We'll be right back....

Clearly we've been lax in updating our website for quite some time--most of our work occurs off the radar until we break ground, and then bandwidth for non-essential work gets tight;  and so the website doesn't bubble up to the top.  In fact, the last entries here were from the last time we had an intern who wanted to do them :)

But a lot has happened and it's good to share.  We just updated our website and will be coming back here soon for misc. posts about recent successful research projects with NC State, more donations of solar installations to art-related non-profits and other great activity.  We do stay busy, even when we're not "working", and the focus typically stays on sustainability and renewable energy.

The team at PRG is proud to get their hands dirty....

 The Power Resource Group proudly supports the work of the Friendship Garden (FG) project. This project is a collaboration between Slow Food-Charlotte, and Friendship Trays (FT) a meals-on-wheels program serving nearly a thousand meals a day to people throughout the region around Charlotte.    In 2008, a  garden was planted behind the FT warehouse in an urban area of Charlotte to begin to grow fresh food to put into the meals FT delivers.  In the years since, the project has experience phenomenal growth--it now supports a network of 117+ gardens across the region at schools, churches, in neighborhoods without access to fresh food (see food deserts), and in all sorts of other locations.  At these gardens, the FG staff support the gardens with workshops, dirt and seeds, equipment and other resources to make the gardens last.  In return, the garden's donate a portion of their food back to the meals-on-wheels.  In some cases, as in many churches, 100% of the food goes back.  In others, where the community can benefit from the food directly, only a small percentage is donated and rest is used in the neighborhoods where it is grown. 

 The project has benefited from a variety of grants from generous organizations and corporations, and has developed a great team of management and volunteers, especially the garden leaders who organize the progress at each garden.  The project has developed into a large number of programs.  Check it out at: 

PRG Managing Partner Rich Deming was part of the founding group of the project and is proud to remain involved.  PRG has assisted the gardens by providing a camera system, sponsoring the regular summer garden parties, and other support.   PRG also installed a small (10 KW) solar system on the roof at the FT building, and Rich is an avid builder of water catchment and other fun sustainable garden systems; you can see his 2010 TedxCharlotte talk about the program here.

FT garden pic.jpg

Supporting the Arts, one clean electron at a time

It's no surprise that  a passion for conserving and generating energy would bleed into other interests and pursuits.   One place this has manifested itself is through a long-term project with Washington, DC light artist Craig Kraft.    Craig creates breath-taking work with neon that you can see on his web page,  here.

In addition to his work with light and space, Craig is a master renovator:  he has lived since the 1990s in a Victorian-era fire station--Engine Co. #7--that he renovated into a studio, apartments, and his large living quarters (which double as a pretty fantastic gallery for his work.)    

In early 2012, Craig began working with the PRG team to take some of his pieces off-grid.   Powering the sculpture in front of the firehouse, the team has placed 420 Watts of PV power on the roof  and utilized batteries, a charge controller and small inverter. Because this is one of Craig's larger pieces, it has proven to be an excellent way to test different components and work out technology glitches.  The system allows Craig  to assure the quality of the technology in different configurations before it is used in an installation. 

 The project is the result of a lot of sweat equity from the Kraft Studio and PRG teams and a variety of components provided by Craig, PRG and friends of PRG.  Most notably, the panels were donated by excellent Charlotte panel manufacturer Jetion Solar, without whom the project would have been severely under-powered.  The project has already yielded one high-profile solar-based public art proposal and promises to continue assisting the integration of art and clean energy  in the future.


craig installing panel.jpg