Category Archives: Renewables and Energy

How many solar panels does it take to power an electric car

Here’s how it works out for us. In the first two years of EV ownership, we have averaged 4,000 miles per year. Our Nissan Leaf gets an average of 4.3 miles per kWh. Each of the solar panels we installed generates 360 kWhs annually. Here is the calculation:

4000 miles per year ÷ 4.3 kWh/mile = 930 kWhs needed to power our vehicle per year

930 kWhs ÷ 360 kWh/panel = 2.5 panels needed to provide 930 kWhs per year

Obviously, you would want to round up to the next full panel in this situation. The little bit of extra output will give some room to increase your solar-powered driving distance as well as accommodate an acceptable margin of error. Also, solar output will decline by about 0.8% each year as panels age and car batteries will lose a bit of efficiency over time, just as internal combustion vehicles decline in efficiency as they age.

What if you don’t have solar panels for your electric vehicle? It’s still cheaper and less polluting to drive an EV than a fossil fuel burner, even if you purchase electricity from the grid. To compare for yourself, see the USDOE’s Cost Comparison tool. So don’t let that stop you from transitioning away from internal combustion vehicles. But if you’re planning to install solar panels, consider adding sufficient panels for your daily transportation needs, and take a giant step towards a more economical zero energy, zero carbon life.

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San Diego – Toilet to tap halted by judge

San Diego’s $4 billion plan to boost the city’s water independence is facing delays and cost increases thanks to a legal dispute over the use of unionized construction workers.

A judge issued an injunction in June that halted the project, a recycling system called “Pure Water” that would purify treated sewage into drinking water and supply one-third of the city’s water supply by 2035.

The injunction, which San Diego officials estimate is costing them $4 million a month, was prompted by a city compromise that requires union workers on some Pure Water projects and allows union and non-union workers on others.

The San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors, a coalition of contractors, contends the city’s compromise favors union workers. It filed suit in May claiming the compromise violates a successful 2012 city ballot measure that regulates the use of union workers on projects.

Superior Court Judge John Meyer agreed, issuing a preliminary injunction that forced city officials to halt soliciting bids for Pure Water projects and to begin exploring their legal options.

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Olivenhain – free water for landscaping

How to Get Free Recycled Water for Residential Landscaping

Prior to filling up, you must review the Residential Recycled Water Fill Station Program document describing regulations for the use of recycled water. You must also verify that you are an OMWD customer or a customer designee acting on a customer’s behalf, certify that you have reviewed proper recycled water use procedures, and receive an ID card and stickers to be used on any water containers to be used for transporting recycled water. To do so, bring all of the following items with you to the fill station on your first visit. No substitutes will be accepted.

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