Sarah's Sun

Calendar of the
Maine Solar Energy Association (MESEA)

Build a New Design Photovoltaic-Hot Water Hybrid Collector
All Day Thursday, 21 August, Jonesport Maine

This new collector design uses as a base, the standard, certified ~250 watt PV module sold in great quantity all over the world. MESEA has been selling these modules for $1 per watt to anybody in quantities of one or more. We will add a thermal collector to the back of the module in such a way that the module is not changed in size or electrical performance, except that with cooler PV cells, the electrical output should be slightly higher than when we started the conversion. All the parts needed are available at any building supply store for less than about $80. The workshop will include installing two of the modules on a roof and connecting them up to the off-grid home's 24 volt DC electrical system. The basic idea is an old one (I will show a photos of similar conversions done as early as 1982) but we are upgrading it to make a very sinple, cheap design that will be more efficient. Everybody is free to copy this design; we have arranged it so that it cannot be patented and are hoping that this will become the basis of a cottage industry anybody can build in their garage or back yard.

Presenter: Richard, Komp, President of the Maine Solar Energy Association and inventor of the PVThermal Hybrid module in 1975
Location: Richard Komp Home, 17 Rockwell Rd, Jonesport ME 04649
Cost: $75, including lunch. Student Scholarships will be available - $20
For more information: 207-497-2204 or 207-450-1141,,

Install a New Design Photovoltaic-Hot Water Hybrid Collector
All Day Sunday, 24 August, Jonesport Maine

In this follow-up all-day workshop, presenter Soni Biehl will connect the thermosiphon plumbing to the Hybrid modules installed earlier in the week. We will install a home-built heat exchanger so that all outside plumbing uses a safe water-antifreeze mixture; a low-boy tank in the attic above the bathroom and the proper plumbing system so that the solar hot water preheats the water in the back-up gas water heater in colder weather; but in warm weather, the solar water is shunted around the backup tank to flow directly to the hot water faucets. The system will need no circulating pump, the difference in density between cool and hot water will drive the flow. All the details will be explained and different system configurations will be discussed.
Presenter: Soni Biehl, Treasurer of the Maine Solar Energy Association and CertifiedMaster Plumber.
Location: Rich Komp Home, 17 Rockwell Rd, Jonesport ME 04649
Cost: $75, including lunch. Student Scholarships will be available - $20
For more information: 207-497-2204 or 207-450-1141,,

Fall 2014 Solar PV Assembly Intensive with MESEA
September 27 - October 3, 2014
MESEA Solar Home, 17 Rockwell Road, SE, Jonesport, ME

Solar Assembly Intensive Workshop for the general public, ASES & NESEA members.
Presented by MESEA, DADS, and SEADS of Truth, Inc.
Seven Days in Maine ! - Do Yourself Solar!!
Enjoy a week at the Solar Home of Dr. Richard Komp and MESEA, on Indian River Bay, Jonesport, Maine!
One week (or part) - PV assembly workshops!
Friday, October 3, 7:30 pm, free lecture power-point presentation by Dr. Rich Komp

Saturday September 27 through Friday October 3, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, includes free lunch daily!
You will determine the exact dates you desire -- one, two or all seven days.
For PV assembly of at least two 65W PV modules, we will use the liquid silicon encapsulation method developed by Grupo Fenix and Suni Solar of Nicaragua.
Site: MESEA Solar Home 17 Rockwell Rd, SE, Jonesport, ME 04649
Program is presented by an experienced MESEA trainer.

You are invited to attend a one day session - $75.
Saturday September 27 or Su nday September 28 ...

Two day extended sessions - $125.
September 27 - 28, Sat & Sun ... or any combination of two consecutive days thru Friday Oct 3

Full Intensive program - $325. (seven days)
Saturday September 27 through Friday October 3 ...
(All noon meals are included each day).

Phone John Burke asap : (207) 546-1639; or (516) 669-2442, or Rich (207) 450-1141 to arrange for $50 deposit/reservation with the balance due upon arrival.
Limited space is available at Solar Home for overnight stay, or longer (additional fee).
Local motel, B & B info available through the Machias, ME Chamber of Commerce.

National Solar Home and Building Tour, October 4-5, 2014

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) will hold its 19th annual National Solar Tour, across the country on October 4-5, 2014.
Homeowners and businesses in neighborhoods across the country open their doors and to show what they’ve done to slash utility bills and help cut pollution from electric generating plants.
MESEA will help organize the Maine Solar Tour set for October 4. See for information about the tour in Maine.


Summer Internships in Sustainable Living in Downeast Maine

MESEA, together with SEADS of Truth will be offering summer internships at three different nearby locations in Columbia and Jonesport, Maine. The interns will live and work on solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) projects, and organic gardening at one or more of these locations which include Richard Komp's beautiful home on the coast of Maine, a long established SEADS workshop center on 40+ rural acres and a small organic farm. All three locations are off- the-grid with many solar and renewable energy features and all three need repair and upgrading work to make them more useful as alternative learning centers. The internships arrangements will include free lodging. The only cost will be payments for food. For more information and to register contact: SEADS-Charles Ewing MESEA-John Burke 516-674-9090 Joan McMurray 207-483-4690

Grupo Fenix Solar Culture Course in Nicaragua

Come to Nicaragua and engage your head, heart, and hands in the real work of developing countries. Our hands-on courses allow you to be immersed in the daily life of rural Nicaraguans by living with host families and working alongside local community members to create their vision of a model community through renewable energy and sustainable practices.

Discuss the theory behind solar energy and the challenges of development with your instructors and other course participants. Spend your days learning how to construct solar cookers, photovoltaic panels, and installing photovoltaic systems. Laugh along with your host family as you try to recall your high school Spanish, balance water on your head or make tortillas. Most activities and classes are held in the new adobe Solar Center. Housing will be simple, like that of a typical rural Nicaraguan family.

Explore a beautiful country and its culture while learning about renewable energy and sustainable development in the field. Our courses provide a unique travel experience that is educational, rewarding, and fun!

This 11-day course, offered twice a year, has been held by Grupo Fenix since 1999. It is a great introduction to the science and use of appropriate renewable energy technologies such as solar cookers, dryers and photo-voltaic systems. Dr. Richard Komp, an expert from the United States with over 50 years experience working with solar technologies, teaches the technical classes for the January version of this course and the July version is based on his methodology for fabrication of PV panels in developing countries.

See for the latest schedule of courses.

Also, the course includes various tourist activities such as a visit to nearby beautiful spots in the mountains of northern Nicaragua . If weather permits, we will spend a day exploring the Somoto Canyon and swimming in its natural pools. Also, during the course we will spend a night at a rustic ecolodge in the Tisey Nature Reserve, which has hiking trails, fields of organic vegetables, a farming community that produces its own specialty cheeses and one of the best panoramic views in the country.

The course fee of $995 includes all food and lodging, with a $50 deposit to be sent to the nonprofit Skyheat Associates at PO Box 184, Harrington ME 04643 before June 15th to insure a place in the course, which has a limit of 15 participants and is often completely full. For more information, please contact the or or look on-line at for details of all of our programs.

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