SNAPSHOT: Here comes the sun

SNAPSHOT: Here comes the sun
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By David Rogers. November 30, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Popular Science magazine reports that Earth is almost 93 million miles from the sun. Given that distance, AstroBob.com calculates that at 60 miles per hour and without stopping, it would take someone 177 years to drive from the Earth to the Sun (assuming you could find an Interstate!).

But what if you just forgot about that prospective trip and instead tasked the Sun with driving you around Town?

That’s basically what Kevin and Lillie Troyer are doing with their 4 Forty Four construction company’s sustainability initiative. Walking through the parking lot at the Glenwood Office Condominiums on Thursday, Kevin brought to Blowing Rock News attention a pretty cool “thing.”

“See that sun’s glare coming off the hood and windshield of our newest Tesla?” Troyer asked rhetorically while pointing at the new, still logo-free Tesla 3 hooked up to an electric charging station. “That same sun is hitting the solar panels on our roof, generating electricity. And that electricity is flowing back through cables to this charging station. How cool is it to have that sun beating down on the car to also be charging it at the same time?”

Maybe neither the hood of the car nor the windshield are collecting the sun’s energy directly, but Troyer has a point.  He added, “Even if we were to charge the car using Blue Ridge Energy’s distributed electricity, our fuel cost equivalent is about 20% of the cost of powering that Toyota over there or that Chevrolet beside it.  Where we are charging our batteries with solar panels that we own, the savings is significantly less because you are basically just having to amortize out the cost of your solar panels and distribute those costs across not just the car usage, but our office usage, too.”

The company’s new Tesla 3 is, ironically, the third Tesla that the Troyers have purchased in the last year. The first big white one has been Troyer’s sustainability showpiece.  The second is a recent purchase of a red one for his wife, Lillie.

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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