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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

There Was This Guy on Television Last Night

North Miami Beach, FL 11-05-2005
A.H. Schectman

There was this guy on television last night who was demonstrating his home built NON-GAS DRIVEN electricity generator.  He is an electrician by trade and built a solar collector contraption on wheels so he could move it around.  The solar cells turn the suns power into electricity that he stores in batteries and he uses that power to run his household electrical needs.  It was a short story about his success with this approach but it packed a powerful punch to those of us who think that in South Florida, in particular where the sun shines most every day of the year, we could use this technology. We can save tremendous sums even though we are bound to FPL because this energy producing company and others like it would prefer to maintain a monopoly on electric power no matter what. What is particularly annoying and possibly criminal in the minds of people like me, is the chutzpah of Florida Power and Light and the Legislature in Tallahassee who believe that the lost revenue experienced by FPL should be passed on to you and me, the users, because there was this Hurricane Wilma that knocked down poles and shorted out transformers up on the poles (instead of underground where they would have been safe) and we were without consuming electricity at our usual rate for almost a week in our case and for weeks in those with less luck than us.

This brings me back to this man who rigged up a NON-GAS DRIVEN electricity generator. He did not have to go and buy gas, did not make the noise that a generator produces and there was no noxious fumes produced.  He just used the batteries where the sun stored electricity piled up to run his microwave, his refrigerator and freezer and his lights and air conditioner.  In fact, he was independent of FPL and FPL would like to charge him for not using their electricity during the duration of the power outages from the hurricane although he was producing electricity for himself and during nice weather he could sell back to FPL the electricity that he over produced.

I would again like to fool around with acronyms.  SMART, this translates to Solar Means Actual Returns To you and me.  I tried to turn the FLAT ROOF SOLAR ENERGY CONSORTIUM into a nice logo, but that does not work well with these words.  In actuality, we have a lot of flat roofs here in Florida and the solar collectors would fit right in with the air conditioners up there.  I have worked out a proposal for the 9 buildings in the Moorings Condominium Complex here in North Miami Beach to enter into a consortium to research and construct a model for other flat roof neighborhoods and produce our own electricity from the free sun power that shines down on us so many days out of the year. Want to see it?



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