This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

trumford.helios@verizon.net

About Tim Rumford

Tim Rumford is a Professional Engineer (PE) and NABCEP certified solar installer. In 2009, Tim started Helios Solar Systems, LLC, the parent company of My DIY Solar House. He has many solar installations, both residential and commercial to his credit, and is happy to share what he has learned with others interested in solar for their home.

Solar in the Third World

I just came back from a mission trip in Nicaragua where we installed solar lighting on 10 churches in a remote region of that country.  We used the same design I blogged about a few months ago (DIY Solar Lighting Project).  Here is my trip report:

The Coco River (Rio Coco) snakes along the northern border of Nicaragua separating it from Honduras. The region bordering the river is home to dozens of Native American (Miskito) villages, and is one of […]

By |October 23rd, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Solar in the Third World

What is maximum power point tracking (MPPT)?

Simply put, MPPT is a feature built into inverters to find the “sweet spot” in solar array performance.  Basically, solar panels put out current and voltage.  But it’s the product (V x I) that gives what matters; power.   The challenge is that current and voltage vary based on sun, load and temperature.

Under short circuit conditions, current is max (Isc), but voltage is zero, and V x I is zero power.  On the other hand, if the load is open […]

By |July 8th, 2016|Solar 101|Comments Off on What is maximum power point tracking (MPPT)?

Tips When Adding Circuit Breaker for Solar

By |March 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Tips When Adding Circuit Breaker for Solar

Measure your roof area from the ground

You do not need to climb up on your roof to measure your roof area available for solar. With a digital camera and some high school trigonometry, you can do it from the ground – accurately and safely – here’s how.
Method 1: Counting asphalt shingles to measure your roof area from the ground.
Most asphalt shingles are three feet wide with three tabs. Each tab is got 5 inches of reveal. So by counting these in digital photos you can […]

By |February 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Measure your roof area from the ground

Passive Solar Basics

Passive Solar is an architectural design technique that uses direct sunlight for heating. By wisely orienting your home and proper use of window design and building materials you can drastically cut, or even eliminate, your heating bills. In this post I will re-introduce you to this ‘lost art’ of building design.

Passive solar design was used by the Greeks thousands of years ago, long before the invention of modern heating. It is somewhat of a lost art in the modern […]

By |February 1st, 2016|Passive Solar, Solar 101|Comments Off on Passive Solar Basics

6 Things To Do When Choosing a Solar Installer

Whether you have a friend’s glowing recommendation on a solar installer or you are just starting the search process, when choosing a solar installer, these steps will save you hundreds of dollars.
1. GO DIRECT, not through a 3rd party service.
Often times when you Google “solar installers” you get so-called “Lead Share” services. These are nothing but marketing firms that then sell you as a lead to local solar installations firms (that sometimes lack the marketing budget or sophistication). These […]

By |January 23rd, 2016|Solar 101|Comments Off on 6 Things To Do When Choosing a Solar Installer

Add batteries to grid-tie solar PV system

This question comes up often, “I have solar installed, but now I want to add batteries to grid-tie solar PV system – can I?” Yes you can. In this post I will tell you how.
Basic Grid-Tie
First a little back ground. The vast majority, like 95%, of residential solar is grid-tie to offset, not replace, utility (grid) power. These systems are designed to only operate while the grid is operating. During a black out, they provide no power.

You need a […]

By |January 3rd, 2016|Batteries, Solar 101, Solar System Design|2 Comments

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solar Lighting Project

In our modern world we take for granted lighting after the sun goes down. Nearly one quarter of all the world’s population live without electricity so when the sun goes down – there is no light. In this post I will show how this problem can be solved with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solar Lighting Project. I designed this system for lighting common areas of remote off-grid villages in impoverished countries. But you can use this system to light your […]

By |December 14th, 2015|Batteries, Solar 101|3 Comments

Connecting Solar Gen with a Transfer Switch

By |November 25th, 2015|Solar 101, Solar System Design|Comments Off on Connecting Solar Gen with a Transfer Switch

Types of Solar Power Defined

There is a good amount of confusion out there on some of the basic solar terminology and on the types of solar power available.  We’ll get into that in this post and then focus on some other Solar basics in subsequent posts.
Types of Solar Power
In this post we’re going to define and explore the three types of solar power: solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, and passive solar.
Solar Photovoltaics
Photovoltaics is a technology that uses a unique property of certain materials that […]

By |August 3rd, 2015|Solar 101|Comments Off on Types of Solar Power Defined