2008 Projects
2009 Projects
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2011 Projects
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Our Mission
  The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to informing and educating the public on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through meetings, workshops, educational materials, and energy fairs.
Your membership makes these activities possible. If you can help, please
[Join MAREA]. The support is greatly appreciated and your dollars are used carefully.

ATTN: New FEES & SIZE LIMITS for solar in PA?
Thanks to all who signed the petition to the PA PUC regarding proposed changes to net metering rules.

A 49-page document
(wow!) of signatures and comments has been submitted on your behalf. We’ll keep you posted.

PA Sunshine Counts: Our Common Solar Wealth - July 2014
This report is an analysis of records obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for more than 7,000 solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates, with detailed findings related to cost trends, system size, installation locations, component manufacturers, and installers.

In the interest of good solar, MAREA has chosen to provide this report at no charge to members and nonmembers alike. MAREA believes strongly that the more informed voices in the conversation the better the outcome.Thank you for reading this report.
MAREA is funded entirely though memberships, events, grants and donations. Your support is needed and genuinely appreciated.

Thinking about going solar? Resources for Homeowners & Small Businesses
"Solar Electricity for PA Homeowners" — Aug 2014 presentation slides
  If your organization would like a speaker on this topic, we’d be happy to help.
Please contact: [themarea@gmail.com]. [DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION]
On-Line Resources for those Considering Solar
  List of on-line resources to help you find an installer, estimate electricity generation, understand environmental value, consider financial aspects and more.
  [MAREA’s Recommended Resources]
SunnyMoney Residential Solar Electric Estimator
  Easy, on-line tool (updated 2014!) developed by MAREA to help Pennsylvania homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. Quick & accurate estimates for system size, electricity generation, savings, cost, Federal tax credit, environmental payback & more.

  Solar Hot Water Benefits Homeless Shelter
  To help reduce monthly expenses for Opportunity House, a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living in the Reading area, MAREA has spearheaded a project to install a solar hot water system on their main building.
Check out the Progress: [READING EAGLE 8-1-14] [WFMZ NEWS VIDEO]

MAREA produces its first movie:
"Saving Sunshine"
Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power”
In plain language, master electrician and solar installer Bruce Hankins explains AC Coupling, the combining of a grid-tied solar electric installation with an off-grid battery backup system. This technology, made possible through advanced electronics, offers benefits for all users of the entire electric system—both those with and without solar. Teachers, electricians, system installers, owners of grid-tied systems and solar advocates will find Hankins’ clear explanations in “Saving Sunshine” helpful in learning the specifics of an AC Coupled system and how it forms a local electric distribution system.
Free DVD with MAREA membership
While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of "Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. Thanks for your help.
[Watch the Trailer on YouTube]
[Read More and Purchase the DVD]

MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300
**Please follow signs for parking and entrance to room location**

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 30, 2014
"“Engineers Without Borders:
Solar Powered Water System for School in Sierra Leone Africa”"

PJim Butt, Design Engineer, HindlePower, Inc., Member Engineers without Borders

The Lehigh Valley Professionals (LVP) chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is partnering with the Centennial Secondary School (CSS) in the village of Mattru Jong, Sierra Leone. The school was ransacked and occupied by rebels during the civil war from 1991 to 2002. Much of the school’s infrastructure, including the distributed water supply, sanitation facilities and building structures, is now incapable of meeting even the most basic needs. Prior to the civil war, CSS was a boarding school. Today, the school serves about 1,200 commuter students. Boarding is no longer possible due to the inadequate facilities.

Seven trips have been made to the school by
[EWB-LVP Chapter] members. To date, we have worked on solar panel lighting, sanitation, education, providing a well and water distribution projects, and building reconstruction. The most recent trip was in March 2014.

A previous MAREA talk dealt with a solar lighting project at CSS. This talk will focus on a solar water pumping and distribution system installed at the school in April of 2013. The system consisted of a 3 kW solar array, a 2 hp deep well pump, 12,000 gallons of water storage, 600 feet of wiring and 2,000 feet of distribution piping. The system is designed to pump 14,400 gallons per day, and contains no electrical storage (batteries). A brief review of some of the other projects will also be presented.

EWB-LVP is coordinating its efforts in cooperation with Centennial’s alumni association. The objective of the partnership is to leave the school with sustainable solutions that can be carried on without continued influx of external aid. Our goal is to enable the school to return to the high level of education, which had been provided before the war.

For more information, see
[Engineers rebuild a war-damaged school in Sierra Leone] and
[EWB-Lehigh Valley Professionals.]

[Engineers Without Borders USA] (EWB-USA) is a national organization founded in 2002 with more than 12,000 members across the United States. EWB-USA has approximately 350 projects in 45 developing counties across the world. We are passionate people, with over 250 dedicated chapters, including university chapters on more than 180 campuses throughout the United States. There are three local chapters: student chapters at Lehigh and Lafayette, and the Lehigh Valley Professionals chapter.
James Butt holds a BSEE and MSEE from Lehigh University and holds three patents. He has worked as a Senior Engineer for Ford Motor Company, a Research Engineer and lecturer at Lehigh University, and Chief Engineer for both Bitronics, Inc. (instrumentation used in electric utilities) and Thor Power (advanced motor drives). Jim is presently a Design Engineer at HindlePower, Inc where he designs industrial battery chargers for electric utilities. He is a Professional Engineer and Senior Member of IEEE, IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Power Electronics Society. Jim has also been involved with Formula Hybrid as a Technical Presentation Judge Team Leader. We are especially proud to say Jim is a MAREA member, and of course, very active with Engineers Without Borders.

Hope you can join us!
After the meeting, plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We're also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services.
Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!
For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole: 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
[Information Available From Previous Talks]

Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
To Be Announced

Event Announcements

Court Affirms Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association’s Right to Know,
Orders DEP to Release Solar Data
September 18, 2012, Kutztown, PA A renewable energy organization's request for access to information regarding solar installations receiving rebates from the $100 million state [Sunshine Program] was recently upheld by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. [READ THE FULL RELEASE]

Community Projects & Workshops

MAREA conducts small group workshops on practical alternative energy projects throughout the year.
[Learn from experts in the field. MAREA members receive special discount on workshops]

MAREA Board Member Don Bucci talks about the benefits of a solar hot water system.
(Reading Eagle 2/10/2013)
Several decades ago, Don Bucci began heating domestic hot water at home using solar energy and still cherishes that original setup's benefits today. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA President Vera Cole on electricity conservation (Allentown Morning Call (12/16/12)
The impulse to save electricity may have its roots in an environmentalist ethic, or it may stem from a simple urge to save money. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA board member Anna Digate talks about recycling (Reading Eagle 12/17/12)
With gift-giving holidays approaching, wrapping paper and décor deserve a chance to be looked at in a greener way.

MAREA Educational Programs
MAREA is planning a series of two-hour workshops on possible topics that include, so far, solar electric design, solar hot water design, structural engineering for solar electric mounting systems, thermodynamics, commissioning solar electric systems, solar oven cooking, reducing electrical use in the home, all about RECs, considerations for commercial solar electricity installations, solar electricity for homeowners and wire crimping for solar installations. Whew! Let us know topics you would like covered and if there's a topic you, or someone you know, would like to instruct. Dates, locations and times will be announced soon. We expect them to be on Saturday mornings with a fee of around $45 for members. We're also nailing down plans for the next solar electric installation workshops. We'll send details as soon as they're available.
With ideas or questions, please contact
Bill Hennessy, 484-560-4666, bill@berkssolar.com.

Keep Up to Date with MAREA News
MAREA newsletters are now archived for viewing at any time.
[Read previous MAREA newsletters]