...Contact me if you want to book me to lecture at your school, business, housing association, or club!
In the News/Events
April 26, 27, 28 - 2013 SolarFiesta at SFCC -
I'll have Zappy the electric Swift out at SFCC for all the festivities friday thru sunday, AND will be bringing the electric Miata Saturday afternoon for show and tell while I give a little presentation on how to create an LLC for third-party funding of PV for non-profits. If you are interested in rental/Lease/purchase of a DIY EV, this would be a great time to see what I have available and get on list for test drives, etc.
Feb 6th, 2013. Attending the 'Electric Race Car' presentation by Santa Fe High students. I'm on the advisory board for the project, had a little input in the initial scoping/design of the project, and get to go see what they've come up with. The initial race car is designed for an EV version of the soap box derby; lots of rules, and is not a street vehicle. The NEXT phase of the program I will be more involved as they are considering a 'real' car conversion... The event was written up in the Santa fe New Mexican, front page !
Oct 18th, 2012. The Santa Fe New Mexican covered the ribbon cutting of the 'Member Investor' funded PV install I put together as a Consultant at Sand River Co-Housing (formerly Elder Grace). The article outlined the basic concept, which was to put together a small LLC and do a lease-back of the equipment so its a win-win for the community and member investors. They PLAN to do a car share program as well, with several of them to be electric, so I may get in on that too!
Sept 27th, 2012. Couldn't stand the disingenuous articles PNM was putting in the paper any more. I had to whip out a Letter to the Editor in the Santa fe New Mexican pleading for people to contact their PRC representatives to represent US better by stopping PNMs efforts to cut the REC for distributed PV, and attempts to collect capital cost recovery from NM ratepayers for huge (un-needed) power lines for utility-owned systems intending to sell sunshine out of state.
Sept 18th, 2012. 8:30-11am at 'the market' - Eldorado Community group is hosting a Fest for PV, EV, and other green things... I'll bring Zappy, and other local EVs will be there too!
Sept 23th, 2012. 10-5p at 'St. Mikes Village' - Local PV installers, Bike Advocacy groups, local EVers will all be gathering at the 'ReMike' event to share info about sustainable living and transportation. There is a ton of other stuff going onthere all weekend. visit http://remikeable.com/ for more info.
June 24th, 2012 - Attended a little 'SolarFest' at Positive Energy's new office with their new solar powered charging station with the other local EV guys.... Got newspaper coverage in the
Journal North .
June 20th, 2012 - Guest Lectured to the young inventors in the Big Sky Learning summer camp. I am hoping one of them, or a family member, will want to build one of their own!
March 12th, 2012 - Guest Lecture a session for the SFCC class - ALTF 111 – Alt Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies.
Feb 16th, 2012 - Guest Lectured 2 hours for all the 5th and 6th grade classes at Wood-Gormley Elementary. These kids really get the basics, are concerned about the Enviornment, and are ENTHUSIASTIC! We spent about 45 minutes in the Gym talking through basic 'electricity/energy' concepts, and the rest of the time cycling groups of 20 or so kids at once crawling all over the car and explaining everything....
Nov 30th, 2011 - Guest Lecture to group of students and sponsors at Santa Fe High School that are going to be designing and building a vehicle for competition in the high school 'Electrathon' race series. They have some awesome body shop and welding skills at SFHS, some grant money, local sponsors, and just need a kick start understanding options for EV design considerations based on what class they choose to compete in.
Oct 12th, 2011 9:30am-11:30am - Guest Lecture a 2 hour session for the SFCC class - ALTF 111 – Alt Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies.
March 24, 2011 - Guest Lecture 1 hour for a 4th grade class at Wood-Gormley Elementary. A little young, but they get the basics and are ENTHUSIASTIC! Spent a half hour talking through basic 'electricity/energy' concepts, and a solid half hour crawling all over the car and explaining everything to a very interested class....
March 1, 2011 - Guest Lectured a 2 hour class for the SFCC class - ALTF 111 – Alt Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies. Spent about an hour and a half talking through the design considerations, and a solid half hour crawling all over the car and explaining everything to a very interested class of 15 or so people.
Oct. 24,2010 - Show'n'tell for Zappy at the
'Lead your Revolution' fundraiser
while I do their bike ride. This is a great group to build personal motivation and DO SOMETHING to be a little greener...
Oct. 24,2010 - Show'n'tell for Zappy at the 'In Our Own Backyard' 350.org Event at Elder Grace Senior CoHousing Community, 3466 Cerrillos Rd. They are showing some PV, Gardening, Water harvesting, composting, plan to do a community car-share, and more...
Oct. 4th, 2010 - Guest Lectured a 2 hour class for the SFCC class - ALTF 111 – Alt Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies. Spent about an hour and a half talking through the design considerations, and a solid half hour crawling all over the car and explaining everything to a very interested class of 15 or so people.
Oct. 2nd,2010 - Participated in the Santa Fe Solar Home Tour. Showed the PV to EV connection and did show n tell to whomever came on the Tour...
7/13/2009 - Did a little show and tell at a Children's Summer Camp... video footage is really fun!
7/4/2009 - Won 'Best of Class' for Special Interest autos in the Santa Fe Vintage Auto Club car show.
4/25/2009 - Recipient of the 2008 'Sustainable Transportation Project of the Year' award from the city of Santa Fe. There is a nice little article on the City Website.
Charging Ahead with Energy Independance, in The Santa Fe New Mexican
This site will be a growing collection of 'green' project information intended to help the average person make a difference... One household at a time. Topics include:
Call to Action....
send email to your Congressmen to support the PACE program we worked so hard to get in place. In case you don't know, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulators at FHFA are now standing in the way of people who want to take advantage of the PACE loan program to install Solar on their homes... we need to tell Congress this is not ok! There is a group set up with a huge amount of information at PaceNow.org to do just this, and there is a simple letter template that will send email to the right congress-people based on your zipcode. Click [here] to go there now!
Reduce your footprint by biking, walking, and living 'light'
For those of us lucky enough to live in New Mexico... The weather is good enough to bike and walk to work and school almost year 'round. The trick of course is to live close enough to make that practicable, or be willing to combine biking and walking with some other form of mass transit like bus or (if you happen to live handy) the train. For lots more information on Carbon Footprint, and why it is important, visit 350.org, and if you want to figure out what YOUR household footprint is so you can identify areas you can reduce, visit terrapass.com or carbonfootprint.com for easy calculators adding up your impact from house, transportation, and even food choices... buy local goods when you can!
How to convert a car to electric (EV)
driving a typical 20mpg car = about 1#CO2/mile , How many miles per year do you drive?! Can you drive less?
Using 1kWhr Electricity (from PNM) = 1.3#CO2 , Do you even know what your monthly consumption is?
Air travel = .5#CO2/mile per seat, Can you take one less trip per year?
My first conversion, a 1997 Suzuki Swift (Geo Metro) donor car,
became an operational EV on 3/1/2009 with just 138 hours of labor! This site includes some general information you will need to learn more, a collection of good links, and LOTS of details in a photo gallery I built along the way.
The initial conversion cost about $6000 for all the parts, plus a 'Donor' car and batteries. This vehicle uses about $1 of electricity per 50 miles to operate. Zappy was originally built with lead-acid batteries, which lost capacity predictably after about 18 months; has has since been upgraded with $5K worth of LiFePO4 batteries which give me a 50 mile max range, better performance and yield a lower cost per mile over their expected 8-10 year life.
'Zappy' the electric car goes 2 to 3 miles per kWhr 'at the plug'. So would kick out only about .5#CO2/mile if I used PNM generated electricity (40% coal, 20% nuclear baseload generation), but with my PV system, its ZERO !
[click] to see more about how to convert your own!
My second EV is a '94 Mazda Miata that was converted a couple years ago by Henry Herndon in CA. Its a nice build with Warp9 motor, Zilla controller, Manzanita charger, and cleanly done.... but built with AGM Lead batteries (Optima yellow-tops) that had pretty limited range even when new. Henry drove the Lead batteries until pretty much dead, and decided to sell rather than invest in upgrade to Lithium. Looked like a win-win for me to save a fair amount of cost and labor, so I bought it and started a new gallery in this website to detail the 'upgrade' to a 156v Li battery pack which will cost about $8k and have a max range of around 80 VERY fun miles. ;)
Installing photovoltaics in New Mexico
If you have lots of sun.... install PV! It can be hard rounding up the cash to invest, but it pays off moderately well, and feels REALLY good to watch that meter spin backward as you reduce you carbon footprint! In NM, there is a tax credit, and combined with the Federal tax credit, 30% of the the initial expense can be recovered the first year (with a cap of $11k for TY'08). My contract with PNM locked me into getting REC credits for $.13/kWhr, AND your meter spins backward if you are producing more than you use at the current (2011) rate of about $.09/kWhr. What it boils down to is similar to about a 4% yeild on a 'safe' investment like a CD. Click to [see more...]
Water conservation tips
I have a couple simple things I do to conserve or re-use water. I don't go to any big efforts to collect water from my roof because the trees around my house need it! Rather than capture and store it, I have created rock-filled trenches from downspouts and Cannales to act as mini-arroyos directing roof water to trees, and shallow basins around trees to hold the water long enough to soak in.
Another form of water I 'redirect' is the drainwater from my laundry in the summer. My house is on a slab, and retrofitting gray water capture would not be easy; what IS easy is to get a brass fitting and hose clamp from the hardware store that has a hose thread on one end and fits into the drain hose. Then I just run a hose out the door. Soaker hoses do not let the water drain fast enough, but drilling holes in the last 10 or 20 feet of a cheap hose and capping the end works pretty well.
Inexpensive solar window shades
If you have South or East/West windows without overhangs that bake you in the summer.... I have found a very inexpensive way to cut the solar gain by *a lot*. Having the screening on the OUTSIDE stops the heat from ever getting in!
Many windows in NM are relative modern double-glazed aluminum or vinyl clad with a quarter inch gap between window frame and house. The fixed windows are super-easy... you can just cut screening to size, cut vinyl tubing into 1" lengths, and push pieces in around the edges to hold the screening in place. If the window cranks out, ya gotta make a custom window screen frame and screw it on the outside to allow the window to open. Screening and DIY frame materials are available at Home Depot and other hardwre stores.
...more ideas always coming!
Please pardon the 'ugly' website... even though I do design and maintain websites for a living, I literally do not have time to put a lot of time into aesthetic appeal for this site. Perhaps down the road I'll be able to come back and make it pretty, but for now; I hope you find useful information and some degree of inspiration to continue your own effort to 'be green'.
- Dan Baker