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Celebrate big yellow circle in the sky

All Things Solar event showcases solar technologies
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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The sun sustains life on Earth.

Without that big yellow circle in the sky, located some 90 million miles away, we'd be in big trouble. But the sun also completes much smaller tasks such as heating our swimming pools and warming our houses.

In honor of the sun, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center is hosting the fifth-annual All Things Solar celebration Saturday, June 23.

Explore the solar dollhouse

Not sure how solar photovoltaic systems for your home, farm or business actually work? Stop by the SUNworks display at All Things Solar to see a dollhouse illustrating the technology.

The Roseville-based company will also have a Canadian solar panel and Enphase Microinverters solar system packages on display, which are two top-tier industry products, said SUNworks Vice President of Marketing and Sales Seth Atchue.

He said he hopes attendees learn that solar works for just about every homeowner and is reliable and cost-effective.

"One of the myths about solar is that it's way too expensive and that the homeowner will have to live in their home for the next 20 years to see any sort of value," he said. "Today, that is not the case."

He said the dropping price of solar and financing options make solar affordable, and customers see savings "from day one."

"We build the system so that your new electric payment and the cost of your solar system is less than what you are already paying for your current electric bill," Athcue said.

Ask about whole-house performance

Rocklin-based Brower Mechanical, also known as Brower Energy Solutions, will host hands-on demonstrations and display a solar trailer with panels, "so you get a close look at how a PV system looks on your house," said Marketing Manager Suzon Lucore.

Company representatives will talk about rooftop solar options, solar hot water heaters, shade structures, car ports and more.

Be sure to ask about "whole-house performance," which is a method used to ensure a solar system is as efficient as possible. Lucore said the average home in the United States has a hole the size of a hula-hoop, which leaks air and energy. Before Brower Mechanical installs a rooftop solar system, it gets the size of the hole down to a quarter.

They'll also have dancing solar bugs and flowers for the kids.

"We're teaching kids that the sun is something we'll have forever and sand covers 80 percent of the world's surface," Lucore said. "So combined, it's a no-brainer for clean energy."

Taste sun-cooked treats

You, too, can make cornbread and brownies heated by the sun, and the Roseville Utility Exploration Center will show you how by demonstrating solar ovens. The center will have a variety of ovens on display, including hi-tech hybrids and the do-it-yourself cardboard versions.

"The idea is to showcase how easy cooking with solar ovens can be," said Matthew Davis, of the center. "There is no warm-up time for solar ovens, simply angle them correctly and place your item inside. Cornbread and brownies only take about 5 to 10 minutes longer than a normal oven, taste exactly the same and do not heat up your house. Plus, the energy you use to cook your items is free."

Davis said these ovens can cook up breads, stews, meats, desserts and more. So, grab a tasty treat as you learn about solar technologies.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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All Things Solar

What: Celebration of solar energy with vendors showcasing technologies, solar art activities, solar-cooking demonstrations, appearance by Curby the Talking Trash Can

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23

Where: In front of Martha Riley Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville

Cost: Free

Info: (916) 746-1550 or www.roseville.ca.us/explore