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Publication Title | Dons Rolling, PV-Powered, Computer Laboratory Coffee House

Organic Rankine Cycle

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Richard Perez and Don Kulha

Don’s 1969 Volkswagen bus reminds me of Tom Swift’s flying lab, only better. Don is a high-tech kinda guy, he’s worked on everything from NASA’s AXAF space telescope project to mastering Home Power’s renewable energy on

CD-ROM projects. Much of Don’s work involves computers and he sees no reason why leaving home should interrupt the flow of data....

Why a solar electric system on a VW bus?

When Don’s last job, the telescope mirror project ended, he decided it was time to hit the road for a while. Two of his major missions were a search for an independent country homestead and completion of the Solar2 CD-ROM. Don figured that he’d use many of the solar electric components in his new homestead. Meanwhile, the PV system could provide power on the road and at HP Central on Agate Flat for CD-ROM production.

This system is flat out amazing. I have never seen such a large system attached to such a small vehicle. Don’s power requirements for computers, lighting and cooking far exceeded the energy produced by a couple of PV modules. We’re talking big time energy usage that rolls down the road. When Don first told me about his system I was skeptical. I knew he could mount all this stuff on a bus, but I wasn’t sure it would survive. After 2,000 miles on the road and four trips up the impossibly rough roads to HP Central, I’m convinced.

16 Home Power #54 • August / September 1996

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