About James Tomlinson

Battery upgrades? Yes we do!

Not all batteries are made the same. Some are designed for maximum current (car batteries). Some are designed for long life. And some are designed to cycle. And they can be even made designed with a couple of these ideas in mind.

Lead Acid batteries are not dead. In the right application, they are far more cost effective than any lithium battery. What application? Long life back up power. If you cycle the batteries less than 100 times per year, a good quality VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) work great.

Lithium Ferro Phosphate batteries.If you are going to LIVE off-grid, or you are traveling a lot (RV & Trailer), a LiFePo4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) is a much better battery and even at today’s prices, will be more cost effective.

But back on VRLA AGM, just before Hurricanes Marco and Imelda entered the Gulf of Mexico, one of out clients contacted us to upgrade their batteries. The UB-4D is not a great battery for standby storage. The posts are made of lead. The always seem to leak and they have high resistance in heavy draw.

Absorb Glass Mat (AGM) batteriesThe C&D TEL12-210F is an excellent upgrade. Side by side, the UB-4D has a capacity of 200AH, while the TEL12 has a capacity of 230 AH. This is a 15% increase!

My customer had a nominal 19.2 kWh of storage. But increasing the batteries from 8 to 12, and upgrading to the TEL12, they now have 33 kWh of storage. 33 kWh will run their 4 ton air conditioner about 15 hours. They have 17 kW of solar, so they produce about 100 kWh during the day. They should have enough power to run everything when the power fails, day or night.

The best battery is the one that does what you need it to do, for the lowest price.

PV plus Batteries

Toilet Paper? Australians Panic buy PV Solar & Batteries

PV Magazine is reporting that Australians are panic buying PV with batteries. No need to panic, we can help you with your energy needs.

Mi-Grid is different! It connects PV Solar plus batteries with a back up generator. Combined, you’ll never lose power. With the generator, the battery bank can be smaller, saving money. And the generator can intermittently provide power for those high demand appliances, like electric stoves, dryers and electric hot water heaters.

Mi-Grid is available in both grid-tied and off-grid systems. Fixed stationary and mobile. Mi-Grid also has add-on systems for existing PV grid-tied systems.

Give us a call today! 1-713-849-3881, or use the contact form.

Forget toilet paper, Australians are panic-buying PV


Novel Coronavirus / Covid-19 & Panic



There are a lot of concerns about this new virus. And many are valid. It is “new”. It spreads fairly easily. Humanity does not have an immunity to it. And at the moment (3/10/2020) there is no vaccine. Scary stuff.

The good news comes from South Korea. They are doing extensive testing of the population, finding everyone who has the virus. If this is correct or close to correct, the mortality rates drops significantly. Worse than the average flu, about the same as recent “bad flu”, but nothing like the medieval “Black Death” in any of its forms.

With extensive testing, South Korea seems to be finding all of the cases. If the data is correct, the fatality rate is ~0.69%. The Flu in the US, by comparison, last year had a fatality rate of only around 0.1%. So, yes, Coronavirus is worse than the flu. The 10 year average for flu is around ~0.2%. Which means some years are worse and some are better.


I tried to find a WHO report on Korea, but the latest Korea specific report is a month old. These three up to date articles match on the basic data.




Don’t panic. Don’t willy nilly buy lots of items, especially things you do not use on a regular basis. If you need hand sanitizer, buy only what you need so others can buy some.

Wash your hands! I think most people in the USA have been very lax about basic hygiene. This needs to change. Wash your hands often, especially after risky behavior (Hand shaking, visiting the toilet, touching your face, touching stair rails, door knobs, etc.). https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Hand_Hygiene_Why_How_and_When_Brochure.pdf

We need to reduce “nice” but risky behaviors. Hand shaking, cheek kissing, casual hugging, etc. Wave hello instead. Many of my friends are Spanish and French and they are having a hard time not cheek kissing. We need to make sure we “cover our cough”. We need to stop touching our faces, eyes, mouths. And when we absently do these things, we need to wash out hands. Again!

Listen objectively to verified news. If someone is passing around “information” on social media, and it doesn’t link back to a source, the information may be suspect. Don’t forward or share it. And when it does link to a source, verify that it is a source you trust. You can even use a search engine to verify, before you forward. This is a serious time, but we should not make it worse with potential misinformation or exaggerations.

I’ll update this page as more information in known.

Coronavirus – Sanitizer for use around the House

Can’t find Disinfecting wipes or Lysol? Here is my recipe for a solid surface sanitizer.

With the concerns around the world with the Novel Coronavirus / Covid-19, people are hoarding cleaning supplies. I can’t help with a recipe for toilet paper, but I have a very good recipe for a home sanitizing spray. It is not a cleaner. You must clean your surfaces first, then spray the sanitizer.