Can you give me any information on price, availability, and operating characteristics on devices for producing electric energy from sunlight? We have an isolated cottage for which small amounts of power (about 100 watts for 10 hours a week) would be a great convenience. E. N. Lightfoot Madison, Wis.
I suggest you get in touch with the Northeast Solar Energy Center in Cambridge, Mass. The address is 70 Memorial Drive and the phone number: (617) 661-3500.
There are three other solar-energy centers in the United States, whose purpose is to speed up the widespread use of solar technology. I should think that if you want to generate such a small amount of electricity, perhaps the most cost-effective way would be to go to a wind machine instead of a photovoltaic system.
Wind energy is rapidly coming of age. Even now, small-scale systems for homeowners and commercial buildings alike are becoming more attractive, because of both government incentives and rising demand.
You can get in touch with the American Wind Energy Association, 1621 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009. Phone: (202) 667-9137.