likes gems and minerals.

18. Has a boat.

19. Has a car.

20. Is an artist.

21. Can cook.

22. Will iron and clean windows.

23. Can fix cars, do plumbing, electrical, carpentry, build furniture, fix air conditioners, run a small store, and drive an 18 wheeler and a plane.

24. Has a plane.

25. Will do what I ask him the first time and do it perfectly every time.

26. Is forgiving.

27. Doesn’t act like a brat when he doesn’t get his way.

28. Has a good looking cousin who is female.

29. Knows all the best restaurants including a decent Mexican restaurant.

30. Owns a PV manufacturing plant.

31. Doesn’t drink, use drugs or know anybody who does.

32. Doesn’t like rap music or when it be rappin about ghetto shit.

33. Never gets angry, depressed, boring, does anything stupid and is always great to be around.

Pay based on experience.

Call John

305-322-1086

The worst thing that could happen to solar might be the International Trade Commission, ITC.

The last thing we need is for the government, the ITC, to muck up the research and development of one of the most important, new, clean, unlimited, energy sources ever discovered, PHOTOVOLTAICS! Either help or get out of the way! But don’t screw it up! (And you know they will.) Better get ready for the worst. They did it before in 2012 and threw millions of people out of work in the USA, EUROPE, AND CHINA!

Is there any reason we just don’t let the Chinese manufacture the world’s PV modules? Everyone else losses money doing it and they all go broke! Because it’s still so expensive to make them. The government of China is willing to disidiré it’s factories with their cheap labor and so they should be allowed to continue. When it becomes cost-effective, we can make them too. We can just COPY the patented processes they use (sound familiar) and build our own stinking pints when it’s right for us! In the meantime, let’s get to work America and install their much cheaper modules. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Thank you,

John

Note: Oh my God, I sure hope I’m right about this because if I’m not, I’m gonna go down in flames.🔥 So far I’m surviving, and in this business, most companies go broke. Oh well, low cost is where it’s at if you ask me. Seems like everyone else is trying to either hide the cost or ignore it. Even saying we’ve reached the price of utility power with solar energy already. I call bullshit on that, pull the tax payer’s and rate payer’s $ out from paying the bills of systems being sold and everyone will be fleeing the sinking SS PV Industry ship like rats.  Oooh, 😲 I’m getting hyper again, better just say, “I hope solar works out for the world and I’d like to see that happen before I die.” So I can pat myself on the back and say “I told you soooo.” But who really knows, “Ya know what I mean, ya know what I mean, Sonny P.” So I’ll just say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out and I’ll let you know.”

Later,

JK

Wow, I finished early tonight; it’s only 1:10am!

What is the difference between a Solar Panel Broker and Sunelec?

Basically speaking:

The majority of them don’t stock any products or have a warehouse.They have no shipping facility or packing and shipping experience.

They have no shipping facility or packing and shipping experience.

They don’t have a large comprehensive sales, design, shipping, and warehousing team. Some are just one or two people working at home.

Most don’t know how to engineer, design or size PV systems.

They don’t have much knowledge about B.O.S, mounting systems, inverters, etc, etc.

They don’t employ NABCEP certified Engineers.

They don’t do installations.

They haven’t been in the PV industry 45 years, since 1973.

They only have one office location.

They don’t have 13 warehouses to save tons of time and money for Domestic and International Shipping for their customers (which by the way, is totally out of control. Shipping rates have skyrocketed because of, get this? .. shipping brokers! They’re adding 25% to shipping costs and they do absolutely nothing to help anybody but themselves!)

They don’t offer much else, other than solar panels. They don’t carry extensive inventories of inverters, mounting racks, batteries, charge controllers, solar water heaters, water pumps, cable, wire, hardware, 12 volt appliances, refrigerators, lighting, Honda and Diesel generators, etc., etc. And they aren’t authorized distributors for the majority of major PV products, nor do they know much about any of them.

I don’t have anything against PV brokers; many are friends of mine. (Can’t say so much for shipping brokers, except for my friends Bruce and Gyro.) However, we will always tell people who, what, why, when where and how we do all the good stuff we do, as everyone in business should. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

May the best solar team win. Let the competition continue. Break a leg, make it happen now! Feel the power, see the light, like crystal clear, cool, clean water drenching your body, ever lasting, life, your SUNPOWER OUR SUN ☀️ EVERYONE’S SUN FEELIN’ GOOD, FEELIN’ HAPPY TONIGHT!

THE WORLD is full of sunlight!

TK U

JK