News

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Zap! It's all about the energy. will add a boost to life!

This domain name is available for sale. 

________

Buy, Sell, and Trade Bitcoin and other e-currencies at Coinbase

This domain name is available for sale. 

This domain name is available for sale. 

Zap! It's all about the energy. Zap Energy Bars and Zap Cards will add a boost to life!

If your email is being hosted at Zoho.com, you'll need some or all of this this information:

Your username (which is your full email address) and password.

Account Type: IMAP       (the choice is POP or IMAP)

Incoming Mail Server: imap.zoho.com  (also called Mail server, IMAP, or POP server)

Outgoing or SMTP server (smtp.imap.com)

Outgoing server requires password authentication, use same settings as your incoming server.  If you are asked for a username and password for the SMTP server, it is your email address and password.

Server Ports:

Incoming 993 SSL

Outgoing 465 SSL (or 587 TLS)

You can also get your mail online by going to zoho.com and logging in.

For more detailed instructions:

Desktop Clients: Outlook  |  Thunderbird | Apple (Mac) Mail | Other IMAP Clients

Mobile Devices/ Tablets: Apple iPhone/iPad | Windows 7 Mobile |  Android (Samsung, Google Nexus etc) Other mobile IMAP Clients

You can also choose to download and use the native mobile applications for iOS and Android devices for using advanced features in Zoho Mail via mobile. 

I don't like listening to my voice mails. Do you? They're long, often rambling, and take time to retrieve. Not anymore.

Currently at the top of my personal "Coolest things on the web" list is a free service from Google that will take any voicemails you receive, transcribe them, then send them to you as a txt message and/or email.

Here's How.

Log on to your google account. Ig you don't have one, create one.

Go to google.com/voice  (login again if needed).

Check "! want a new number" and select one.

The system will ask for your mobile number. Provide it. It will call the number to verify it's yours and ask you to enter the two digit number you see on the screen. It will also allow you to speak a greeting. Go ahead and record your name and a standard "Please leave a message" greeting.

Choose a phone number you like, although you will probably never use this number.

 

 

 

 

Have you noticed the internet is changing?

How many times do you go to buy something and, instead of typing it in Google, type it Amazon? Amazon, as well as having an impact on retailers like Walmart, is taking search away from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The solution is called “Channel Management.”

Our Channel Management software uses a huge database of your products to submit them to Amazon, Ebay, Google Shopping, Jet, and more. The frequent updates that this software does keeps listings fresh and showing up well on the Internet shopping sites.

If you have an E-Commerce site, you’ll be able to use Channel Management to open new markets and increase sales.

Call us to talk about Channel Management and see if this selling strategy is right for you.

  image001image003image006image004image005image011image007

       

Search Engine Optimization Services/ Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Our Search Engine Services include everything you need to get found on the internet. Our Basic Package sets up the ‘framework’ you need to understand how to strategically grow in search engine rankings. SEO is as much an art as it is a science. There are no safe tricks or shortcuts. Google hires the smartest people on the planet to make sure that when someone Googles a question, they get the best possible answer. We work with you to make your website the best possible answer. This package includes a full report, with pricing, that outlines what needs to be done.

BASIC SEO PACKAGE, $495.00:
Setup Google Analytics on your website (we collect data for 2 weeks before analysis)
Setup Webmaster Tools for Google and Bing
Full Analysis:
  •             What Keywords is your site currently showing for?
  • Are there any errors that are reducing ranking?
  • Is google penalizing your site for malware or old technology?
  • What are your most popular pages?
  • If E-Commerce, what pages are generating sales?
  • Bounce rate: Are you boring your visitors?
  • Organic and Paid traffic.
Create sitemaps on Google and Bing.
                Search engines will more accurately index your site.
Register your location on Google for Business
                You will show up on maps.
Recommendation Report

                At the conclusion of this process we will have enough information to create a report outlining what needs to be done to become a top-ranked site. This could include changes to the wording of the web pages, adding titles, descriptions, and photo descriptions, adding new keywords, and much more. We will provide quotes on the work that needs to be done or you can give our recommendations to your current web developer.

BASIC PPC PACKAGE: $295.00 setup (per category), $75/mo maintenance, plus ad costs to Google ($300.00/mo up).

Paid advertising is the best way to insure top rankings for the right keywords. During the Basic SEO process we determined the top keywords that are driving traffic and the keywords you need, but are not ranking for. This package includes the creation of a paid advertising program optimized fro your business.

Create an Ad Budget for Google. A good starting budget is $300/mo. This will be charged to your credit card by Google directly. You will only pay when someone clicks your ad. For this reason we will design an ad that will attract only potential customers. For example, an ad like “Learn about Solar Energy” would attract non-customers. “Professional Solar Installations” would be more effective.

The Basic package includes the setup of a product category with 4 ads, 5 to 10 10 keywords along with negative keywords as needed. For the first four weeks we will monitor the account and make adjustments to fine-tune for the best results. After that, the monthly maintenance provides for a monthly review and adjustment.

PROFESSIONAL SEO AND PPC:

                Beyond the basic started packages, optimization and advertising is quoted based on the project. Although many of the tools are the same, each website is unique and requires different methods. Our professional packages include:

User Activity Analysis: Where are users looking and clicking?

Sales Funnels: Where are buyers going before they buy?

Competitive Analysis: What keywords are competitors buying, and optimizing their site for?

Retargeting: Showing different ads on Facebook and elsewhere to former site visitors.

… and much more.

The Energy Grid

105 Route 101A, Suite 18
Amherst, NH 03031

Mon-Thur: 8AM - 6PM EST
Fri: 8AM - 5PM EST

 

Contact Us

Your Name(*)
Please let us know your name.

Your Email(*)
Please let us know your email address.

Subject(*)
Please write a subject for your message.

Message(*)
Please let us know your message.

Anti-spam(*)
Invalid Input

Mark C. Robinson - Founder and President of the Energy Grid

mcr3 editsm
Mark has been working with the evolution of technology since the late 70's. From early computers, to local area networks, to the internet he has worked with businesses to get the most from new and emerging technologies. As well as supplying service and support to over 300 companies, The Energy Grid provides support to several of Mark's other companies including HandicappedPets.com, SmallTiresAndWheels.com, Quickbooks14500.com, FitBitClip.com, and more.

As well as being the president of The Energy Grid, Mark is a customer and sets high standards for performance, reliability, and customer service.

 
 

Angela Bourne - Search & E-Commerce Manager

AngelaB
Angela Bourne has been with the company since 2004. She has seen the company grow to what it is today. She is certified in Google Analytics and AdWords. Angela enjoys animals of all types from mammals to reptiles.
 
 

Don DeMark - Manager

headshots 16
Don’s passion is solving problems and helping companies grow. He has over 25 years helping companies strategically and tactically use Web and Ecommerce Technologies. He also is one of our software developers..
 



Katelyn Bourne - Senior Web Design Consultant

DSC00551 Edit Edit Edit
Katelyn creates and maintains our websites. She enjoys working with customers on their sites and is fascinated by the different designs.
 
 

Alicia Buonamano - Social Media

DSC00563
Alicia is a recent graduate from Salve Regina University. She joined our team in June of 2015, and manages our platforms of social media. Alicia also takes part in devising our marketing and advertising strategies.
 

The Energy Grid Secure Checkout

The Energy Grid is committed to the safety and security of your personal information. Your data is safe because we host our servers on Rackspace, transactions are handled by Paypal, and our team of professionals are constantly watching for problems.

Hosted on Rackspace

Energy Grid Servers are hosted in the Rackspace Network Operations Center. This facility is the largest of its type in the world with built-in security, backup, and bandwidth. Their “Fanatical Support” is available should it ever be needed.

Transactions by Paypal

Energy Grid Verified sites use Paypal as the payment processor. Paypal is the world’s largest, most secure e-commerce platform, processing over 4 billion payments a year with an impeccable safety record. This means that when you make a purchase on an Energy Grid website your credit card information is sent directly to Paypal over an encrypted channel and never stored or saved on our severs. In the unlikely event that an Energy Grid server is compromised, there is no credit card information for the hackers to get!

Virus and Malware detection

The Energy Grid uses a suite of firewall, virus, and malware detection that runs constantly and updates daily to detect and eliminate threats before they attack our sites.

So you can be sure, when you see this seal, that your information is safe and secure.

A Brief Video On Internet security:

 

PDF file of the presentation

Roboform Password Manager (Recommended)

 

They have a hundred ways of getting your passwords.

1 – They can guess them.  It is incredibly easy to guess so many people’s passwords. In 1000 tries, they’ll guess over 90% of the passwords on the internet.

  • 4.7% of users have the password password;
  • 8.5% have the passwords password or 123456;
  • 9.8% have the passwords password, 123456 or 12345678;
  • 14% have a password from the top 10 passwords
  • 40% have a password from the top 100 passwords
  • 79% have a password from the top 500 passwords
  • 91% have a password from the top 1000 passwords

2 – They can get them from an insecure site.

                When you log onto a website about recipes, they might ask you for a username and password so they can remember your favorite foods. This is not a ‘secure’ website and nobody cares about their security. But if a someone hacks into that website and gets your username and password, then they try this username and password at your bank, will they get in?

3 – They can trick you into revealing them.

                You get an email from your bank that looks perfectly legit. It says you have a message, click here to read it. You click and go to a website that looks exactly like your bank’s website, and you enter your username and password, and see your accounts. Looks fine – but what has actually happed is the hackers made a duplicate of the banks website. When you entered your username and password, they kept a record of it for themselves, and at the same time logged you into your real bank account normally.

4 – They can load a “Trojan Horse” or keylogger on your computer.

                Suddenly a message pops up on your computer saying “Hard drive error, click here to fix.” You click, “Fixing….”, “Repairs successful.” You breathe a sigh of relief. But in fact, that message was not from your computer but from a website and “Fixing…” was actually downloading a program. Every key you type from now on is being sent to the hackers – including your usernames and passwords.

5 – Heartbleed.

                You’ve been hearing about the security flaw – and we will be hearing more. There is a small chance that every password you have ever used has been compromised. Everyone should now change their financial institution and high security passwords. Low-impact passwords like those that no not involve money are not so important.

6 – I have no idea.

                They’ll get us in a ways we can’t even imagine. Through our cellphones, our internet connected televisions, thermostats, and refrigerators?

What can you do?

                Reduce your odds of being hacked and hope for the best. Be vigilant.

A - Check your credit card activity, credit report, and bank balances frequently.

B – Keep up-to-date virus protection on your computer. Norton, TrendMicro, McAfee, Kaspersky are all good.

C – Don’t click links inside emails unless you’re sure they’re taking you where you expect to go. Should you click on the link in item D below? Well, you know me. You know this document is really from me. You can see that the link is actually going to the roboform.com home page. I’d day it’s safe.

D – Use effective password management. Personally, I use Roboform. It remembers passwords for each page and is secure. A free trial is available here: http://www.roboform.com/?affid=m1955.

Here’s some guidance on changing passwords:

Because of the Heartbleed security alert, change all financial-related passwords now. This includes passwords used for banking, credit cards, wire-transfers, and financial institutions. Although you do not need to change local passwords (like Quickbooks), the passwords used to login to banks, credit card institutions, and sites that store credit card information (like Itunes and Amazon) should be changed.

Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, contain at least one upper-case letter (not the first character), one lower-case letter, at least one number and, if allowed by the site, a symbol like ,.?/">~!@#$%^&*()_-+={}[]|\:;"'<>,.?/. Passwords should not contain a common name or word.  As a suggestion, use an acronym. "My son's birthday is at December 4" could be used to remember the password msBDis@1204

 If you need to send the new username and password to someone, send the username by email and the password by TXT message, skype, or other means. Do not label the TXT message with "This is my password:".

 Passwords to different sites can be the same -- as long as the security levels of those sites are the same. For example, use three passwords: 

Level 1 -  Top security banks, investment, and credit cards (Amex, TDBank)

Level 2 -  High security shopping sites that have your credit cards (Amazon, Ebay)

Level 3-  Low security information and research sites (HandicappedPets.net, NakedNews.com, and Dictionary.com)

Passwords should be changed every 90 days. Yes, it’s a pain in the … but Ecommerce is not likely to go away anytime soon.

 

Family, Friends and Lovers 2016 Spring Weekend May 27 -30

Borrowing a page from Dance New England (DNE), we have made our payments sliding scale.

Rates for Full 3-Day Weekend

                                                                     FULL Weekend Rate

Income Range/year

$0-25K

$25-45K

$45-65K

$65-85K

Adult Rate

$110-145

$145-176

$176-204

$204-232

18-25 Young Adult Rate

$90-145

$145-176

$176-204

$204-232

                                                                      Young People's Rate

Minor Age

Under 6 mo

6 mo-12 yr

13-17

Teen no Parent

Minor Rate

free

$41

$44

$48

Nobody knows your life like you do. The choices we all make around earning money, contributing to a better world, and fulfilling our responsibilities are a maze. Adjust your rate upward based on assets (owning property, having a trust fund or inherited wealth, a retirement plan, etc.) or downward based on responsibilities (healthcare, tuition, dependents, unusual losses, etc.).

Consider what Family, Friends and Lovers means to you - and others. Pay the amount you feel is appropriate.

Scholarships and equivalencies are available. They must be arranged in advance of the weekend with the Treasurer (phone Darien 413-586-7697).

 

PARTIAL Weekend Rates

Sliding Scale to calculate piece rate (rate for each meal and overnight) for partial Weekend:

                                                              Sliding Scale Piece Rate

Income Range/year

$0-25K

$25-45K

$45-65K

$65-85K

Adult Piece Rate

$13

$16

$18

$20

18-25 Young Adult Piece Rate

$12

$16

$18

$20

                                                              Young People's Piece rate

Minor Age

Under 6 mo

6 mo-12 yr

13-17

Teen no Parent

Minor Piece Rate

free

$5

$8

$8

 

To calculate the cost of a PARTIAL Weekend, count the number of meals you are here plus the number of overnights. There are nine meals: Fri dinner, Sat breakfast, Sat lunch, Sat dinner, Sun breakfast, Sun lunch, Sun dinner, Mon breakfast, Mon lunch. The amount you owe is (M + O) x PR = TA: the number of meals (M) plus the number of overnights (O) times your Sliding Scale piece rate (PR) is the total amount (TA).

Example: if four meals and one overnight and your piece rate is $16, then (4 + 1) x $16 = $80.

# overnights + # meals x Sliding Scale piece rate = total amount

_________ + _____ x __________________ = _________

Registration and Payment

If you have not already done so, make sure to register by sending a regular e-mail to Neil Kutzen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (fax 781-587-1793) with (1) Who is coming?, (2) Names and ages of any children you are bringing with you, and (3) How much are you paying? If you are paying here, please click the Donate button below.  If you prefer to pay by U.S. mail, send a check made out to "FF&L" and your information to Neil Kutzen, 48 Bartley St., Wakefield, MA  01880.     

NOTE: Please pay early if possible or by May 15 at the latest. Payments can still be made by check after you arrive at the Weekend with an extra charge of $15.

 

Donate Here

Creating a website on TheEnergyGrid.com servers is fun and easy.

Start by going to TheEnergyGrid.us and logging in with your username and password.  Email us if you need help with this or if what you seet does not look like the screen in the next photo.

TheEnergyGrid.us and logging in

You can manage every aspect of your website from here, but to create a new website, click on

 “Launch Web Presence Builder”

Launch Web Presence Builder

We have predefined a LOT of typical businesses. Choose the one that is most like yours. In this example we’re choosing a Tea & Coffee Store.

predefined a LOT of typical businesses

Enter some basic information.

Enter some basic information

Your website is created and you are taken to your main editing screen where you can add Menu items, modules (like a shopping cart), contact forms, and much, much more.

your main editing screen

Use the “Help” and “User’s Guide” to get information about specific functions of the Web Presence Builder.

Help and Users Guide

Many Energy Grid clients have chosen to use Google Apps to manage their email.

Google provides this service as a great solution allowing for excellent spam protection and easy integration with mobile phones and more.

One drawback is that google rarely, although sometimes, sends email to it's own internal SPAM mailbox. If you use Outlook, Apple Mail, or some other email program, you will not receive this. The only way you will find out about it is if your associate calls and asks "Why haven't you been answering my emails?"

Follow these instructions to check the SPAM mailbox in Google Apps.

1 - Log on to your Google Webmail Interface.

      Go to Google.com. Sign in with your email address and your email password. Sometimes people have more than one google account. In this case you may have to "Sign Out" first, then sign in.

 

Google Apps Step 1

Click "Sign In" Top Right"

Google Apps Step 2

Enter your full email address and password

Google Apps Step 3

Click "Mail" top row toward the left.

Google Apps Step 4

Check the SPAM folder on the Right hand side.

You can Mark emails as "Not Spam" or add the sender to your contacts in google.

You can also create a filter to "Never Mark as Spam"

Advanced:

To add IP addresses to your Organization's email whitelist and have them never sent to spam

  1. Sign in to your Google Apps administrator control panel.
  2. From the menu at the top of the page, select the Settings tab.
  3. From the left-navigation menu, click Email.
  4. From the Email settings page, click General Settings.
  5. In the Organizations section near the top of the page, highlight your domain.
  6. In the Email whitelist section, enter the IP addresses of your contact's domain host to make sure any mail originating from these IP addresses are not labeled spam. If you would like to add more than one IP addressr separate each IP address with a comma.
  7. Click Save changes.

 

iPhone for Plesk

Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch comes with built-in email software from Apple.

This walkthrough will show you how to configure your email software to work with your Energy Grid mail address.

 

Instructions

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

3. From the Accounts menu, tap Add Account...

4. Tap Other.

5. Tap Add Mail Account.

6. Fill in the requested information:

Name: The name you want to display with this email address.

Address: Your email address.

Password: The password for this email address.

Description: This description is for your use when you view the account.

7. Tap Next.

8. You will now see your main account settings screen.

9. Choose IMAP (keep messages synced to the server).

10. In the Incoming Mail Server section, fill in the following settings:

Host Name: mail.EXAMPLE.COM (replace EXAMPLE.COM with your domain)

User Name: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (your full email address)

Password: The password you created for this email address.

11. In the Outgoing Mail Server section, fill in the following settings:

Host Name: mail.EXAMPLE.COM (replace EXAMPLE.COM with your domain)

User Name: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (your full email address)

Password: The password you created for this email address.

12. Tap Save.

13. You may now see a popup that says Secure Connection Failed. Tap Continue. Or, it may say

Cannot Connect Using SSL: Do you want to try setting up the account without SSL? Choose

Yes.

14. Congratulations! You've just created your email account. Try sending yourself a test message to

make sure it's working.

Please continue to the advanced settings sections so you can make sure that all of your advanced settings

are correct.

Advanced Outgoing SMTP and Incoming Settings

If you have trouble sending email, or you receive popups saying Unable to Verify Certificate,

you may need to adjust your outgoing email settings.

1. Open your Settings application.

2. Choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

3. From the Accounts menu, tap your email address.

4. Scroll down to the bottom and tap Advanced.

5. Scroll down to the Settings section. (You can set the previous settings based on personal preference).

6. Incoming Uses SSL: Off

7. Outgoing Uses SSL: Off.

8. Authentication must be set to Password. Tap Password to make sure that the correct password is entered. If not, retype your email password there.

9. IMAP Path Prefix: Leave this set to default.

10. Return to the main screen.

You're all set! All of your advanced settings should now be accurate.

Use ISP Outgoing Mail Server

If all of your settings are correct and you are still unable to send email with your iPhone, your Internet Service Provider may be blocking outgoing traffic on the standard SMTP (mail-sending) port. ISPs do this in an effort to cut down on spam.

In this case, you should contact your ISP for instructions on how to use their outgoing mail server instead.

The email will still be coming from your own email address. It will just route through their servers instead of Energy Grid’s servers.

Troubleshooting

Cannot send email

This may be due to your Internet Service Provider blocking the standard outgoing email port. See the Use ISP Outgoing Mail Server section above for help.

Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy, and PV cells are commonly known as Solar Cells. Photovoltaics can literally be translated as light-electricity.

First used in about 1890, "photovoltaic" has two parts: photo, derived from the Greek word for light, and volt, relating to electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta. And this is what photovoltaic materials and devices do—they convert light energy into electrical energy, as French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered as early as 1839.
Becquerel discovered the process of using sunlight to produce an electric current in a solid material. But it took more than another century to truly understand this process. Scientists eventually learned that the photoelectric or photovoltaic effect caused certain materials to convert light energy into electrical energy at the atomic level.

Photovoltaic Cells

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, use the photoelectric effect to produce electricity. PV cells are the building blocks of all PV systems since they are the devices that convert sunlight to electricity.

Commonly known as solar cells, individual PV cells are electricity-producing devices made of semiconductor materials. PV cells come in many sizes and shapes, from smaller than a postage stamp to several inches across. They are often connected together to form PV modules that may be up to several feet long and a few feet wide.

Modules, in turn, can be combined and connected to form PV arrays of different sizes and power output. The modules of the array make up the major part of a PV system, which can also include electrical connections, mounting hardware, power-conditioning equipment, and batteries that store solar energy for use when the sun is not shining.

When light shines on a PV cell, it may be reflected, absorbed, or pass right through. But only the absorbed light generates electricity. The energy of the absorbed light is transferred to electrons in the atoms of the PV cell (see: semiconductor material). With their newfound energy, these electrons escape from their normal positions in the atoms and become part of the electrical flow, or current, in an electrical circuit. A special electrical property of the PV cell—which is called a "built-in electric field"—provides the force, or voltage, needed to drive the current through an external load, such as a light bulb.

Photovoltaic Systems

A photovoltaic (PV), or solar electric system, is made up of several photovoltaic solar cells. An individual PV cell is usually small, typically producing about 1 or 2 watts of power. To boost the power output of PV cells, they are connected together to form larger units called modules. Modules, in turn, can be connected to form even larger units called arrays, which can be interconnected to produce more power, and so on. In this way, PV systems can be built to meet almost any electric power need, small or large.

The basic PV or solar cell produces only a small amount of power. To produce more power, cells can be interconnected to form modules, which can in turn be connected into arrays to produce yet more power. Because of this modularity, PV systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small.

By themselves, modules or arrays do not represent an entire PV system. Systems also include structures that point them toward the sun and components that take the direct-current electricity produced by modules and "condition" that electricity, usually by converting it to alternate-current electricity. PV systems may also include batteries. These items are referred to as the balance of system (BOS) components.

Combining modules with BOS components creates an entire PV system. This system is usually everything needed to meet a particular energy demand, such as powering a water pump, the appliances and lights in a home, or—if the PV system is large enough—all the electrical requirements of a community.

Photovoltaic System Performance

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are usually composed of numerous solar arrays, which in turn, are composed of numerous PV cells. The performance of the system is therefore dependent on the performance of its components.

Reliability

The reliability of PV arrays is an important factor in the cost of PV systems and in consumer acceptance. However, the building blocks of arrays, PV cells, are considered "solid-state" devices with no moving parts and, therefore, are highly reliable and long-lived. Therefore, reliability measurements of PV systems are usually focused not on cells but on modules and whole systems.

Reliability can be improved through fault-tolerant circuit design, which involves using various redundant features in the circuit to control the effect of partial failure on overall module yield and array power degradation. Degradation can be controlled by dividing the modules into a number of parallel solar cell networks called branch circuits. This type of design can also improve module losses caused by broken cells and other circuit failures. Bypass diodes or other corrective measures can mitigate the effects of local cell hot-spots. However, today's component failure rates are low enough that, with multiple-cell interconnects, series/paralleling, and bypass diodes, it is possible to achieve high levels of reliability.

Module Performance Measurements

PV module performance is measured with peak watt ratings. The peak watt (Wp) rating is determined by measuring the maximum power of a PV module under laboratory conditions of relatively high light, favorable air mass, and low cell temperature. But these conditions are not typical in the real world. Therefore, researchers may use a different procedure, known as the NOCT—or normal operating cell temperature—rating. In this procedure, the module first equilibrates with a specified ambient temperature so that maximum power is measured at a nominal operating cell temperature. This NOCT rating results in a lower watt value than the peak-watt rating, but it is probably more realistic.
However, neither of these methods is designed to indicate the performance of a solar module under realistic operating conditions. Another technique, the AMPM Standard, involves considering the whole day rather than "peak" sunshine hours. This standard, which is intended to address the practical user's needs, is based on the description of a standard solar global-average day (or a practical global average) in terms of light levels, ambient temperature, and air mass.
Solar arrays are designed to provide specified amounts of electricity under certain conditions. The following factors are usually considered when determining array performance: characterization of solar cell electrical performance, determination of degradation factors related to array design and assembly, conversion of environmental considerations into solar cell operating temperatures, and calculation of array power output capability.
The amount of electricity required may be defined by any one, or a combination, of the following performance criteria:

  • Power output
  • Power output is the power (in watts) available at the power regulator, specified either as peak power or average power produced during one day.
  • Energy output
  • The energy (watt-hour or Wh) output. This indicates the amount of energy produced during a certain period of time. The parameters are output per unit of array area (Wh/m2), output per unit of array mass (Wh/kg), and output per unit of array cost (Wh/$).
  • Conversion efficiency
  • This parameter is defined as: energy output from array / energy input from sun x 100%. It is often given as a power efficiency, equal to: power output from array / power input from sun x 100%.

Power is typically given in units of watts (W), and energy is typical in units of watt-hours (Wh).

To ensure the consistency and quality of photovoltaic systems and increase consumer confidence in system performance, groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Society for Testing and Materials are working on standards and performance criteria for PV systems.

Semiconductors and the Built-In Electric Field for Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
To separate electrical charges, crystalline silicon cells must have a built-in electric field. Light shining on crystalline silicon may free electrons within the crystal lattice, but for these electrons to do useful work—such as provide electricity to a light bulb—they must be separated and directed into an electrical circuit.
PV Semiconductors

Although both materials are electrically neutral, n-type silicon has excess electrons and p-type silicon has excess holes. Sandwiching these together creates a p/n junction at their interface, thereby creating an electric field.

Substituting a phosphorus atom (with five valence electrons) for a silicon atom in a silicon crystal leaves an extra, unbonded electron that is relatively free to move around the crystal.
To create an electric field within a crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell, two silicon semiconductor layers are sandwiched together. P-type (or positive) semiconductors have an abundance of positively charged holes, and n-type (or negative) semiconductors have an abundance of negatively charged electrons. When n- and p-type silicon layers contact, excess electrons move from the n-type side to the p-type side. The result is a buildup of positive charge along the n-type side of the interface and a buildup of negative charge along the p-type side.
Because of the flow of electrons and holes, the two semiconductors behave like a battery, creating an electric field at the surface where they meet. This area where they meet is called the p/n junction. The electrical field causes the electrons to move from the semiconductor toward the negative surface, making them available for the electrical circuit. At the same time, the holes move in the opposite direction, toward the positive surface, where they await incoming electrons.

Power Inverter

Power conditioners process the electricity produced by a PV system so it will meet the specific demands of the load. Although most equipment is standard, it is important to select equipment that matches the characteristics of the load. Power conditioners may:

  • Limit current and voltage to maximize power output
  • Convert DC power to AC power
  • Match the converted AC electricity to a utility's electrical network
  • Have safeguards that protect utility personnel and the electrical network from harm during repairs

Specific requirements of power conditioners depend on the type of PV system they are used with and the applications of that system. For DC applications, power conditioning is often done with regulators, which control output at some constant level of voltage and current to maximize output. For AC loads, power conditioning must include an inverter that converts the DC power generated by the PV array into AC power. Many simple devices—for example, ones that run on batteries—use DC electricity. However, AC electricity, which is what is generated by utilities, is needed to run most modern appliances and electronic devices.

Mounting Structures

PV arrays must be mounted on a stable, durable structure that can support the array and withstand wind, rain, hail, and other adverse conditions. Sometimes, this mounting structure is designed to track the sun. However, stationary structures are usually used with flat-plate systems. These structures tilt the PV array at a fixed angle determined by the latitude of the site, the requirements of the load, and the availability of sunlight.

Among the choices for stationary mounting structures, rack mounting may be the most versatile. It can be constructed fairly easily and installed on the ground or on flat or slanted roofs.

There are two basic kinds of tracking structures: one-axis and two-axis. One-axis trackers are typically designed to track the sun from east to west. They are used with flat-plate systems and sometimes with concentrator systems. The two-axis type is used primarily with PV concentrator systems. These units track the sun's daily course and its seasonal course between the northern and southern hemispheres. Naturally, the more sophisticated systems are the more expensive ones, and they usually require more maintenance.

Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
Crystalline silicon cells are made of silicon atoms connected to one another to form a crystal lattice. This lattice comprises the solid material that forms the photovoltaic (PV) cell's semiconductors. This section describes the atomic structure and bandgap energy of these cells.
Atomic Structure
All matter is composed of atoms, which are made up of positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and neutral neutrons. Protons and neutrons, which are about the same size, are in the close-packed, central nucleus of the atom. The much lighter electrons orbit the nucleus. Although atoms are built of oppositely charged particles, their overall charge is neutral because they contain an equal number of positive protons and negative electrons, whose charges offset each other.

As depicted in this simplified diagram, silicon has 14 electrons. The four electrons that orbit the nucleus in the outermost "valence" energy level are given to, accepted from, or shared with other atoms.

In the basic unit of a crystalline silicon solid, a silicon atom shares each of its four valence electrons with each of four neighboring atoms.
Electrons orbit at different distances from the nucleus, depending on their energy level. Electrons with less energy orbit close to the nucleus, and electrons with more energy orbit farther away. The higher-energy electrons farthest from the nucleus are the ones that interact with neighboring atoms to form solid structures.
A silicon atom has 14 electrons, but their natural orbital arrangement allows only the outermost four electrons to be given to, accepted from, or shared with other atoms. These four electrons, called valence electrons, play an important role in the photoelectric effect.
Large numbers of silicon atoms bond with one another by means of their valence electrons to form a crystal. In a crystalline solid, each silicon atom normally shares one of its four valence electrons in a covalent bond with each of four neighboring silicon atoms. The solid thus consists of basic units of five silicon atoms: the original atom plus the four atoms with which it shares valence electrons.
The solid silicon crystal is thus made up of a regular series of units of five silicon atoms. This regular, fixed arrangement of silicon atoms is known as the crystal lattice.

Creating P-Type and N-Type Semiconductors

In a crystalline silicon PV cell, p-type silicon must contact n-type silicon to create the built-in electrical field. The process of doping, which is used to create these materials, introduces an atom of another element into silicon crystal to alter its electrical properties. The dopant, which is the introduced element, has either three or five valence electrons—which is one less or one more than silicon's four.

Phosphorus atoms, which have five valence electrons, are used to dope n-type silicon because phosphorus provides its fifth free electron. A phosphorus atom occupies the same place in the crystal lattice formerly occupied by the silicon atom it replaced. Four of its valence electrons take over the bonding responsibilities of the four silicon valence electrons that they replaced. But the fifth valence electron remains free, having no bonding responsibilities. When phosphorus atoms are substituted for silicon in a crystal, many free electrons become available.
The most common method of doping is to coat a layer of silicon material with phosphorus and then heat the surface. This allows the phosphorus atoms to diffuse into the silicon. The temperature is then reduced so the rate of diffusion drops to zero. Other methods of introducing phosphorus into silicon include gaseous diffusion, a liquid dopant spray-on process, and a technique in which phosphorus ions are precisely driven into the surface of the silicon.
But the n-type silicon cannot form an electric field by itself. It also needs p-type silicon. Boron, which has only three valence electrons, is used for doping p-type silicon. Boron is introduced during silicon processing when the silicon is purified for use in photovoltaic devices. When a boron atom takes a position in the crystal lattice formerly occupied by a silicon atom, a bond will be missing an electron. In other words, there is an extra positively charged hole.

P-Layer Design

In a PV cell, photons are absorbed in the p-layer. It is therefore important that this layer be "tuned" to the properties of incoming photons so it can absorb as many as possible and, thus, free up as many electrons as possible. The design of the p-layer must also keep the electrons from meeting up with holes and recombining with them before they can escape from the PV cell. To accomplish these goals, p-layers are designed to free electrons as close to the junction as possible, so that the electric field can help send the free electrons through the conduction layer (the n-layer) and out into the electrical circuit.
By optimizing these characteristics, the PV cell's conversion efficiency (how much light energy is converted into electrical energy) is improved.

Bandgap Energy

Bandgap energy is the amount of energy required to dislodge an electron from its covalent bond and allow it to become part of an electrical circuit. When light shines on crystalline silicon, electrons within its crystal lattice may be freed. But not all photons—as packets of light energy are called—are created equal.
To free an electron, the energy of a photon must be at least as great as the bandgap energy. However, photons with more energy than the bandgap energy will expend the extra as heat when freeing electrons. So it is important for a photovoltaic (PV) cell to be "tuned"—through slight modifications to the silicon's molecular structure—to optimize the photon energy.
Crystalline silicon has a bandgap energy of 1.1 electron-volts (eV). (An electron-volt is equal to the energy gained by an electron when it passes through a potential of 1 volt in a vacuum.) The bandgap energies of other effective PV semiconductors range from 1.0 to 1.6 eV. In this range, electrons can be freed without creating extra heat.
The photon energy of light varies according to the wavelengths of the light. The entire spectrum of sunlight, from infrared to ultraviolet, covers a range of about 0.5 eV to about 2.9 eV. For example, red light has an energy of about 1.7 eV, and blue light has an energy of about 2.7 eV. Most PV cells cannot use about 55% of the energy of sunlight because this energy is either below the bandgap of the material used or carries excess energy.

Different PV materials have different energy band gaps. Photons with energy equal to the band gap energy are absorbed to create free electrons. Photons with less energy than the band gap energy pass through the material.

Introduction

Here you can find the list with the standard set of fonts common to all versions of Windows and their Mac substitutes, referred sometimes as "browser safe fonts". This is the reference I use when making web pages and I expect you will find it useful too.

If you are new to web design, maybe you are thinking: "Why I have to limit to that small set of fonts? I have a large collection of nice fonts in my computer". Well, as seasoned web designers already know, browsers can use only the fonts installed in the same computer, so it means that every visitor of your web page needs to have all the fonts you want to use installed in his/her computer. Of course, different people will have different fonts installed, and thus come the need of a standard set of fonts. Fortunately, CSS allows set several values for the font-family property, which eases the task a bit.

If you want to know how the fonts are displayed in other OS's or browsers than yours, after the table you can find several screen shots of this page in different systems and browsers. Also, you can take a look to the list of the default fonts included with each version of Windows.

The list

First, a few introductory notes:

    • The names in grey are the generic family of each font.
    • In some cases the Mac equivalent is the same font, since Mac OS X also includes some of the fonts shipped with Windows.
    • The notes at the bottom contains specific information about some of the fonts.

Windows fonts / Mac fonts / Font family

Normal styleBold style
Arial, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif Arial, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
Arial Black, Arial Black, Gadget, sans-serif Arial Black, Arial Black, Gadget, sans-serif
Comic Sans MS, Comic Sans MS5, cursive Comic Sans MS, Comic Sans MS5, cursive
Courier New, Courier New, Courier6, monospace Courier New, Courier New, Courier6, monospace
Georgia1, Georgia, serif Georgia1, Georgia, serif
Impact, Impact5, Charcoal6, sans-serif Impact, Impact5, Charcoal6, sans-serif
Lucida Console, Monaco5, monospace Lucida Console, Monaco5, monospace
Lucida Sans Unicode, Lucida Grande, sans-serif Lucida Sans Unicode, Lucida Grande, sans-serif
Palatino Linotype, Book Antiqua3, Palatino6, serif Palatino Linotype, Book Antiqua3, Palatino6, serif
Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif
Times New Roman, Times, serif Times New Roman, Times, serif
Trebuchet MS1, Helvetica, sans-serif Trebuchet MS1, Helvetica, sans-serif
Verdana, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif Verdana, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif
Symbol, Symbol(Symbol2, Symbol2) Symbol, Symbol(Symbol2, Symbol2)
Webdings, Webdings(Webdings2, Webdings2) Webdings, Webdings(Webdings2, Webdings2)
Wingdings, Zapf Dingbats(Wingdings2Zapf Dingbats2) Wingdings, Zapf Dingbats(Wingdings2Zapf Dingbats2)
MS Sans Serif4, Geneva, sans-serif MS Sans Serif4, Geneva, sans-serif
MS Serif4, New York6, serif MS Serif4, New York6, serif

1 Georgia and Trebuchet MS are bundled with Windows 2000/XP and they are also included in the IE font pack (and bundled with other MS applications), so they are quite common in Windows 98 systems.

2 Symbolic fonts are only displayed in Internet Explorer, in other browsers a font substitute is used instead (although the Symbol font does work in Opera and the Webdings works in Safari).

3 Book Antiqua is almost exactly the same font that Palatino Linotype, Palatino Linotype is included in Windows 2000/XP while Book Antiqua was bundled with Windows 98.

4 These fonts are not TrueType fonts but bitmap fonts, so they won't look well when using some font sizes (they are designed for 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 and 24 point sizes at 96 DPI).

5 These fonts work in Safari but only when using the normal font style, and not with bold or italic styles. Comic Sans MS works in bold but not in italic. Other Mac browsers seems to emulate properly the styles not provided by the font.

6 These fonts are present in Mac OS X only if Classic is installed.

The Energy Grid provides grant-writing services to renewable energy companies.

The government has committed to increase the use and production of solar electric power, hydro power, and solar shade structures to harness the sun’s energy. This will be accomplished by financially funding projects and funding the education of the general public that sun is a clean source of energy.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans' concerns about the environment have reached a twenty-year low and global warming is the environmental issue Americans are least worried about. In contrast, Gallup also found that more than half of Americans believe that jobs and the economy are the top problems currently facing the nation.  In California alone the state regulators approved a hike that will raise the average residential bill by $85.  The goal for all of us in the energy business is to educate business and residential consumers that there is an immediate need to reduce our dependency on the oil industry.

This past year has presented a number of new challenges-given the economic times we are facing; at the same time, there is important progress for the solar industry in several key directions.

As we have seen so visibly after the election of the present administration $457 billion have been funded through the DOE (Department of Energy), and NIST (National Institute of Technology) EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and in some states the Energy Commissions.  These funds hold great potential for R & D, collaborations, funding for projects, and other initiatives in the solar and other sustainably areas.   Additionally, an international group of companies, representing a wide range of energy producers, and users, anticipate investing up to $225 million in research over the next 5 years.
 

The economic stimulus package of 2009 is a historic opportunity for you to receive grant funding to help you increase your strategic decisions in growing your business and serving your community. However, it does require someone who understands the funding programs.  A portion of these funds are being distributed to your state and local government.
 

For example, New York announced steps to strengthen the states’ renewable energy supply. It set aside about $280 million over a five-year period for customer-sited renewable energy projects as part of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) program. It will provide funding for thousands of businesses to install solar panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices. They approved an additional $150 million for large-scale solar photovoltaic, anaerobic digester and fuel cell projects in the New York City Metropolitan area. They will receive millions more through the stimulus package.
In these difficult economic times, you have an opportunity to keep focusing on your long-term goals by applying for federal and state grant funding.

Grant funding will help the survival of your company. The process is arduous; however the reward to your company could be millions.  There are many applicants for these funds and you want to be sure you are one of the successful applicants!

Contact The Energy Grid to see how our grant writing services can support you and your projects.

By Vickie Powell, CEO Bizquests, Inc
www.bizquests.com
Federal grant reviewer for the DOE, EPA, and HRSA
and grant writer in the Clean Tech Industry

Photovoltaic Assisted Lighting Systems approved in 2008 National Electric Code

Nov 28, 2006, Redondo Beach, CA

Mark Robinson, today, presented a proposal to the NEC 2008 code making council that opens the door to a new energy efficient technology. The proposal was accepted and the new language will appear in the 2008 National Electric Code.

For the past 10 years, Nextek power systems has been developing and commercializing Photovoltaic-Assisted Lighting systems.

Typical Commercial Solar PV and Lighting System

These systems are more efficient than traditional photovoltaic systems because they bypass the inverters and rectifiers traditionally associated with Solar Electric power.

In addition, because DC power cannot possibly pass back through the system into the grid, Photovoltaic Assisted Lighting systems are not subject to Anti-Islanding laws. This means that, unlike other solar systems, these do not have to shut down during a power failure. This has a significant impact on disaster-preparedness based systems.

In the 2005 National Electric Code, Section 210.6 was changed to protect people who would be changing lamps from exposure to high voltage.

210.6 (D) Branch Branch-Circuit Voltage Limitations 600 Volts Between ConductorsCircuits exceeding 277 volts, nominal, to ground and not exceeding 600 volts, nominal, between conductors shall be permitted to supply the following:

(1) The auxiliary equipment of electric-discharge lamps mounted in permanently installed luminaires (fixtures) where the luminaires (fixtures) are mounted in accordance with one of the following:
  a. Not less than a height of 6.7 m (22 ft) on poles or similar structures for the illumination of outdoor areas such as highways, roads, bridges, athletic fields, or parking lots b. Not less than a height of 5.5 m (18 ft) on other structures such as tunnels

(2) Cord-and-plug-connected or permanently connected utilization equipment other than luminaires (fixtures)

The "other than luminaires (fixtures)" prohibited Photovoltaic Assisted Lighting Systems. These systems, running at 380 VDC (the peak of 277VAC), would exceed the 277 volt limit.

Our proposal was to add a section (3) to read:

(3) Luminaires powered from direct current systems where the luminaire contains a listed, dc-rated ballast that provides isolation between the dc power source and the lamp circuit and protection from electric shock when changing lamps

The justifications for our proposal were:

1The requirements of Article 210.6(D) are intended to protect non-qualified persons from the risk of electric shock while changing lamps, etc.

2The use of listed electronic light ballasts that provide isolation between the ac or dc power source and the lamp circuit, and protection against electric shock are an alternant means of achieving this intent.

3The proposed new language for 210.6(D)(3)  would allow connection of listed, dc-rated ballasts to dc circuits operating between 277 and 600V. Fluorescent lamp ballasts are listed under UL935 which tests for and protects against the potential for electric shock when changing lamps. UL935 applies to both ac and dc powered ballasts.  UL1029 applies to high intensity discharge ballasts and has similar provisions for the prevention of electric shock.

4Most electronic ballasts can operate on both ac and dc as the internal electronics converts incoming power to dc before inverting to lamp voltage. Many are listed for both ac and dc use.  A ballast connected to a 277V ac nominal circuit will be subject to 392V peak and 431V peak at (+10%) ac high line. The internal DC bus of the ballast will be charged to the same (392Vdc) level whether the ballast is connected to 277Vac or 392Vdc.  The lamp is then supplied via an isolated high-frequency inverter circuit.  The voltages available in the ballast and the risk of electric shock when changing bulbs are identical.

5The potential risk to a person changing a ballast is a separate issue which is addressed by the new requirements of Article 410.73(G) requiring a ballast disconnect switch: “The luminaire will contain a disconnect means internal or external to itself or the luminaire will be cord and plug wired with UL rated hardware”. Ballast replacement is also an activity normally performed by qualified personnel.

6Comments from luminaire manufacturers (in the 2005 ROP) in response to the changes in the 2005 code that excluded luminaires from operating at over 277V stated that this change was occurring without justification – no problems or cases of electric shock had been reported for lighting systems operating at over 277V.

The complete proposal, brilliantly crafted by Dr. Robert Wills, can be seen here.

This code change opens the door to a new technology that can be used to improve the efficiency and reliability of Photovoltaic Assisted Lighting Systems.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you were a New Jersey Solar Installer, what would you pay to get someone in New Jersey searching for “Home Solar System” to your website? Currently, the cost for this click is between $1.00 and $1.50, charged to you only when the searcher clicks on your ad and gets to your website. Exciting? It’s called “Pay-Per-Click” and it can be a golden opportunity or a huge waste of money depending on how much you know.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising  When you enter terms in a search engine you are presented with two types of results; organic listings and sponsored links. Some of these, the organic listings, appear because Google believes those websites to have the content you are looking for. Other listings, the sponsored links, appear because the advertiser has offered to pay the search engine when their ad is clicked.

This picture shows that www.mrsolar.com and www.wholesalesolar.com (in the organic section) have the best website content for the search terms “home solar system.” SolarEnergy.org, BizRate.com, and TheSolarCenter.com (in the sponsored sections) have bid the highest for these pay-per-click ads, probably between $1.00 and $1.50. Pay-per-click ads are available through Google, Yahoo, MSN, and hundreds of other services.

These pay-per-click ads appear not only on search engine results, but also on other solar power related webpages and even inside personal emails sent through Google’s gmail system or Yahoo’s mail and group system that mention solar power.

Buying Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is set up by on the “Advertise With Us” link of most search engines. The basic concepts you’ll need to be prepared for are:

  • Campaign: Choose a name for your advertising campaign.
  • Daily Budget: What is the maximum you are willing to spend per day?
  • Geo-Targeting: Do you want you ads to appear only in certain geographic areas?
  • Content Match: Do you want your ads to appear on other websites and inside personal emails, or just on search engine results?
  • Keywords: What keywords and phrases would you like to bid on?
  • Advanced Keyword Features: Negative keywords refer to words to exclude. For example a PV installer does not want the ad to appear if the search contains the word “Thermal.” For the keyword phrase “home solar system”, exact match will only display your ad if it has only those three words in that order.
  • Conversion Tracking: By adding a bit of code to webpages the search engine can report where, on your website, the customer goes.
  • Your Ad: You will then write your ad. The text and title of your ad is the most important aspect of your advertising campaign.


You will then be able to bid on the keyword and be given an indication of where your ad will appear. Tracking reports show activity almost immediately.

Pay-Per-Click Strategies

Creating a pay-per-click advertising program is easy. Managing an effective one can take years to master. The campaign needs to be set up such that prospective customers and only prospective customers click on your ad. If you’re selling home solar PV systems in San Diego then you can’t afford to pay for clicks from people looking for commercial systems, solar hot water systems, or PV systems outside your area.

Conversion tracking is one of the most important tools, but can be difficult to master. It requires that you set up “goals’ for people who come to your site. Common goals include clicking a “Buy Now” button, entering their email on a “Contact Us,” or “Newsletter” page, or downloading a white paper or “site evaluation” worksheet. When person reaches this goal then the click is deemed to be a ‘conversion.’  The number of people who go to site and become customers is the only way to measure the effectiveness of a pay-per-click campaign.

Ad Rotation is a way to test the effectiveness of your ad copy. For example, ad #1 might say:

“… learn everything you need to know about home solar systems…”

ad #2 might say:

“…learn everything you need to know to buy a home solar system…”

Each ad will display in turn. It is likely that would you see that ad #1 is clicked on more often because everyone wants to learn about solar. Ad #2, though, would likely result in more conversions because you are suggesting that this is a site for people who are interested in actually buying a system.

The Landing Page refers to the page on your website that the ad links to. It is critical that the landing page provide the information that pay-per-click ad promised. Otherwise, the potential customer will click his ‘back’ button and go someplace else, wasting your money.

While the ad is running, bid price, placement, clicks, conversions, and more are all analyzed carefully to determine whether the campaigns, and each of the keywords are effective. Keyword inventories, showing what keywords are being searched for and competitive analysis, identifying the keywords that other people are bidding on are all monitored.

Pay-Per-Click Pitfalls

Click Fraud. A recent CNet News article reports that nearly 15% of all clicks are fraudulent. Click fraud often happens when search engine place their pay-per-click ads on related websites. For example, on several of my pages at TheEnergyGrid.com, I allow Google to place pay-per-click ads. If you go to http://www.TheInternetIsThinkingAboutYou.com

and click on one of the ads there, Google will bill that pay-per-click advertiser and share the revenue with me.  In theory, I could write a program that clicks these ads all day long and make thousands of dollars, each click looking like it comes from a different computer. In practice, Google has hired people much smarter than I to detect and prevent this.

Adcopy and Placement: Do you want to be at the top of the list? There are some advantages and some disadvantages. What you say, and where you say it make a huge difference in terms of click-through and conversions.

Paying Attention: The most important aspect of effective pay-per-click advertising to know how to use the reports and pay close attention to all aspects of your campaign.

The Pay-Per-Click Challenge

So what would it mean to your business to suddenly have a flow of targeted, ready-to-buy customers to your website? This is the tantalizing promise of pay-per-click that can be accomplished with careful planning and a serious commitment to follow up.

Statistics: (Sidebar?)

There were 7 billion searches done in February 2007

According to industry watch “eMarketer,” US pay-per-click spending is expected to reach over 8 billion dollars in 2007. 

Mark C. Robinson of TheEnergyGrid.com provides web marketing support for the renewable energy industry including website design, web hosting, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click campaign management.

Energy Grid Websites: How they Work

Energy Grid Websites: How they Work

Getting Started Library: Client Agreement - Complete Editing/Operating Instructions .

The Trend: There was a time when, if we wanted a resume done, we took it to a desktop publishing company for layout and print. Now, that technology has come to the desktop. Similarly, until now, when you needed website work you would call a webmaster. That technology, too, is coming to the desktop. "Solar Powered Sites" from The Energy Grid can be easily edited and changed by anyone, from the desktop of your Mac or PC.
 
The Technology: The type of technology we use is called a "Content Management System" or "CMS". This means that basic format of your website, the look and feel is kept in a template. The information in each page; the content, is kept in a database. All of the menus, buttons, and more are handled automatically. The content can be changed or edited by logging in with a username and password and using a familiar word-processor interface to edit the content. The name of the technology is "Joomla" and there are tens of thousands of Joomla sites installed. It's proven, secure, 'bulletproof' technology. Complete Operating And Website Editing Instructions are Here

Editing an Article

The Process:

Our Getting Started questionnaire outlines what we need to think about. You also need to look over our client Agreement.

1Select a template. We choose from hundreds of templates. You can see several of them in our sample sites on the left. Others can be seen at a template design service we use. See them at http://demo.rockettheme.com. Use the pull-down menu at the top of the screen to browse templates. Templates can be changed easily in the future.

2Customize the template. Together, sometimes withe the help of a designer, we choose the colors and make the template your own.

3We design a header. At the top of each website, a header contains your logo, some pictures, a message, or appealing design. The design can be animated with flash as you can see in sites like GoSolarGreenNY. If you have a graphic designer, they can help.

4We add content and photos to the site. We can use your photos, or stock photos from services like IStockPhoto.com.

Add ons:

There are hundreds of modules that can be added to the site. http://extensions.joomla.org/

Growing the site:

In about five minutes, you can learn how to edit existing pages making minor changes and additions. In a second lesson, you'll learn how to add new articles, upload photos, and re-arrange menu items. If you choose to learn more, there is no limit to what you can do. Of course, our services are always available if you would prefer to have it done for you. Complete Operating Instructions are Here.

Unlimited Growth:

There are no limits to the size or scope of this content management system. Whether your website is a few pages or a few thousand pages this system keeps the site navigable and organized.

Call today and put the web to work for your business! (603) 413-0322

Already have a website?Potential customers expect to have an unlimited amount of information available about your product, services, and company. Successful internet marketing includes several crucial components.
  • Attractive and Organized website created by an expert in the field
  • E-Commerce capabilities where applicible
  • High rankings on Google, Yahoo, and MSN
  • Link Exchange with other related companies
  • Dynamic and applicable support section
It's not enough anymore to have a website designed by a good designer. Context is good, but Content is King. Having your website designed by someone with years of expereince in the energy business can inspire confidence and generate sales. The Energy Grid offers a unique combination of skills and experience, not available elsewhere.

Energy information about your state - Department of energy database State Energy Consumption, Price, and Expenditure

PerfectSense - Indoor Air Quality Monitoring not only detects poisonous fumes but reacts by closing vents, turning on (or off) fans, and notifying a building management system.

The Quickbooks14500 Club - When Quickbooks Pro reaches 14,500 customers, it shuts down. Quickbooks requires you make an expensive upgrade to their Enterprise system. This is an alternative 'out of the box' solution.

SustainableMedia.net - Educational video to help Solar Installers educate their prospective customers.

Comprehensive Energy Links 

Battery Myths & Facts

Programs and Other resources for our clients:

Roboform - This application effectively organized all of your login names and passwords. An Outstanding utility.

Domain Hosting: Low Cost (6.99/yr)

Mailing List Management  - To manage your mailing list and send professional quality newsletters, we recommend StreamSend. Low cost, highly professional. Easy to use.

One of the most convenient methods of taking credit card is through paypal. They will process your transactions and the customer will never know that it is being done through paypal.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Search Engine Optimization: Extremely expensive, Almost $900. Because I use this for many clients, it pays for itself.

Affiliates

KeywordDiscovery.com Keyword Research Tool

Understanding renewable energy technology from concepts to nuts-and-bolts.

Mark C. Robinson speaks at the race for American jobs

Mark C. Robinson, Principal of The Energy Grid, has over 30 years experience in Energy and Information Systems. Drawing on resources in these previously divergent areas, Robinson promotes awareness, use, and adoption of new energy technologies.

"Energy and Information are fundamentally the same. Information creates efficiency in the form of demand response and load shifting. In the near future access to information about where, when, and how information is used will create new levels of efficiencies and effective distribution systems."

Mark C Robinson provides support to the industry in renewable energy business development, product development, presentations, and internet marketing.

Mark C Robinson, is available to work with your organization to promote new technologies and capitalize on the opportunities this industry offers.

Energy Use 2003. Source: Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-906, Power Plant Report and EIA 920,“Combined Heat and Power Plant Report.”

Graph 

Search Engine Optimization Processes

This page reviews technically-oriented search engine optimization processes.

Learn about Search Engine Optimization and Web Advertising:

 

Some quick tools you can use now to check your site:

Google Link Pages that link to this page link: www.<your site>.com
Google Site Indexed pages in your site site:www.<your site>.com
Goggle Cache The current cached version of this page cache: www.<your site>.com
Google Info: Information Google has about this page info: www.<your site>.com
Google Related Pages that are similar to this page related: www.<your site>.com
Google Robots.txt www.<your site>.com/robots.txt
Google Mobile - Images What page looks like in mobile device Mobile: www.<your site>.com
Google Mobile - No Images What page looks like in mobile device Mobile No Images: www.<your site>.com

W3C Validation Checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML W3C Validation: www.<your site>.com
W3C Link Check Checks for broken links W3C Link: www.<your site>.com
W3C CSS Checks Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) W3C CSS: www.<your site>.com
W3C Mobile Checks for validity for mobile phones W3C Mobile: www.<your site>.com

Search Engine Optimization Analysis

Purpose: Drive targeted traffic to your website by improving your exposure and rankings on Google and other search engines.

Strategy: There are thousands of tricks and techniques to improving search engine ranking. Unfortunately, search engines constantly update their logic to weed out sites using these tricks and techniques, sometimes penalizing sites for using them. The best strategy is to look at the overall mission of the search engines:  “To provide quality answers to users searching for information.”
Although an understanding of the way search engines see the web is necessary, the first principle of search engine optimization is to have a well-organized site with quality content. Each page of the site, focused on a specific topic, is presented to the search engine as an independent source of information. Not only does this add search engine visibility, but it also provides a quality experience to your site visitors.

Typically, there are several areas where sites can be modified to generate quality traffic.

  1. Identify keywords and optimize your site for those keywords. Create Link Partners Establish dynamic content for your site (News, etc) Monitor progress
  2. Evaluate Web-Based keyword advertising
 
Process Stages: Generally the process follows these stages:

1Preparation for conference and telephone conference to begin identifying and selecting keywords (2 - 3 hours)
Appropriate people in your company will choose the keywords you want to target and the pages you want them targeted to. Often, during this conversation, we will identify the keywords used by customers and major successful competitors. We may also want to do inventory searches on entirely new words you develop. Once keywords have been identified, time estimates for your next steps can be generated. Preparation for this meeting involves identifying successful competitors, researching your industry’s presence on the web, and reviewing your existing site, or plans for a site. 

2Develop a Keyword Matrix (2 - 3 hours)
Search engines will provide analysis of similar industry keywords. For example, if your site is about solar energy and you begin to create a matrix, other frequently searched, related keywords will be presented. This allows us to identify the words we should use to optimize your website. See sample below. 

3Page Optimization            
Each page will need to be re-written with the principals of search engine optimization in mind. Often, this involves working with your web designer to layout the pages in a search-engine friendly way and great the appropriate meta-tags needed for effective indexing. 

4Select additional aspects of the optimization such as pay-per-click advertising, link exchange, blogging, and more. 


Guarantees:
Search Engine Optimization is a moving target and there are no guarantees that anyone can give around ranking and position. Changes to search engine policies around acceptance of new sites (called ‘sandbox’) and their methods of determining rank are a factor in your placement and may not be possible to manipulate. In this case, a focus on long-term placement can be set up and immediate traffic can be generated by pay-per-click programs.

Background and Qualifications:
Mark C. Robinson has been an innovator and a leader in the computer industry for over thirty years. He has started several successful computer-related companies including a magazine publishing company, regional consulting firm, Computer Empowerment Training Seminars, and software publishing. Robinson has been a featured speaker at events like Laptop ’88, Comdex, and several regional conventions.
He created and currently operates a top-rated eCommerce site in the pet industry, HandicappedPets.com, as well as 30 other related sites that all benefit from top rankings and placement in search engines. As a search engine optimization consultant, Robinson is highly knowledgeable, experienced, with excellent references available on request.

Sample Agenda, First Meeting:

  • Explain SEO
  • Discuss existing site from SEO standpoint
  • Introduce my qualifications. Discuss what I can do and what I have done.
  • Why does your company want more traffic?
  • Who are your targets?
  • Who do you want to attract?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Identify 10 key search terms
  • Examine the terms with a keyword inventory.
  • Expand the terms as needed, Identify the top 10 if different
  • Keyword analysis
  • Who currently shows up for these terms? How? Why?
  • Examine competitor’s sites.
  • How are they optimized?
  • Plan of action
  • Meta Tags; Titles, Keywords, Descriptions
  • Search Engine Friendly aspects of the site
  • Site Content
  • Formatting of content
  • Link Exchange
  • Article Exchange
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Adsense
  • Other
  • Roles: Who will do the work
  • Budgets, deadlines, and milestones

Other Opportunities

These are called Google Adsense. Choose one now and click on it (then come back). These ads are here because I am a part of the Google Adsense Program. The ads you see are from websites that are a part of the Google Adwords program. By clicking on that targeted ad, Google made some money, and I made some money. Have you noticed that the ads are about stuff you're interested in (because you're reading this)? People can make a living off this.

Weeding out the hype

Among the plethora of emails about enlargements, blue pills, low cost mortgages, and Russian wives you’ve no doubt noticed the promises of “Top Placement on All Search Engines!” Prices as low as $29.95 promise you untold riches from front page exposure.

Couldn’t hurt, right?

Wrong.

Recently we saw the discovery of a hot search engine ‘cheat’ called “noscript tags". The noscript tags are used to define an alternate content (text) if a script is NOT executed. People have been taking advantage of this and filling it with content that visitors don't see but search engines do. The reason this is appealing is that you could stuff you page with pages keywords without having to worry that site visitors would see it as gibberish.

Trying to manipulate a search engine involves doing anything that tries to get a better ranking than your content rates. There are definitely some gray areas here, but if you cross the line you risk waking up one morning to find yourself invisible as far as the search engines are concerned.

There is no phone number to call, your emails go unanswered, and traffic to your site drops off overnight. As far as I have seen, there is no legal recourse, either. It can take six months or more to undo the damage and, in some cases, it's permanent. The major search engines are always on the lookout for new cheats. When found, they may program the search engines to ignore the cheats and, possibly, to drop the sites using these methods. Without warning, you're gone. I have heard instances where a competitor has reported their rival’s cheats to Google.

For long term success on the internet, you need to be ethical in your promotion. The goal of search engine optimization need to be around making your site the Best Answer when someone asks a question of Google.

Link Exchange Services

Similarly, you may be seeing frequent offers for Link Exchange Optimization. Link Exchange is an important part of search engine optimization, but also a potential pitfall.Imagine the web as network of white strands going from site to site. A 'web' (if you will). If websites throughout the web link to you, Google knows that you are important. If you have thousands of 'white strands' leading to your website, you become a bright white beacon on the web.That was the original idea -- but like most good ideas, people started taking advantage.

People started collecting huge numbers of links from anybody and everybody, counting on becoming important sites through link exchange. There are "Link Farms" that have thousands of links to everybody they can. Google reacted by paying attention to the Quality of incoming links.If a pet-related website has incoming links from shelters, rehab centers, and veterinarians then it could indicate that the site is important. If it has links coming in from totally unrelated businesses, it could be trying to cheat.The way Google deals with this is by looking at the number, and the quality of links on links pages that include you. For example, if you are a renewable energy company and BP Solar has a link to you on their page, that's good. If BP has a score of 10, then their link to you would be worth 10 points in your favor. If, though, they have you, and a thousand other companies listed on the same page, the point value to you would be 10/1000 - or almost nothing.

Here's the secret of good linking:

  • Exchange links with sites that will be of value to your readers. Remember -- it's content that counts.
  • Link only with companies that treat links the same way. Avoid sites that have untold pages of links. They are worthless to your readers and Google knows it.
  • Make sure that the text of the link that they provide to your site includes one or two of your keywords.

Ideally, consider trading articles about one another on your sites. You have an interesting article about them and they have a worthwhile article about you. This is part of a deep linking strategy that adds content to your site. Link exchange adds value to your site if done properly. It cannot be easily accomplished, though, by automated link exchange services or programs.

Basic Elements of Search Engine Optimization

 
Meta tags Meta Tags are special labels that go inside the HTML code. The three tags we’re concerned with are Title, Keywords, and Description.
If you look at the HTML code behind a well done page, you’ll see something like this toward the top.
<title>Handicapped Pets - For Elderly, Disabled, and Injured Pets - Products, Services, and Support</title>
<meta name="keywords" content="dog cat pet animal injured handicapped disabled care elderly old diaper hurt health healing cart wheel wheelchair k9 canine">
<meta name="description" content="We carry the products, and have the services and support for caretakers of special and handicapped pets. We can help you care for them. There are thousands of people caring for pets with special needs that include senior, geriatric, disabled, injured, recovering from surgery, terminal illness, or handicapped pets. This site offers products, services, support and resources for our best friends and their caretakers.">

 

 
TitleThe title tag determines what appears at in the blue line at the top of the browser. It also determines the first line shown when most search engines list your page. The title tag is extremely important. Make it a descriptive title, begin with the most important word and have the title contain some of your target keywords. If someone types in “Injured Pets” in Google then not only will the title be shown, but the words “Injured Pets” will be bolded, adding more power to your listing.

 

 
Keywords When the search engines were being created, Keywords were the most important aspect of a site. But people quickly began using keywords to get high rankings on subjects that their pages were not about. Most search engines no longer use keywords to determine topic. The best reason, though, to use keywords is to remind yourself what the page is about. As you create contact for the page, continually refer to your keyword making sure that they are repeated a few times in the text and headings of the page and that these keywords is what the page is really about. The other reason to use keyword is that many of the site-based search engines (“Search This Site”) do use keywords.

 

 
DescriptionThe description will appear in the Google listing. It should be the best possible description you can write, about 80 characters long, using several of your target keywords.
Headers: Headers are large bold titles that appear at the top of most pages. In HTML, these titles are surrounded by <h2> and </h2> tags. When search engines try to figure out what the page is about, they assume that these headers probably have something to do with the topic. Don’t cheat here, though. You’ll get caught.
Alt Tags: Google can’t read graphics (yet). It can’t tell the difference between an egg and an elephant. For this reason, the graphics on your page need an “ALT” tag. You’ll see the alt tag of a picture when you hold your mouse over it for a moment.

 

 
ContentLast, and probably most important, is content. Google hires the worlds bet mathematicians and theorists to help the engine understand what a page is about by reading it. If your page isn’t about pets, Google stakes it stock on the fact that it won’t come up when you type pets – no matter what you have in the meta tags. The best way to get the highest ranking for a subject is to be the best webpage on that subject. Content is King!

 

Tools I use

RoboForms - This is how I remember all my passwords and fill in forma automatically. Great program!

Domain Hosting: I host most of my domains here. Low Cost (5.99/yr)

Adsense - Earn money from people clicking on ads that google puts on your site

Adwords - If you can't get top rankings for a word, buy top placements

Search Engine Optimization: Extremely expensive, Almost $900. Because I use this for many clients, it pays for itself.

Website Hosting

Powerful Websites Designed and Managed by People You Know and Trust.

Your team at The Energy Grid will learn about your business and your web-related goals. We'll work closely with you to build the website you need, using state-of-the-art internet technology. In addition, we will build it to suit your level of computer proficiency so that you can make basic changes to your site -- about as easily as you can send an email.
 
We offer 'everything you need' including email accounts, search engine visibility, shopping carts, and more. From the very basic to the extremely technical, we have the full range of services you need.
 

Our Hosting Packages

Domain Names: $14.95/year.

Every website starts with a domain name (like "TheEnergyGrid.com.") Our annual fee includes more than just registering the domain -- but managing it as well. You'll be able to safely ignore the dubious messages that all domain owners get about expiring domains and losing your name. We take care of everything. If your credit card changes and the annual charge does not go through you won't lose your domain name -- you'll get a phone call from us. Registering a domain name through us does not require that you host your website with us.
 

Webspace Plan: $14.95 month.

This includes the space you need to host your website, a control panel, email accounts, and a database (in case you need one). We manage and maintain the server that this space is on; providing backups, the operating system, internet connection and all server-related activities. You maintain the website itself. If you need service such as website edits, restoring from backup, virus removal, or updates then these can all done at additional charge at any time by us or other web development companies.
 

Basic Support Plan: $24.95 per month.

This plan is ideal if you already have a great website and want us to maintain it. As well as providing for technology updates for the website itself (Joomla or Wordpress version/security updates), we also handle any virus/malware removal, basic search engine visibility, restoring backups if needed, and miscellaneous website work (about ¼ hr) should you need something changes or added.

 

Full Support: $44.95 per month.

Complicated websites need ongoing work. This includes Joomla and Wordpress upgrades (when a major version change happens), 3rd party addon support if your site has been customized, up to an hour of website content work, and everything you need to keep your site in top operating condition.
 

Customized Support Plan, Contact us for a Quote.

 
If your company requires specialty work, please let us know and we'll design a package for you. This can include custom program, e-commerce development, channel management, and much more.
 
 

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

search engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization
. To appear on the front page of Google, Yahoo, or others when prospective customers type certain words, strategic optimization is needed. Often this involves choosing the words we want and using them in the titles, text, and photo desctiptions of your site. There are several articles on this website that discuss the topics.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising. This method of advertising can be highly effective, or highly wasteful depending on how it is set up and managed. The support we provide assures you of the best possible value for your advertising investments. Read More

Marketing on the Web. The internet is a complex and constantly changing marketplace. It is riddled with opportunity and pitfalls. We help you understand how best to position and promote your product on the web.

It's East to get Started!

To get started, just call us at (603) 413-0322

Articles & Resources

You're in Luck! We are selling this domain!

Acquire this domain name now and give your business the headstart it needs. Prices are reasonable so get this now and lock in the name of your business. Please fill in the inquiry form below and we'll get you started!


{rsform 4}

 

 

Subcategories

Typically, a web designer's first question will be "What do you want your website to say?" Because we are energy professionals: LEED accredited with time on the rooftops, we can provide the articles you need to sell your services. Here are some samples of our work that can be customized to your website.

All work is (c) Copyrighted 2010 The Energy Grid.