Monday, June 15, 2009
The sound of the sun!
Albuquerque, NM -- The sun sure is intense here. So, dude (or "vato" as they say here), WE'RE GOING SOLAR!!!
That's right, we're running the show on rays. And sunshine never sounded so good!
I can't think of a better place to kick off the new solar-powered show. The indigenous Zia people of New Mexico regard the sun as a sacred symbol. And with good reason. The sun regulates all life on our planet.
The Zia sun symbol is a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, and it's so important to New Mexico, that you'll find it on the state flag.
My buddy Paul Pavlik who used to work with me on the Navajo reservation about 20 years ago designed a portable solar generator that consists of a 3.5 foot/80-watt solar panel and a large tool box housing a 12-volt battery, charge controller, and an inverter. Pretty slick little system, although the box weighs a ton.
In front of an energetic crowd of about 300 at the Lomas-Tramway Library last week, we set up our solar panel and plugged 'er in. All went smoothly.
We've used it three more times since then and it's been an instant hit with the fans. And I somehow feel a bit better about running on smog-free and cost-free energy.
I hope a few years from now we'll all look back, shake our heads and say, "Remember when 'going solar' was such a big deal and we all thought we were so cool? And, look at the size of those panels! I carry one in my wallet, now."
Look for more solar shows and my new solar-powered school assembly this fall.