Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Solar Collecting Array, Boron, California 03-19-2004
Solar Electric Generating Systems - Boron, California (photo by Roger J. Wendell)
Solar Energy
and Appropriate Technology
(Renewables and other good ideas!)

YouTube Logo - Small Click Here for the YouTube video on my very simple battery charging system...

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my wind energy page...
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on energy in general...



What is Appropriate Technology anyway??

- Roger J. Wendell

*I received permission from Steve, himself, to quote him here
**I've also been doing some work on "Frugality" at www.VoluntarySimplicity.info


Solar Electric Generating Systems, Boron, California 03-19-2004
Roger at Boron, California
In March '07 David Eisenberg, Director of DCAT (Development Center for Appropriate Technology) in Tucson, wrote me with a nice definition of Appropriate Technology from British architect John FC Turner. Turner, author of Freedom to Build and Housing by People said,

"Truly appropriate technology is technology that ordinary people can use for their own benefit and the benefit of their community that doesn't make them dependent on systems over which they have no control."

I agree with David that Mr. Turner's definition is powerful, concise and clear! - Roger




Solar Flowers:
Parachute, Colorado

Solar Flowers at the Parachute, Colorado Rest Area by Roger J. Wendell - 04-21-2011 Solar Flowers at the Parachute, Colorado Rest Area by Roger J. Wendell - 04-21-2011 Solar Flowers at the Parachute, Colorado Rest Area by Roger J. Wendell - 04-21-2011 Solar Flowers at the Parachute, Colorado Rest Area by Roger J. Wendell - 04-21-2011 Solar Flowers at the Parachute, Colorado Rest Area by Roger J. Wendell - 04-21-2011

Parachute, Colorado is located adjacent Interstate 70 about 320 kilometres (200 miles) west of Denver. These "solar flowers" are only a hundred metres or so from the highway and are used to power the Tourist information office at their rest area. A little information flyer, in the information office, states;

"The solar flowers have eight petals, each made from two triangular solar panels. Each panel can produce 75 watts of electricity in full sunshine -- the same amount used by a 75-watt incandescent light bulb (or by four 19-watt compact fluorescent bulbs). Each solar flower with its 16 panels can generate 1,300 watts, or 1.2 kilowatts, of clean, renewable electricity.

All together, the three solar flowers can generate 3.6 kilowatts. That's the size of a solar energy system needed by one typical American household."

YouTube Logo Click Here for my YouTube video of Parachute's "Solar Flowers!"




Simple Solar:

The following are some photographs and information about the very simple, but effective, solar power configuration that ran my entire amateur "Ham" radio station at home (We have moved to other side of town and are in the process of rebuilding the station...). Although our "new" house was 29 years old when we bought it, the previous owner made sure it was very energy efficient with extra insulation in the ceilings and walls with vinyl double pain windows throughout. And, so far, all of the household electricity we use is purchased from Xcel Energy's WindSource wind farm in Northern Colorado. Over time we'll be adding more features, to our home, to ensure it remains as energy efficient as possible.

Please Note: It is not my intent to endorse specific products here - the items I'm using just happen to fit my budget, at the time, and are still serving me well. I've seen products from countless other manufacturers working as well as these, or better, in a variety of settings all around the world! So, do your research before you buy anything!

Click on these "thumbnail" images for a larger view:
Note: These photos and diagrams are from my last house and
will be be updated as new systems are installed and time permits!

Battery Box I purchased this deep-cycle marine battery for $64.83 at a local discount store and it lasted for 7 years of continuous use! The SunLogic charge controller was manufactured by a Ham operator I corresponded with before the Internet got big - it's been operational since the early 90s! Electrical Drawing Here's a schematic-like drawing of my system at around 2000 (Click Here for the MS Word version of the same drawing...)

Battery Info:
(This battery lasted 7 years and could have gone on
longer had I not let it lose its charge, over the cold winter
nights, when my system wasn't built at the new house yet...)

truck Bed Battery Box This is a view of the truck bed toolbox "cage" that houses the battery and controller in my backyard. My wife's rabbits (60k) had the run of our backyard back then. They seem to have developed a taste for cables and wiring, hence the white cage fencing...
Part of Solar Array This is one of the two 40 Watt panels I use to run the entire system.  The second panel is further up the tower, directly above this one - they both faced south. Although the tower was only 30 feet high it provided enough clearance over the roof to collect all the solar energy I needed year round. The panels were purchased used, many years ago, as surplus from the Solar Energy Research Institute (Now NREL)
Right Side of My Station This is a photo of some of the gadgetry that I power with solar.
Click Here to see the antenna that was up above all this equipment...





  • Ed Eaton baking (102k) with his "homebrewed" oven
  • Dinner (49k) at our house - Amber can't wait to eat!
  • Deep dish Cooker (92k) Ed and Roger admire the SK12
  • Ed adds some seasoning (64k) over the SK12
  • Roger watches tea water boil, by solar, in Lhasa, Tibet! (48k)
Solar Cooker at the Sierra Club's Summit - San Francisco, 2005 Solar Cooker at the Sierra Club's Summit - San Francisco, 2005

USA Solar Postage Stamp Did You Know?
3.7 Pounds of fossil fuel and chemicals are needed to create a single 2-gram microchip.
Source: Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.




A Visit to Solar Energy International
Cabrondale, Colorado (April, 2002)

Roger J. Wendell at Solar Energy International - April, 2002
Me and their panels
Roger J. Wendell at Solar Energy International - April, 2002
Me at their entrance
Roger J. Wendell at Solar Energy International - April, 2002
Extra batteries
Baking Oven at Solar Energy International - April, 2002
Baking oven
Solar Energy International - April, 2002
Solar Energy International





  1. 120 Volts - where it came from and why we use it
  2. Colorado Straw Bale Association
  3. CRES - Colorado Renewable Energy Society
  4. Deep Ecology Living as if Nature Mattered
  5. Earth Day
  6. Earth Friendly things and ideas!
  7. Ecological Footprint Calculator
  8. Electric Civic by Lynn Adams, KE2EN
  9. Energy
  10. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (U.S. DOE)
  11. Fossil Fuels and Peak Oil
  1. Home Energy Awareness by Chuck Wright
  2. Home Power Magazine
  3. I4AT Institue for Appropriate technology (Global Village)
  4. NCAT National center for Appropriate Technology
  5. No Nukes
  6. Recycling
  7. Solar Household Energy, Inc.
  8. Solar Oven Society
  9. Sustainability
  10. Voluntary Simplicity
  11. Wind Energy and Appropriate Technology




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