Environmental Heritage: Quakers have a tradition of simplicity and a testimony for the stewardship of the Earth. When clearing the land for our 1992 new meeting house, horse power (a clydsdale from the Eastern Shore) was used for clearing the land rather than dirty diesel power. AFM also has two Electric Vehicle charging outlets as shown below and has contracted for solar panels to meet 95% of our electric needs free from fossil fuel and carbon emissions.
Electric Vehicle Initiative:
With nearly 1/3rd of our Friends already driving hybrids, and with the dozen or so new models of Plug-In electric vehicles now on the market, the Meeting wanted to be ready for this new clean energy transportation. In stewardship of the Earth and in testimony to peace to prevent future wars over diminishing oil supplies, we added two standard 120v outlets to our outdoor lighting circuit for EV charging in the parking lot (shown above). These outlets will encourage the use of EVs to not only help reduce our carbon footprint, but to let members top-off their battery for the return home after Meeting.
Annapolis Interfaith Environmental Committee: Through our participation in this committee, our initiative towards supporting EV clean renewable transportation has been spread to other faith communities in the area. Below are additional installations at the Severna Park Baptist Church, at St Mary's, St. John Neuman's, and Montessouri International Childrens House in Annapolis.
Simplicity: These are simple houshold outlets on a post, but they are still capable of adding about 8 to 10 miles range to an EV while parked for about 2 hours. There is too much media focus on fast-charging an EV in the shortest possible time, using expensive fast chargers (Level-2). This is an unfortunate and misleading legacy of gas cars which must be inconveniently refueled while we are using them. On the other hand, EV's are conveniently refueled while parked. Since the typical car sits parked for more than 21 hours a day usually at home, at-work and at-church, just plugging it in while parked is a great way to preesrve the battery at a fully charged state and ready for maximum range for every trip. The cost is only about 20 cents an hour and is easily met with a few quarters in the plate on Sunday.
Convenience: Having the plug-in outlets encourages members to not fear an EV for their next car purchase. Having outlets both at work, at church, and at home effectively doubles the range of plug-ins by allowing the EV owner to charge during the day at work as well as at home and to pick up a few miles on Sunday. See also the web page on EV Charging Everywhere for more info on using existing 120v outlets for convenient charging.
Cost: As shown here, simple 120 volt outdoor outlets placed conveniently at home, at work and at church can accomplish nearly all of EV charging needs. Fully 78 percent of most commuters can charge in under 5 hours at work or home and the typical 10 mile or less Church visit on Sunday can be replenished in 2 hours or so for two quarters in the plate. Not only for our members, but as good Sumaritans we can assist those EV drivers who may need an emergency charge just to get home. For this reason, our charging station is listed on a national EV charger locator. Further, the simple 120v outlet cannot be abused, since it would take nearly 10 hours just to steal about $2 worth of electricity.
Public Charging is rarely needed: This installation shows the simplicity of using EV's for our daily transportation. There is too much emphasis on expensive high-voltage fast-chargers for EV's, considering that most people who purchase EV's never intend on driving them across country or far from their local area commute anyway. The EV is ideal for the regular commuter who goes to work and home every day and plugs into her home outlet overnight. Even there, there is no need for a big expensive charger, just a standard outlet in the garage is suitable to provide a modest daily commute (30-40 miles) after overnight charging.
A Battery is not a Tank! We are saddled with a century and more than four generations of Gas-Tank and Public-Gas-Station thinking. We must forget this old legacy and realize that a Battery is not a gas tank. Gas cars drive-to-empty and then fill-to-full at special public-gas-stations as shown in red here. But EV's can charge anywhere-at-anytime from any-outlet. And so the EV usage model is more like a lap-top or other battery tool which is left on charge whenever parked so that it is fully charged at the start of every trip. One never has to find a public charge station beacuse each trip can be replenished the next time the car is conveniently parked!
Charging Ubiquity and Value: The promise of the EV and the top two values of the EV to the owner are its complete independence from foreign Oil and also its lower Total-Cost-of Ownership (TCO). But not only does it promise freedom from oil, but also freedom from the gas pump and the public gas station model since she can charge practically anywhere there is an outlet. But this also ties into TCO. Electricity at home, overnight is cheap, at work during the day it is higher, but the cost to use a Fast-Charger at a Public Charging Station will be 2 to 4 times the normal cost of electricity. The expectation that people will routinely flock to public chargers is about as likely as people driving to Washington DC to fill up on $12/gal gasoline. It will not happen.
How to Pay at-work: The public charger is a backup and a security blanket that is needed for peace-of-mind, but it is not the model of routine daily usage of the EV. We simply need to get 120v outlets everywhere we park and put up the signs to show who to pay. Statistically a typical commuter charge during the day costs about a dollar; so a month of daily charging only costs about $20... about what some people have to pay for a single day to park their gas-guzzer in Washington DC. Employers can easily devise a sticker or placard system as shown here that employees can buy in advance to give them authority to plug into these convenience outlets per month. This is a no cost initiative, since most parking lots already have several convenience outlets scattered about. All the employees need is the means to pay in advance to gain permission to plug in.
The EV Charging Everywhere page has more details on this topic and a link where to purchase a sign for your church parking lot.
Future Solar Initiative:
AFM is committed to the addition of solar panels to our property to eliminate our demand on coal generated electricity and resulting carbon emissions. The above ground mounted solar array is our plan for the site shown below. The design would produce close to 90% of our electricity needs. In 2011 the cost of solar has caught up with the cost of coal-fired electricity and in 2012, solar is cheaper than normal Baltimore Gas and Electric rates.
The google earth view above (north up) indicates that our best solar exposure is in our front yard. This location can provide not only the ideal solar exposure but also a nice shaded covered gathering area with a nice view out over the Luce Creek. The array is angled somewhat to the east to better align with the slope of the land and to minimize the view from our neighbors. The view below is a photo-shopped idea of what the Solar Array will look like from our front door.
Roof Considerations: We rejected our roof for two reasons. First, as you can see below, this SE facing roof only has room for about a 3kW system, about one thrid of our needs. Plus, although it gets good morning sun, it is in the shade by 1 or 2 PM. The second readon to avoid the roof is that our 20 year old roof seems to have several years of life left. To put solar on it for 20 years, we would first have to spend MORE THAN THE SOLAR array is worth, just to lay down a new roof first.
Our Southwest facing roof is longer and suitable for about 2/3rds of our energy needs, but it is shaded as early as 1 PM losing all the afternoon power.
Future Land Conservation and Nature Trails:
The Annapolis Friends Meeting is located in a natural area in the Luce Creek Watershed off of the Severn River. Their are no roads through the watershed, but there are 13 or so churches and other youth oriented areas surrounding the central natural area. As shown above, there are already nature trails between AFM and the Unitarians. We have put together another web page showing the adjacent trails and ideas for the watershed. Another page shows a possible overall future plan for the natural area if we were to purchase the adjacent lot on Lawrence Avenue.
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