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Published on April 16th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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#1 Cleantech or Clean Energy Site — CleanTechnica

April 16th, 2012 by  

Update: CleanTechnica was #1 again in April & May. Also, checking Quantcast.com, we are #1 in the world (unless there happens to be a very popular German, Japanese, or other cleantech site I’m not familiar with).

Compete.com has just released its monthly stats (for websites of all sorts). For the third month in a row, CleanTechnica is the #1 site focused exclusively on the topic of cleantech or clean energy (based on the common/default “monthly visitors” metric). There are, of course, some larger sites that cover a broader range of topics (e.g. politics, animal and environmental news, the economy, science news, everything imaginable, and so on) that have more monthly visitors, but for sites completely focused on our cleantech or clean energy niche, we seem to be holding steady at #1.

Yet again, this offers an opportunity to say “Thank You!” (And to encourage you to keep hitting those sharing buttons!) But it also presents an opportunity to reflect on what CleanTechnica is all about and how it has gotten so popular.

Personally, my vision for how CleanTechnica tries to serve this world is thus:

  • we try to inspire people to make positive changes in their lives (related to everyday activities and consumer technology);
  • we try to inform by providing correct information on important energy and technology topics, especially addressing common myths and misunderstandings;
  • we try to usefully discuss the challenges facing clean energy and other cleantech — technical as well as socio-political challenges — and potential solutions to them.

People want solutions, and I think that’s what we’re all about. We touch on the problems to the extent that I think is necessary, but we don’t live dwelling on the problems. Rather, we live focused on finding and implementing the most helpful solutions.

I think that most people would rather see solutions than problems (though, there are many who are certainly addicted to looking at the problems), and I think that’s one key reason why CleanTechnica has grown as it has.

But maybe I’m off my rocker and in my own little CleanTechnica bubble. 😀 Let us know if the above rings true to you, or if CleanTechnica is about something else to you.

Also, I think I read every single comment on our site, and your feedback has without a doubt been key to my growth in this field and the site’s as well. So, again, thank you! 
 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media: ZacharyShahan.com, .



  • phil
  • hoap20

    Recently I was really, really low on money and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this.. – ip6W

  • Kesiraju Venkata Subramanyam

    Renewable energy should play a key role in the future global energy supply, no short cuts, no alternatives.

  • zia farooqi

    I need to buy solor ac that runs 100% on solor, to whome I have to contact, my email adrs is : farooqizia@yahoo.com, pl advise

    • Bob_Wallace

      Without knowing where you need this system I doubt anyone would have any information for you.

    • omar

      I have the same question, if you find any answer elsewhere please let me know.
      oumar.abdalla95@gmail.com

      • Bob_Wallace

        How about describing your needs?

        Are you now connected to the grid and wanting to add solar panels to reduce your electricity purchases? Or are you not connected and looking for a standalone system?

        What do you want to run with electricity? List out the various devices and how many hours per day they would be used. Include wattage if you know it.

        Example:

        3 – 9 watt LED lights 4 hours per day.
        1 Refrigerator.

        • omar

          AC 1300-1500 wats, 7amps, 200-240volts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are not telling me enough.

            Are you connected to the grid? Or do you want to set up a standalone system to run only an air conditioner that can pull up to 1.5 kW?

            How many hours per day would the AC run? Remember, in most settings an air conditioner cycles on and off.

          • omar

            Thanks, yes i am connected to the grid but i want get rid of it and set up a standalone system for the AC only. I would say 12 hours a day at least, in my case the building is badly isolated and the AC never off.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, let’s keep slugging away.

            I’m currently sitting in a poorly insulated house in Bangkok. The AC is manual. I turn it on for a total of (guessing) four hours a day. Then I run a fan while the room heats backup.

            You really need better data for number of hours.

            Can you get your hands on something like a Kill-A-Watt that would measure your actual use over a few days? Someone makes a 240 vac model.

            If you can’t do that can you read your meter daily and are you willing to do without AC for a day or two? If so, read your meter at midnight. Then read it the next day at midnight and turn off the AC for 24 hours. Read it again. The difference should tell you about how much electricity you need to run the AC. Best to do that two or three times. (One day on, one day off, one day on, etc. Make sure all days are about the same temperature.)

            It would help to know where you are located. You need to know what sort of solar resource you have.

            And here’s something else to consider. It’s likely to be far cheaper to insulate and cut AC needs than to cool a poorly insulated building. Rule of thumb when going solar – cut your use first.

          • omar

            I am in Mauritania, Akjoujt a desertic part of the country.
            For the Kwh Just assume 12 hours continuous run of the same AC as it does not switch off during the hall summer day even sometimes i need it for the night.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, if you have a 1,500 watt draw 12 hours a day then you’re going to need 18 kWh per day (1,500 * 12 = 18,000 / 1,000 = 18).

            Looking on the Solar Electricity Handbook there are two cities listed for Mauritania. Nouakchott looks to be the closest to Akjoujt.

            http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.html

            It looks like with south facing panels, seasonally adjusted you’d have about six hours of useable sunshine per day. That means you’d need 3 kW or 3,000 watts of panels plus some for system inefficiency.

            Figuring that you could run the AC directly from the panels about six hours a day you’d need enough battery storage to cover the other six hours.

            That make sense to you? Check through my math.

          • omar

            Good, could you go dipper and talk about 3kw panel cost and battery specifications and cost aswellv? Thanks a lot

          • Bob_Wallace

            The problem is that I don’t know what you can purchase where you are.

            In the US with some shopping you could get panels for $1/watt or less.
            At the moment there are new lithium-ion battery systems coming on market and I don’t know how available they are here yet.

            Have you looked for a solar company in your area?

          • omar

            In the area I am(Akjoujt 110 miles from Nouakchott the capital) there is nothing. In Nouakchott there is Somme shops for solar energy equipment and their expertise in system design is very bad. Lately one guy working in China was in Nouakchott in his vacation and he was shocked by high electricity bill of his family he then decides to go for solar excited by China solar boom and stronger sun here than china . he then go these shops and sell for him big system for 4AC and lights with big cost and finally didn’t nothing work. He just lost his money and go back to grid I don’t know why! Anyway I don’t to do the same and come blind to these shops and that’s why I am searching for help from internet and in cleantechnica which I find amazing Mafia in this domain even for the quality of their commentors and directors. I will come back to you once I go to the capital about the price here.
            I just want you to talk about battery specs for my case in terme of voltage and amps needed don’t worry about if they are Life ion or lead acid.
            Thanks for your time

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, let’s start with lead-acid batteries. Car batteries are not designed to be cycled frequently. They have thin lead plates and wear out quickly.
            What you may find easiest to purchase where you are is golf cart batteries. They have much thicker plates and will tolerate a lot of cycling. As long as you don’t take them below 80% charged you should be able to get 4 to 7 years use.

            There are lead acid “marine” batteries which are sold as deep cycle batteries but they are not as good as golf cart batteries.

            I’m not going to go into lithium-ion batteries as I haven’t been keeping up with them closely. This is a field that is changing very frequently. I’d suggest you search this site for Tesla’s Powerwall and read a few articles and the comments. Watch for comments from vensonata and eveee, they are probably the most knowledgeable.

            The best move right now might to start with a set of golf cart batteries and plan on replacing them when they wear out in a few years with lithium-ion. I’m saying this mainly because it may be very hard for you to buy a set of lithium-ion batteries where you live.
            —-

            Is your goal to get your AC totally off the grid or just to get a lot of your electricity moved to solar? The difference is that there may well be times when your panels won’t produce enough electricity for two or more days in a row. Batteries are expensive. If you use some power from the grid (a few days a year) then you could cut back on battery size and avoid having to use a generator.
            —–

            Here’s a US company that designs and sells complete systems as well as system components. They ship around the US, they might design and ship you a system for less money than you could buy a system close to where you live.
            http://www.wholesalesolar.com/complete-systems

            Take a look at this system that could be close to what you need.

            http://www.wholesalesolar.com/1891067/wholesale-solar/complete-systems/3.1-kw-grid-assisted-solar-system-with-outback-radian-and-12x-astronergy-260w-panels

            And here’s another US company that designs and sells systems. I’ve used these people for several years and had good experiences with them.

            http://www.backwoodssolar.com/

            There’s lots of good stuff on their learning center page.

            http://www.backwoodssolar.com/learning-center

            And they will design a system for your for free.

            I’d suggest you go shopping to see what you can buy locally and for what price. Get brand names, model numbers and prices.

            You’re going to need panels and racks to hold them. Racks can be built locally by someone who works with metal.

            A charge controller. That’s a device that disconnects the panels from the batteries once the batteries are charged. You do not want to overcharge your batteries and ‘cook’ them. The charge controller also disconnects the panels from the batteries when the Sun isn’t shining so that power doesn’t drain back out of the batteries.

            Batteries.

            An inverter to turn the battery direct current (DC) into 240 volt alternating current (AC) for your air conditioning.

            And a metering system so that you can monitor the system condition. That may be built into your inverter.

            I suspect you’re going to have to put in some work and educate yourself to the point where you know exactly how to install your system. You may find a local electrician to do the work, but it’s unlikely they will know what to do.

            Go over all this. If you need help get back to me.

  • rkt9

    Congratulations on Cleantechnia’s rating! Thanks to you and all the contributors that make this site one of my almost daily go to sites for keeping abreast of all the good things clean technology it working hard to bring to the world. Speaking for myself, I am very pleased with your positive attitude, it has been a pleasure to watch this site grow and improve! Keep up the great work!

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  • ecokaren

    Whooo HOoot! Congrats to CleanTechnica and Zach! Not surprise at all!! Cheers to your success!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. 😀

  • Hope

    Pragmatic optimism, that why cleantechnica is my home page.

    When mainstream and social media drowns you with doom and demise, cleantechnica is like coming up for air.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. Yeah, I also originally thought about noting that we don’t really play around with the pie-in-the-sky solutions much — we try to focus on what’s actually possible and likely. I know some of the other big sites that cover cleantech a bit post a lot on futursitic concepts that are really never going to happen.

      anyway, thanks for the note! 😀 nice to have you chiming in a bit lately. so many readers never chime in — and i guess i get that, since i don’t do so on other sites 😀

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