State News

Fayetteville man uses solar energy to light tree

Posted December 24, 2008

— A Fayetteville man has made sure that his outdoor Christmas display is green, environmentally speaking.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that Ray Samples uses a 75-watt solar power panel to light the 400 bulbs on his 30-foot tall artificial tree. The lights use a timer to burn from 5:15 p.m. to midnight each day during the holiday season.

The solar panel is made up of 36 solar cells and is mounted just inside his fence. It points southward to catch the sun. Solar modules face the tree.

Samples also uses solar power to light his home. He estimated that he has spent about $15,000 on his solar power and said it will take him years to break even.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • blackdog Dec 25, 2008

    Some people just don't want change. Some people don't believe in changing. Some people believe any change is a liberal plot. Some people are afraid of any change. Some people are slave to oil companies and coal mines, and don't want to believe it. For others, the sun doesn't charge a cent for the energy to make electricity or heat water, or synthetic oils to transfer heat to their homes. Their solar system is their own small utility company. And, after the initial payback period, their power is FREE. Some even get paid for what they don't use. And the knuckle dragging cretin troglydites still don't want any part of it....

  • sst100 Dec 25, 2008

    Yeah, solar power will never work... I can say that as I communicate wirelessly with my laptop, with my cell phone that can call anywhere in the world in my pocket. Will solar REPLACE all other forms of energy? No, but it will become an increasingly important part of the energy equation. Your president (you can have him) will have nothing to do with it- market forces are going to ensure that solar becomes more significant in the future.

  • dazrite Dec 25, 2008

    you people are really amusing....or is it just plain idiotic?
    do you have any idea who the biggest player in solar panel technology is? well...its obvious that you don't. Its a consortium of BIG OIL COMPANIES....and they use the BP brand for
    their power panel products. And just because its not ecomonical to power your homes where YOU chose to live you poke fun and dismiss the whole thing. How about keeping all those telephone poles, overhead high tension lines OFF remote properties to begin with. It takes alot of people using any technology for a very long time to get the real benefit of it.

    Oh....and your coal burning plants are going to be shut down by Obama IF he does what he promised he was going to do. That will you all in the dark and cold....and maybe then you can be thankful for the change.......heh

  • BULLDOZER Dec 25, 2008

    Great for him and others who want to spend their own money on very expensive and inefficient energy producing gizzmos. For this to make sense in any large economy it must get more efficient, less expensive and more compact. These "green" types of energy just are not practical.Nuclear,oil and coal are still the energy types that will power the majority of energy needs for years to come.

  • che223 Dec 25, 2008

    Solar power is a gimmick? Are you kidding? Maybe it's an expensive initial investment, but if you can afford it, it's worth it to never have to send in another monthly bill to a power company.

  • ohmygosh Dec 25, 2008

    I think it is great he is doing this. I hope many other do the same. That way, I can still buy the cheap 24/7 power produced via conventional means.

    Note: We had 9hr 41 minutes of light yesterday. Less than half of it would produce significant solar energy-- if it had not been cloudy. You got to be a real fan of batteries to enjoy solar-- I'm not. They aren't going to start your refrig, well pump et al.

  • Rolling Along Dec 24, 2008

    Solar is but so were laptops when they first came out. It takes a while for the economies of mass production to catch up with technology. There are several interesting projects on the horizon concerning inexpensive solar cells. The on that intrigues me the most it using inkjet technology to "print" the cells on a mylar film. They are estimating 75-80% efficiency at less than half the cost of the current cells.

  • mondo Dec 24, 2008

    thanks to the republican administration this planet is under attack by big oil. we've all go to go green, all they way.. don't flush your toilet, go solar, drive a hybrid. finally now that obama is president this stuff will all be fixed and we can live happily ever afer. go green!!

  • What up Chief Dec 24, 2008

    I foresee solar being baseload generation in the next year and being dispatched in front of nuclear and coal within 6-months. I wish Duke Energy would have seen this technology coming so they wouldn't have had to freeze salaries.

  • blackdog Dec 24, 2008

    ....GIMMIC ?!?...Solar is used by NASA, the military, and thousands of other services all over the planet. Sure it is a bit expensive. Because people like you poo poo the idea and slow the mass manufacture which will bring the costs down. All energy production facilities need maintenance as well as your car, house, and your own body. So just zip it.