Solar Energy in the Midwest

Posts tagged ‘water’

Do you want to pay $1,000/month to have water shipped to your home? Only 2% of the earth has fresh water, if we pollute this where will we buy the water from?

THE WMEAC BLOG

Photo -   In this Nov. 26, 2012 photo, Steve Lipsky demonstrates how his well water ignites when he puts a flame to the flowing well spigot outside his family's home in rural Parker County near Weatherford, Texas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had evidence a gas company's drilling operation contaminated Lipsky's drinking water with explosive methane, and possibly cancer-causing chemicals, but withdrew its enforcement action, leaving the family with no useable water supply, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press. The EPA's decision to roll back its initial claim that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations had contaminated the water is the latest case in which the federal agency initially linked drilling to water contamination and then softened its position, drawing criticism from Republicans and industry officials who insisted they proved the agency was inefficient and too quick to draw conclusions. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  In 2010 the Lipskys and one other family in an upscale neighborhood near Fort Worth, Tex., complained to officials when their water from the faucet started bubbling.  The family’s water contained so much methane in it that water from the garden hose outside could be lit on fire.

Concerned for methane and cancer-causing benzene contamination the EPA immediately cautioned the two households to stop using the water and ordered the nearby natural gas drilling company, Range Resources, to clean up the wells and provide clean water to the families.

Range Resources started drilling in the area only a mile away from the Lipskys home in 2009. The company then commissioned an independent scientist named Geoffrey Thyne to analyze the water and determine if the contamination could have been caused by the drilling for natural gas called hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly referred to as “fracking.”  Thyne analyzed water from…

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Here Comes the Sun as solar dispute settled

Article about us and our customers printed in the Canton Observer

By Darrell Clem
Observer Staff Writer
The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers Sunday March 07, 2010 Volume 35 #73

A Canton man who installed solar energy panels on his roof has started producing hot water and reducing his family’s utility costs after settling a lawsuit he filed against a homeowners association that initially sought to block his efforts.

“I’m making my own domestic hot water,” a proud Dan Hall said, standing inside his home on Crowndale Lane, near Beck and Cherry Hill roads in Canton’s Pheasant View subdivision.

Hall, a civil engineer, has eased his criticism of homeowners association officials after they agreed he could install three solar collector panels on his roof and harness the sun’s energy to produce hot water and, eventually, to help heat his home and backyard swimming pool.

Hall hopes his 14 month legal battle against the Pheasant View Homeowners Association and its architectural review committee will send a message to others who may face similar hurdles as they try to save money and energy while becoming more environmentally conscious.

“My experience and the hurdles I had to overcome should set a precedent for people in all these subdivisions to follow,” he said.

Hall spent $5,000 on solar-energy materials, worked with Canton-based Mechanical Energy Systems Inc. to design his system and then built it himself. Long-term saving aside, he expects to recoup the money he spent on the system within three years.

“I call him my solar pioneer,” said Donna Napolitano, who owns Mechanical Energy
System Inc. with husband Joe. She said Hall’s effort to save money and energy “makes much sense.”

Hall said projects like his can even help homeowners qualify for federal tax credits. Pheasant View officials have previously said their intent wasn’t meant to be mean spirited but rather to uphold the rules of governing what residents can do to the exterior of their homes. They couldn’t be reached Friday, but they have previously said the goal was to follow the spirit of the association’s covenants and restrictions.

Hall, saying he and the homeowners group have agreed to an out-of-court settlement, stood outside of his home Thursday and pointed out three flat panel solar panels, 8 feet by 4 feet, that he says look more like side by side skylights than a neighborhood eyesore.

Hall and his wife Michelle’s youngest of the three sons, 11 year-old Hunter, said he is proud of his father’s solar energy system. “It really actually is pretty cool because the sun has so much energy,” Hunter, a Dodson Elementary School 5th grader, said. “It’s really cool with all the ‘green’ stuff that’s going on.

Hall’s solar energy project is complex yet simple. A mechanical system in the basement pumps a mixture of water and antifreeze through pipes to the roof-mounted solar collector panels. The panels then use the sun’s energy to heat the mixture and return it to the basement, where the mechanical system ultimately heats up the hot water tank and produces hot water for showers, dish-washing and other household activities.

“It was all theory until I built it and it actually worked,” Hall said. “When I got it working, I was really happy because it had become such an albatross.”

Now that his legal dispute has been resolved and he is producing his own hot water, Hall seemed more at peace than he did when he was battling the homeowners association. He said he simply wanted to save energy and cut expenses.

“I just wanted to do the right thing,” he said.

From hometownlife.com

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