Solar and tennis

Solar and tennis, what have they got to do with each other? Well, pretty well nothing. This post is about me taking a break from solar work to enjoy some wonderful tennis from Wimbledon. 

The post is about a particular peeve of mine, where the announcers of one match, can’t seem to shut up about the status of another match taking place at the same time in some court only they can see. I really don;t appreciate the update you see, because I am recording the other match, and wish to be surprised and delighted by the action as if it were being watched live. I like that. That is why I pay so much to be able to record so many channels at once.

McEnroe, can’t you please just keep it to yourself? Oh, and don’t be so hard on Raonic.  The man loves Roger Federer, was probably having the best match of his life, just being on center court with him doing his best and doing pretty good against that master. Why hang him out to dry on his deficiencies, if that is all you can say of him. Me, I think it was just fantastic to see him do so well. And he kept his composure. And he didn’t withdraw on a medical (perceived or otherwise) issue. Just a great match.

Wish I could be so thrilled with the Berdych match against Djokovic, but John McEnroe has taken that from me. Actually I think that comment should be directed at TSN, who bring me the matches on Telus cable. I am sure it is not easy to cover this complicated tournament, but I wish it were easier (somehow?) to plan to the recordings, and then to instruct their announcers to stick to their own matches, and not give away all the excitement of the other matches on the other channels.

Have a great summer you solar tennis lovers.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hang in there Mother Earth

So this weeks solar observation, is “Can mother earth survive Trump”? The American native nation were doing their level headed best to stop a pipe line from running through their watershed, and they actually had the Obama administrations approval to void the permits for that construction, but within four days of his Presidency, Trump over turned that ruling, and gave the thumbs up to the Army Corp of Engineers to carry on. This was probably just after giving the thumbs up for the XL pipeline and dismantling the EPA. Trump does not like Mother Earth – she gets in the way of him and his cronies making billions more dollars. Sorry about that kids, you’re on your own to try and survive in whatever world he has left you. If mother earth was hanging on a cross by nails in her hands and feet, Trump would laugh and have them launch 59 tomahawk cruise missiles at her. Take that you dirty old mother earth!



Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Where is my Federal support for renewable energies?

My friend Justin Trudeau, who promised me he would drive Canada back towards the global goal of reducing greenhouse gas has been stalling. Now I know he visited Paris, got us on board the pact to begin ACTING to reduce green house gasses …and then, nothing. He got some flack from the Provinces when he went to talk about it – but that was expected. Canadians are no more interested in losing their comfortable lifestyles then any other HAVE nation, however, I think we would not revolt after the initial directives were laid down. And I know nobody would complain if we all managed somehow to save the world. I am sure peoples children, once they come to realize the dire situation of their future lifestyles, would not complain. So whats it all about? He announces how he supports pipelines and tar sands and LNG projects …why not support renewables with a few million dollars like he just did the Ford Motor plant and the Bombardier corporation, where the lifestyle continues to look so great for the multimillion dollar bonused CEO’s (not the poor ones that got laid off, however, they were charred to be able to meet those budget cuts, which the CEO’s then use to justify their multimillion dollar government subsidized bonuses… but I digress). How come I am still talking about this? We agreed to go along with the world. But Trump says he won’t honor his countries agreement, and will destroy the environment at any cost. And now it looks like since he holds a big economic axe over Canada’s head, Trudeau is going to renege on his promises too. Great country Canada eh? Doing whats right, helping to save the world. No, not really. We’re too greedy – Drill baby drill!


Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Deniers denying denying

As a North American I want the climate science to be wrong. I don’t want to have to change my idyllic lifestyle. Does this sound like something you might be thinking yourself? You are not alone. Even the climate change deniers are getting tired of their own rhetoric and admitting that climate change is real and attributable to human activity. They are now poised to begin denying that they were deniers all along. You are about to see things getting very confusing. Oil companies will soon stop denying and start grabbing for pieces of the alternative energy market. Get ready for some very serious spin. 

Of course, we may have to wait for the Trump denier group to capitulate first. But he seems like a reasonable guy … I am pretty sure he supports solar. I bet he turns things around in no time at all. In fact, I am going to hold my breath WHILE THIS WHOLE MISUNDERSTANDING CORRECTS ITSELF.


Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

New Viessmann panels – overheating a thing of the past.

200-fm The new Viessmann 100 and 200-FM solar thermal collectors have incorporated a “ThermProtect temperature shut-off” feature into the selective surface coating on the copper fin. The special coating changes its molecular crystalline structure as the temperature increases, and causes it to increase the rate of heat emission. This prevents the collector fluid from forming steam and going into a critical shutdown stage, with lengthy periods of stagnation and its detrimental effects downstream. As soon as the collector temperature lowers a little bit, so the changes revert, allowing the collector to gradually begin to absorb heat once again. The benefits are impressive. Extending the life of the glycol (if present) in the heat transfer fluid, and higher efficiency in the panels, and extended life of the remainder of components from extreme high heat conditions. It’s a game changer.

Please visit our products page for brochure download to more fully explain this unique product.



Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Solar update for 2016

I see in the news that Tesla is marketing an integrated solar roof and electric carport combination along with a household battery backup bank. This looks tremendously fashionable and I wish them all the luck in the world getting it to market. Their success will be my success. So far I have not seen a large enough interest from the public for solar PV to warrant getting into this product in my business, however I think that this will change and I hope Tesla’s product will be the one to break it open.

Note: Viessmann have a totally new solar panel out on the market now which will revolutionize the solar hot water world. Watch for a renewed product group coming soon to this website.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar roof work – customers shoes

Do no harm.

That is a good first rule of thumb. The roof is in such and such condition, you want to leave it that way. Use a board to protect the gutter from your ladder weight. If you are working on an asphalt roof, which is the most common here in the Lower Mainland, then it is quite easy to install solar thermal, without overly jeopardizing the condition of the roof. Use a base (sealed roof penetration plate), or a flashing. Do not make exposed roof penetrations, ever. Be careful not to strip the lag bolt hole by over tightening. Try to keep your base plates onto a single flat surface – not overlapping adjacent shingle edges. When you turn your body, lift your feet so you are not scraping off valuable roof material coating or gouging the shingle wall.  If the roof is a steep pitch, and the panels are long, considering using a Unistrut top rail for the upper restraint. It will allow you to find and lag into the trusses using a flashed footing, and then give you ability to space your restraint straps to match the panel configuration.

Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Solar works!

Have any of you heard people who say that they would not install solar because it doesn’t work in our climate? I get that one quite a lot and attribute it to peoples predisposition to believe we have too much rain here in BC. There is however a great project which I can point people to look it which is the Okotoks solar project in Alberta. Google it and see for yourselves what a great success was had there by that community.

Solar does work, and even here in sunny BC. Yes, I said sunny BC and it is true. Okotoks averages 3.58 KWh/square meter/day of horizontal solar radiation (RETscreen). Vancouver gets 3.34. Not a big difference eh? Well, anyways, the Okotoks project was a little different animal than the typical individual Solar Domestic Hot Water install but the systems do work well, and there is enough sun to make this worthwhile.

So the next time you hear someone say solar doesn’t work, you can politely reply in that you know of at least one install that is doing great. And know that you are right because the rest of the world is adopting solar on a massive scale and since Vancouver is not so different climate wise than a lot of the other places in the world that are going crazy for solar, then whats holding us back here? Preset notions of failure? Isn’t that silly?

And a shame, on us?

Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Reality TV – solar installs

Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of watching Real Housewives of Buctouche, New Brunswick, we could instead watch something really interesting like “How to install solar hot water systems”. Actually I did give up much of my time on one install for a company called Sustainability TV to film a prestigious install on a Net Zero home in Burnaby. They came on site and kept interrupting our install to do take-overs, but promised that I would get a copy of everything including some stills for my effort. Later, when I got nothing from them, I wrote asking about this and never heard back from them. That’s reality. Companies that promise one thing and don;t deliver later.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more people were interested in watching shows about how they could save the world? But I guess that is not entertaining enough, and not profitable enough to warrant the air time.

Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment

Rising water – can solar help?

I was re-watching an old Vice TV show today, from Season 3 Episode 1, where they were discussing about climate change, retreating glaciers and rising sea levels. I recommend it to anyone that hasn’t taken the time to become informed about what is happening to our world. So, watch the show, tell me later you don’t believe climate change is something to worry about. Or better yet, believe, and act. I still don’t have a viable solar business in a city of 2 million (intelligent but uncaring) souls. Souls that won’t invest in offsetting some of their carbon footprint by using a renewable resource. I honestly thought I need only get into this business and as sure as God made little green apples, people would start to see the light and and be buying this product. Boy, was I wrong. Five years in this business and I am still watching TV shows where there are still deniers at the highest levels of influence. It’s so frustrating.

So, can putting up solar help to bring about a reduction in the rise of the waters around the world? Probably not to a degree where there won’t be a lot of displaced people around the world, we have waited too long to react for that outcome. However, to turn our back and not do anything at this point would certainly condemn any surviving portion of the human race from continuing to live on this planet.

So, is that what you want to do?

Posted in Solar Observations | Leave a comment