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FM goes solar
According to the real estate agents, our area gets about 400 days of sunshine a year. We're not sure it's quite that high, but there's no question that there's a lot of sunlight here. So when we moved into our current building, we installed solar panels on the roof.
We have 54 Evergreen panels, feeding three Fronius inverters to give us three-phase power. The panels can put out as much as 10 kW of power. The whole system was installed by Simplicity Solar.
We don't run batteries, but are connected to the electrical grid. When we're using more power than we generate (which is the case much of the time we're open for business), we sip from the electric hose. But when we're over-producing, our excess power is fed back into the grid to recharge electric cars.
But we're not just solar. We cool most of the shop with efficient evaporative coolers, which take advantage of our low-humidity environment. In the winter, infrared heat makes sure the people are warm without heating up our big air space.
It's trendy these days to be "green". But really, we like where we live and we want to help keep it that way.