Renewable Energy

Published on June 11th, 2008 | by Philip Proefrock


Solar Power and RVs

Recreational Vehicle How does driving an unsustainable fuel hog around contribute to the adoption of solar power? While some purists might point out that RVs are great fuel hogs and a waste of energy, nevertheless, they do offer an educational opportunity to help spread the acceptance and familiarity with solar power.

For many, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are just a step below rocket science, and PV systems are too complex for ordinary people. While there is a fair amount of engineering involved in good PV system design, it does not need to be hugely complicated. More familiarity with the technology will help promote wider acceptance and use of solar PV.

As fuel prices rise, solar panels will become an increasingly attractive alternative to ordinary fossil-fueled portable generators to provide power for appliances and amenities when a connection to line voltage is not available. RV campers typically have a number of electrical demands, including refrigerators, air conditioners, lights, and entertainment electronics. Rather than relying on noisy, fuel consuming generators, campers are using solar panels to provide electricity for their needs.

Portasol solar tracker Some time back, I came across a simple, motorless,automatic solar tracker that could be used to keep a solar panel oriented toward the sun during the course of the day. Keeping the panel aimed directly at the sun allows it to get more power for a longer period of time. This device had been developed by an Australian for use by “caravaners” (RV campers), who were already flocking to the use of solar panels to provide for their electrical needs while camping.

In addition to gaining familiarity with the basic technology of PV, campers will learn to balance the limited power provided by the PV panel with their power needs. A camper with a limited amount of power from a PV panel will learn to be more conservative with their power use so as to maximize the benefit of their solar panel and be able to operate the systems they want to use.

Although many people might be reluctant to install solar panels on their homes, those who have had some prior experience with the use of solar panels will be more willing to take the same plunge for their own homes, even if it is a limited application. As much as cost and availability are limiting factors in the adoption of solar panels, education is another component. With more people becoming more familiar with solar photovoltaics, even if that comes from an unexpected direction, acceptance of solar power will continue to rise.

Links: Eco RVing
Portasol Trackers

Immanuel Lutheran defends national title.(Neighbor)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) November 1, 2011 Byline: Submitted by Thomas Schroeder Perfect weather conditions greeted runners from Immanuel Lutheran School, Palatine, as both the girls and boys cross country teams traveled to Concordia University-Wisconsin in Mequon to defend their 2010 Lutheran Sports Association national titles. web site concordia university wisconsin

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the boys team secured another national title, while the girls finished national runner-up.Eighth-grader Matt Ulrich won the boys race with a time of 11:02.58.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the two Immanuel Lutheran teams captured both Illinois Lutheran Sports Association state championships in Bloomington, Ill., earning them spots at the national meet.

“It was unbelievably exciting to return both of our teams to the national championships this year,” said Ken Heinrich, head coach for both teams. “Seeing our boys repeat as national champions and the girls placing second was thrilling. Our kids will remember this day for the rest of their lives.” With a flat and fast two-mile course along the pristine shores of Lake Michigan, the Immanuel boys’ team scored 23 points in the final team standings, while the Lady Bobcats posted a team score of 50 points.

Participating in the national championships were 217 runners, representing 31 Lutheran schools.

Eight Immanuel Lutheran runners were named First Team All-American.

Boys seventh- and eighth-grade First Team All-American:

Matt Ulrich,first place, 11:02.58; Nate Rathe,third place, 11:31.38; Nate Izewski, fourth place, 11:36.42; Britt Sease, seventh place, 11:49.82.

Girls seventh- and eighth-grade First Team All-American: Nadya Lloyd,second place, 12:04.50; Danya Lloyd, fourth place, 12:25.93; Ann LaValle, eighth place, 12:49.31.

Girls’ sixth-grade and younger First Team All-American: Jane Smith, 26th place, 13:45.38.

The final boys’ team results at national were: Immanuel Lutheran-Palatine (23 points); Peace Lutheran, Sun Prairie, Wis. (90); Mt. Calvary Lutheran, Waukesha, Wis. (127); First Immanuel Lutheran, Cedarburg, Wis. (129); St. John’s Lutheran, Wauwatosa, Wis. (129); Trinity Lutheran, Bloomington, Ill. (140); Trinity Lutheran, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (161); St. Peter Lutheran, Arlington Heights(163); Hales Corners (Wis.) Lutheran (182). in our site concordia university wisconsin

The final girls’ team results at nationals were:Cross Lutheran, Yorkville(35 points); Immanuel Lutheran-Palatine (50); First Immanuel Lutheran, Cedarburg, Wis. (96); Immanuel Lutheran, St. Charles, Mo. (111); Mt. Calvary Lutheran, Waukesha, Wis. (116); Bethel Lutheran, Morton(157); Peace Lutheran, Sun Prairie, Wis. (183); Christ Community Lutheran, Kirkwood, Mo. (185); and Christ Lutheran, Big Bend, Wis. (212).

In addition to Heinrich, the Immanuel Bobcats also are coached by assistants Marcia Mathes and Kim Schneider-Mores.

For information, contact Immanuel Lutheran School at (847) 359-1936, or visit

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