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The Energy Show, hosted by Barry Cinnamon, is a weekly 30 minute talk show that runs every Saturday on KDOW Radio AM in San Jose California.

Every week Barry provides practical money-saving tips on ways to reduce your home and business energy consumption.

Barry Cinnamon heads up Cinnamon Energy Systems (a San Jose residential and commercial  solar and energy storage contractor) and Spice Solar (suppliers of built-in solar racking technology). After 10,000+ installations at Akeena Solar and Westinghouse Solar, he's developed a pretty good perspective on the real-world economics of rooftop solar -- as well as the best products and services for homeowners, manufacturers and installers. His rooftop tinkering led to the development of integrated racking (released in 2007), AC solar modules (released in 2009), and Spice Solar (the fastest way to install rooftop solar modules).

The Energy Show Barry Cinnamon 366248

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The Energy Show, hosted by Barry Cinnamon, is a weekly 30 minute talk show that runs every Saturday on KDOW Radio AM in San Jose California.

Every week Barry provides practical money-saving tips on ways to reduce your home and business energy consumption.

Barry Cinnamon heads up Cinnamon Energy Systems (a San Jose residential and commercial  solar and energy storage contractor) and Spice Solar (suppliers of built-in solar racking technology). After 10,000+ installations at Akeena Solar and Westinghouse Solar, he's developed a pretty good perspective on the real-world economics of rooftop solar -- as well as the best products and services for homeowners, manufacturers and installers. His rooftop tinkering led to the development of integrated racking (released in 2007), AC solar modules (released in 2009), and Spice Solar (the fastest way to install rooftop solar modules).

    What Batteries Should I Buy With My Solar System?

    What Batteries Should I Buy With My Solar System?

    Copyright 2021 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    Are you worried about blackouts and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS)? Are you sick of getting ripped off by rising electric rates from your local utility? Then you’re one of the millions of homeowners and businesses who are interested in a battery backup system designed to work with your solar system.

    It can be confusing to determine which battery and inverter system will be the best for your particular application, whether you are just adding a battery to your existing solar system, or installing a completely new solar and battery system. So this week’s Energy Show is all about selecting the best battery system for your home or business.

    Major battery suppliers include LG, Tesla, Enphase, Generac and SolarEdge. However, unlike solar panels, which can be mixed and matched with different inverters, batteries are designed to work only with certain inverter systems — most commonly SolarEdge and Enphase. It’s like cars: you don’t get to pick the manufacturer of the battery that goes in your EV.

    In addition to battery system availability (there are shortages of the most popular batteries), we will focus on the following technical criteria of the battery system market leaders:

    * Battery capacity in kwh
    * Battery power output in kw
    * System efficiency
    * Existing solar system compatibility
    * System price (battery price doesn’t really matter)
    * Battery warranty

    So if you’ve been wondering what batteries should I buy with my solar system, listen to this week’s Energy Show for a detailed dive into the best and most widely available battery systems for your home or business.

    • 21 min
    Solar and Storage Industry Nightmares

    Solar and Storage Industry Nightmares

    Copyright 2021 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Not from a real nightmare, just worrying about external issues affecting the solar and storage industry. We jokingly refer to our industry as the “solar coaster,” characterized by unexpected ups and downs.

    The ups are typically expected events -- things for which we can usually plan in advance, such as changes to tax credits and incentives, continued unreliability of the electric grid, and increases in electricity costs.

    The things we can’t plan for are the solar coaster downs. These are usually unexpected events, coming at us from left field. Over the past 20 years we have managed through the Y2K non-crisis, the silicon shortage in 2004, the housing crisis and recession in 2007, solar tariffs in 2012, and of course the Covid pandemic in 2020-2021.

    My biggest nightmare right now relates to PG&E and other utilities trying to kill rooftop solar and storage so they can continue to sell their overpriced, unreliable and profitable electricity. We’re also navigating through a dire shortage of high quality storage batteries, challenges with maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, and keeping our employees safe when they work on rooftops.

    For my take on the challenges facing solar and storage contractors, please tune in to this week’s Energy Show.

    • 23 min
    Battery Storage Safety with Matt Paiss

    Battery Storage Safety with Matt Paiss

    Copyright 221 - Barry Cinnamon, The Energy Show

    About 15 years ago the solar and fire protection industries worked together to improve the safety of rooftop solar panels. With the increased popularity of lithium ion batteries for backup power, the solar and fire industries are now focusing on battery safety.

    Here’s the issue: anything that stores energy can be dangerous if that energy is released in an uncontrolled way, as in a fire or an explosion. It’s important to consider battery safety in the context of other forms of high density energy storage. Here on earth, uranium has the highest energy density at 80 million mega joules per kg. We call the sudden release of uranium energy an atomic bomb. From a theoretical standpoint, the energy density of antimatter is a thousand times higher than uranium, but so far only on Start Trek have the warp engines experienced an antimatter explosion.

    Here on earth, chemicals with high energy densities are much more practical, especially for transportation. Hydrogen has an energy density of 120 mega joules per kg, but is tricky to handle as a compressed gas. Even uncompressed, hydrogen can do some damage (remember the Hindenburg). More practically, for over 100 years almost all cars used gasoline or diesel as a fuel. Gasoline has an energy density of 46 mega joules per kg. You can drive your car for 300 miles on a ten-gallon tank of gas that weighs 65 pounds. But fossil fuels are polluting, and no longer the most cost effective fuel for cars and trucks.

    We have abundant and cheap solar and wind energy. But you can’t go far or fast with just a solar panel or windmill on the roof of your car — and 200 mile extension cords are impractical. Storing that solar or wind energy in a battery can give a car the range and performance that many drivers need. Today’s lithium ion batteries have an energy density of about 0.75 mega joules per kg. Powered by a lithium ion battery, a typical electric vehicle can go about 200 miles on a 75 kwh battery pack that weighs about 1000 pounds.

    As the cost and performance of lithium ion batteries has improved, they are seeing increased use in homes and business — not only for backup power, but also to avoid sky-high utility costs in the late afternoon and evening. The high energy density of lithium ion batteries has made them ubiquitous in our phones, computers, earpieces and just about anything that needs a rechargeable energy source. Although lithium ion batteries are safer than gasoline, diesel and natural gas, the are still subject to combustion if damaged.

    One of the industry’s experts on combustion is retired San Jose Fire Captain Matt Paiss. Matt is currently a technical advisor for battery materials and systems for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and provides consulting and training services for fire and code officials. Please listen up to this week's Energy Show as Matt shares his experiences and insights on battery system safety.

    • 28 min
    Prepping for New Energy Technology

    Prepping for New Energy Technology

    Copyright 2021 The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    About 15 years ago the solar and fire protection industries worked together to improve the safety of rooftop solar panels. With the increased popularity of lithium ion batteries for backup power, the solar and fire industries are now focusing on battery safety.

    Here’s the issue: anything that stores energy can be dangerous if that energy is released in an uncontrolled way, as in a fire or an explosion. It’s important to consider battery safety in the context of other forms of high density energy storage. Here on earth, uranium has the highest energy density at 80 million mega joules per kg. We call the sudden release of uranium energy an atomic bomb. From a theoretical standpoint, the energy density of antimatter is a thousand times higher than uranium, but so far only on Start Trek have the warp engines experienced an antimatter explosion.

    Here on earth, chemicals with high energy densities are much more practical, especially for transportation. Hydrogen has an energy density of 120 mega joules per kg, but is tricky to handle as a compressed gas. Even uncompressed, hydrogen can do some damage (remember the Hindenburg). More practically, for over 100 years almost all cars used gasoline or diesel as a fuel. Gasoline has an energy density of 46 mega joules per kg. You can drive your car for 300 miles on a ten-gallon tank of gas that weighs 65 pounds. But fossil fuels are polluting, and no longer the most cost effective fuel for cars and trucks.

    We have abundant and cheap solar and wind energy. But you can’t go far or fast with just a solar panel or windmill on the roof of your car — and 200 mile extension cords are impractical. Storing that solar or wind energy in a battery can give a car the range and performance that many drivers need. Today’s lithium ion batteries have an energy density of about 0.75 mega joules per kg. Powered by a lithium ion battery, a typical electric vehicle can go about 200 miles on a 75 kwh battery pack that weighs about 1000 pounds.

    As the cost and performance of lithium ion batteries has improved, they are seeing increased use in homes and business — not only for backup power, but also to avoid sky-high utility costs in the late afternoon and evening. The high energy density of lithium ion batteries has made them ubiquitous in our phones, computers, earpieces and just about anything that needs a rechargeable energy source. Although lithium ion batteries are safer than gasoline, diesel and natural gas, the are still subject to combustion if damaged.

    One of the industry’s experts on combustion is retired San Jose Fire Captain Matt Paiss. Matt is currently a technical advisor for battery materials and systems for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and provides support for fire and building departments. Please listen up to this week's Energy Show as Matt shares his experiences and insights on battery system safety.

    • 27 min
    Stop the Utility Profit Grab

    Stop the Utility Profit Grab

    Copyright 2021 The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    6/30/21 News Story: “PG&E just asked regulators for a $3.6b rate hike to reduce fires from their own power lines”

    Another “in your face” profit grab from a utility that blames rooftop solar for high electric rates. This rate increase works out to $36 per month for every homeowner in California! Do they think we’re stupid?

    The biggest threat to rooftop solar and storage is not political. It’s not tariffs. Or product shortages. The biggest threat is from aggressive lobbying (which we pay via our electric bills) and outright lies from monopoly utilities.

    It’s pretty simple: utilities are trying to prevent businesses and homeowners from installing their own solar and battery systems so they maximize their profits. They lie about rooftop solar and storage. Adding insult to injury, they are also trying to increase fees for customers who already have these systems. It’s an outright, blatant, anti-competitive profit grab that will harm all current and future solar + storage customers — while at the same time increasing monopoly utility profits. And our regulators have historically gone along with these profit grabs.

    Utilities invented their Big Lie to convince the public that they are the good guys, only trying to protect ratepayers. BS.

    Did your electric rates go up because of rooftop solar? No — they went up because of high transmission costs and ridiculous utility executive salaries.
    Are our wildfires caused by rooftop solar? No — the deadliest fires have been caused by inadequate transmission line maintenance.
    Will paying utilities more money solve your home and business blackout problems any time soon? No — the fastest and cheapest way for you to get reliable power is with your own backup system.

    Check out this short video for a more realistic perspective: We Can’t Trust Them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9TVsgUvtlI

    It is inconceivable to me that the California Public Utilities commission is considering another economic shift from homeowners, schools and businesses to a twice-bankrupt and criminal utility (PG&E) who already has a guaranteed 10% rate of return, who just raised electric rates by 11% this year — and is now asking for another $3.6 billion rate increase.

    Specifically, California’s three monopoly utilities want to:

    * Add monthly fixed charges to solar customer bills,
    * Reduce solar reimbursement rates,
    * Eliminate annual net metering, and
    * Change net metering grandfathering for existing solar customers.

    The only way to stop this utility profit grab is for homeowners and businesses to call out this Big LieL

    * Tell Governor Newsom that increasing solar costs is absolutely the wrong way to solving our electricity problems.
    * Tell the California Public Utilities Commission that paying PG&E even more money is unfair to all ratepayers.
    * Tell them both that we need more local solar and storage, not more expensive long-distance transmission lines that cause wildfires and perpetually high maintenance costs.

    Take action now:

    * Contact the Solar Rights Alliance at https://solarrights.org
    * Contact the California Solar and Storage Association at https://calssa.org

    For more about this Utility Lie, please listen up to this week’s Energy Show https://cinnamon.energy/the-energy-show/. We’ll go through the specific changes monopoly utilities want, the falsehoods behind their Big Lie, and steps we all need to take before the utility profit grab goes into effect.

    • 17 min
    Electric Vehicle Charging

    Electric Vehicle Charging

    Copyright 2021 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    • 27 min

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