Posts Tagged ‘SunPower’
Solar Panel Defects are Not the Norm
“The solar panels covering a vast warehouse roof in the sun-soaked Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail,” began a recent New York Times article. While this is cause for concern, it is not common among solar companies with high standards.
When considering solar power for your home or business, it is essential to consider the company you decide to work with; know which panels you’re choosing and consider the company and panel manufacturer warranties.
EmPower Solar is among the premier solar installers that explains to customers exactly which panels will be placed on their roofs. For us, the most common modules used are SunPower, which have been rigorously tested (see the proof here).
SunPower, in addition to the other panels we provide, such as Yingli, Hyundai, and Suniva, are among the highest quality in the world. But don’t just take our word for it — ask us, ask any company you are considering what will be placed on your property.
Panel quality is important, but warranties are just as important to consider. Then, if something does go awry, you’re covered. EmPower offers a ten-year workmanship warranty, and the panels we provide offer a warranty between 20 and 25 years.
While it’s unfortunate that some solar companies and manufacturers are cutting corners and providing low quality products and customer service, remember that they are in the minority. If you ask questions and do some research, you will go solar with no problems.
Click here to view the original New York Times article, “Solar Industry Anxious Over Defective Panels.”
The Super Bowl Blackout Illuminated an Unreliable Grid
In a bet that was rated 80,000 to one, the lights went out on the Ravens and 49ers at the Superdome last night. While it should have been Destiny’s Child, Ray Lewis crying, and Go Daddy commercial comments circulating on the Twittersphere, power (or lack thereof) was the most popular subject, which, according to Mashable, generated 231,500 tweets per minute.
Aside from highlighting the fact that millions of Americans will sit in front of a T.V. featuring nothing for more than 30 minutes, the blackout also magnified our uncontrollable reliance on electricity and the need for backup power.
In the 21st century, the utility cannot always keep up with electricity demand, and the demand will continue to rise. But, there is an answer to the pressing dilemma–solar power.
Solar power is now generating power for homes, municipalities, and more recently, sports stadiums. In fact, the 49ers will soon be going solar with SunPower panels (offered by yours truly).
“. . .Eco-friendly fans and city leaders in New Orleans are competing to maximize sustainability practices to the fullest,” states the U.S. Department of Energy. They have added more than 26,000 LED lights in and outside the stadium, but they have failed to adopt solar and battery backup options — a move that was blatantly apparent last night.
Incidentally, the Super Bowl was a success for a new reasons this year–highlighting the need for grid reliability, a goal that can be achieved with solar power.
Freeport Fire Department Announces Completion of 51.7 Kilowatt Solar System
On Monday (November 29, 2011) the Village of Freeport, NY and Freeport Electric held a press conference to announce the completion of a 51.7 kilowatt (kW) solar electric system, which was engineered and installed by EmPower Solar at the Freeport Fire Department Headquarters. The design includes168 SunPower 308 Watt modules, and a SatCon 50 kW inverter.
Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick said “There are many ways a municipality can go green and Freeport has instituted several steps to reduce its carbon footprint.” Along with the solar power system at the Firehouse, the Village of Freeport has purchased several hybrid cars, a hybrid bucket truck, and replaced 340 street lights with an energy efficient alternative. EmPower has also installed a number of solar residential and commercial systems in the Village of Freeport.
EmPower engineer Emily Hwang, served as the project engineer, and was recognized by Freeport Electric’s Superintendent, Anthony Fiore, for her high quality work and dedication. All the EmPower team members, including engineers and installers, deserve recognition for their seamless execution of this complicated project. Cameron Engineering was also instrumental to the structural engineering design.
In his remarks, EmPower CEO David G. Schieren said “The Village of Freeport and Freeport Electric should be commended for its vision and leadership in making this solar project a reality. Municipalities have a critical role to play in advancing renewable energy, and the importance of their leadership can’t be overstated.”
EmPower is especially grateful to Freeport Electric’s Superintendent Anthony Fiore and Supervisor of Electric Service Les Endo Jr. for their impressive commitment to this project. Their support and technical understanding are making solar energy a reality in the Village.
Many large installations like this one are done on flat roofs and are not visible to the public. This installation is unique because it is on a pitched roof and directly across the street from the Freeport LIRR Train Station.
See the official press release here.
EmPower Solar Installers attend SunPower Training
Recently members of EmPower’s solar installation team traveled to Malta, NY to attend SunPower installation training. The 2-day course featured a mock residential installation with a focus on best practice techniques for novices and experts. This course is part of SunPower’s comprehensive online and in person workshop training offering for installers, engineers and sales professionals. After successfully completing the courses and exams, employees can earn certificates. At this time Empower employees collectively hold 18 SunPower Certificates in the areas of Installation, Sales, and Design.
EmPower routinely sends its staff to outside training, and we also conduct weekly in-house technical training sessions. EmPower’s deep commitment to training and professional development exists because it is our mission to empower clients with the highest quality, longest lasting solar power systems possible. It’s the EmPowering Way.
The Smart Grid: Integrating rising demand & increased renewable energy into an aging and overburdened power grid
Last week I posted a blog about EmPower COO Greg Sach’s MIT Thesis on Smart Grid Design & Evolution. This entry expands on that post with a little bit of background on where we stand right now and why we need to upgrade to a Smarter Grid.
The power grid in place in America today is still based on the plans that Thomas Edison constructed 120 years ago. Energy demand has skyrocketed since then, and the antiquated power grid can hardly keep up! Outages are becoming more common, power is lost in transmission, and inefficiencies in generation and distribution are costly.
Picture source: http://www.angelnexus.com/o/web/22672
Generating solar energy and monitoring it via SunPower’s Monitoring System is an example of a component of smart metering, an integral part of the future Smart Grid. This monitoring system allows customers to see how much energy their system is producing in real-time on a display mounted inside the home, online via a web-based interface, and on-the-go via SunPower Monitoring apps for iPhone and iPod. By knowing electricity production, system owners can optimize their energy savings. Additionally, SunPower dealers like EmPower can remotely monitor the performance of all of our customer’s system’s, allowing for identification and correction of issues even before the customer notices a problem.
With the smart grid of the future, people will not only be able to monitor how much their solar system is producing, but also how much electricity the entire building is using and real-time energy prices. This transparency allows residents to adjust their usage based on needs and costs.
To read more about the design of the smart grid, check out my previous post with the link to COO Greg Sach’s MIT Thesis on Smart Grid Technology.