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Solar Energy Maintenance and Installation Service at EJPI

EJPI Ales Podaný creates positive environmental and social impact by exemplifying our core values of responsiveness, resourcefulness, and reliability with our customers, within our industry, and among our teammates
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As an employee-owned business, our team is invested in delivering the highest-quality solar solutions and with the best possible customer experience for each of our clients. Our emphasis on practical solar solutions has resonated across the Bay State, as evidenced by a host of satisfied residential, educational, institutional and small commercial customers.
EJPI Ales Podaný goal is to be the most responsive company in the industry. We have developed a well-honed, informative and interactive design process working with customers. SunBug works with a variety of panel, racking, and inverter manufacturers and distributors in order to provide the best combination of products for each of our clients.

Reliable Solar Service you can trust

In order to ensure safe and optimal solar energy production, your solar system should be inspected regularly. HelioPower has the expertise to provide solar panel service and ensure your system is performing at full capacity. Our services are set up as:

  • Preventative Maintenance – An inspection to all points of connection from the solar array to the solar back-feed breaker located in the main electrical service panel where your utility meter is located. A physical inspection of all components will also be conducted to ensure everything is working properly (i.e. checking for broken and/or dirty solar panels, monitoring, shade testing, if shading is an issue and etc.)
  • Inverter Inspection – We contact the manufacturer to ensure your system is working. This ensures connection if monitoring is on site and record total lifetime generation numbers. Also, we perform inverter cleaning, if applicable, to make sure air vents are not impeded.
  • Module Inspection – 24 hours upon completion of the site visit, you will receive a report annotating the technician’s findings, photos, recommendations, and results.

Our Maintenance Plans

  • Solar Protection Plan – Offers a layer of security beyond solar warranties.
  • Operations and Maintenance Plan- Includes everything in the Solar Protection Plan, in addition to one cleaning and one inspection.
  • Solar Production Guarantee- Includes everything in the Operations and Maintenance Plan plus an output production guarantee.
  • Asset Management- Solar O&M for ongoing technical services, including financial and administrative support (usually annuity-based with annual opt-in/opt-out) for commercial enterprises.
  • Solar R&R- EJPI Ales Podaný uninstalls the solar panels, racking and roof attachments to make your roof ready for any planned home improvements.
  • Solar Panel Removal- Homeowners who are replacing their old roof (or another home improvement) may need their solar system removed and after the work is completed, reinstalled.
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Reviews

Financial Justification For Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines are the center of much debate and controversy in many communities. Some say that installing wind systems and turning to wind energy does not make financial sense. Others say that the industry has evolved and it makes sense to turn to wind energy, especially when you consider the rising cost of electricity purchased from a utility. This creates a confusing conversation between groups of opposing opinions leaving most average people unsure of the positives and negatives of wind power.

Much of the confusion is because there is no consistent answer. The reality is wind energy makes sense in some locations and for some people, and it doesn’t make sense at other locations and for other people. There are many variables that affect the financial feasibility of a wind system. Average energy consumption, current utility rates, property location and elevation, area terrain and characteristics are just a few of the many factors that must be considered when determining if a wind generator is right at a property or location.

Considering the marketplace and current wind turbine installation incentives available, there has never been a more favorable economic time to install a wind turbine, but that said it has been our experience that wind energy makes the most sense for users who are spending $700 or more monthly on electricity.

One consistent factor, spanning all wind energy projects and prospective locations is multiple energy sources are required if consistent energy is always needed. Most wind turbines are installed to work in conjunction with your local utility company, effectively using the utility as a “battery” to store surplus power created by the wind turbine and to provide additional power required when the wind is not producing enough power to meet your electrical needs. “Off Grid” systems, or systems not connected to work with a utility connection, frequently utilize wind energy because of its cost efficiency in comparison with other energy generators, but these systems always work with multiple sources of energy production such as solar panels or gas/diesel generators.

Financial Justification for wind energy must be determined on a case by case basis. Many areas have “Wind Site Assessors” that are trained to evaluate and estimate wind speed and characteristics at a proposed wind turbine location and can use that information to extrapolate the projected power output of a wind turbine based on the projected or known output curve of the turbine. The data is then used to determine the size of wind turbine needed for the property and estimate general installation costs. Knowing this specific data about a proposed wind system location and its estimated output enables the assessor to determine financial justification for moving forward with a wind turbine project. Property assessment reports can often be obtained for only a few hundred dollars, a low cost investment to help a property owner seriously considering wind energy determine if it makes financial sense to install.

Most wind energy professionals, at no cost, will answer your basic questions and help you determine if you should consider moving forward with the cost of a wind site assessment or property evaluation. This common industry practice allows you to discuss your wind turbine interest with multiple wind energy professionals allowing you to get a better idea of the positives and negatives of wind energy in your area, but ultimately if you are serious about determining the financial return of a wind energy system, you should invest in a wind site assessment or property evaluation to determine the financial justification of a wind system.

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Advantage of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Technology

While the image we would all tend to think of when we imagine wind turbines is of large blades spinning in the wind like propellers run in reverse, this is in fact a form of wind turbine which has numerous engineering drawbacks. Many of these drawbacks, however, are corrected by turning the turbine ninety degrees, to create the vertical-axis turbine.

What is a Vertical Wind Turbine?

A vertical (or vertical-axis) wind turbine is a turbine that spins around an up-down axis, rather than a forward-backwards one. While the horizontal-axis turbine has familiar examples such as the windmills of the past, it is more difficult to imagine what a vertical-axis wind turbine looks like. One particular form of vertical turbine resembles an elongated water wheel turned on its side, with of a set of airfoils resembling cut-out tubes arranged in a bundle, with all the tube segments pointing the same way around the circumference. Others have fewer airfoils spaced further from the center and open space in the middle, like an oak barrel with most of its timbers removed.

Aside from the form of the rotors, the rest of the process is the same for any sort of wind turbine. The rotors spin a shaft, which connects to the generator through a gearbox, which increases the rate of rotation. Resembling electrical motors run in reverse, all rotary electric generators operate on the same principles.

What are the Functional Differences between Horizontal and Vertical Wind Turbines?

While horizontal turbines must be pointed in the right direction in order to capture the wind at any particular time, vertical turbines need no such adjustment they work equally well with winds coming from any direction.

Vertical wind turbines with relatively low cut-in speeds can be built which can produce electricity a greater fraction of the time. Compared to a horizontal turbine of equivalent power, the more compact vertical configuration takes up less space. Finally, vertical axis turbines tend to run more quietly than their horizontal counterparts.

Finally, vertical axis turbines are much better suited to be used in urban areas due to their compact form and ability to run at low wind speeds.

Conclusion

Though horizontal axis wind turbines have become the familiar image of wind generators everywhere, later evolution in technology often outperforms the first incarnation; this could be true of vertical-axis turbines, which have many advantages over traditional horizontal-axis turbines. As the technology of vertical-axis turbines matures and their benefits become more apparent, vertical turbines may command an increasing share of the wind market.

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Reviews

How To: Select and Install Wind Turbine on your Boat

For some time I have been exploring ways to produce energy without the aid of my trawler’s generator. It does not take very long to use 100 hours of genset time, enough for another oil change. First it was a solar panel, and then came an inverter, and now, the latest is a wind turbine.

Wind has been used for producing energy for centuries; first in Persia (present-day Iran) as early as 200 B.C. However, the first known functional windmills were developed by the Dutch in 1300, by means of cloth sails stretched across wooden frames. In some designs these sails could be trimmed to take advantage of unpredictable wind speed conditions. The large windmills of the Dutch design remained in use all across Europe until the introduction of the steam engine in the 1800s.

Wind is in reality a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the irregular heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and revolving of the earth. Wind flow patterns are created by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, manmade structures and vegetation. We humans can use this wind flow for many purposes: sailing a boat, flying a kite, flying an airplane and even generating electricity. The term “wind power” describes the method by which the wind is used to produce mechanical power. This mechanical power can then be used for specific mechanical tasks such as grinding grain or pumping water. Or as used on a boat, an alternator in a wind turbine can convert this mechanical power into electrical energy.

So how do they make electricity? Simply stated, a wind generator works the reverse of a fan. As an alternative to using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind spins the blades, which turn a shaft. The shaft connects to an alternator and produces electricity. In our boat’s turbine, the alternator produces 220 volt 3-phase AC current. The controller, converter, then converts the AC power to 12 volt DC power to charge the battery bank.

Wind Availability
When evaluating whether a wind turbine is economically realistic for your boat depends on the quality of your wind resources. Usually, average wind speeds of at least 10 mph are required for a small unit to generate enough electricity to be cost-effective. Being on the Atlantic coast, we have afternoon sea breezes in the summer which routinely produce 10-15 mph winds. If your boat is inland, your winds will likely be different.

The most significant component of evaluating your wind resource is an anemometer. Anemometers are wind measuring devices, typically designed with rotating cups mounted on a vertical shaft. The anemometer will allow you to “read” the wind speeds.

If there is another boat owner with a wind generator system in your area, you may be able to obtain useful information from its owners about the electrical output of the system and wind speed data. Such information could be tremendously valuable as an option to installing an anemometer.

Turbine Mounting
Determining the location to mount your wind turbine takes a bit of planning. It must be high enough to capture the wind, preferably away from arches, sails or masts that will block or alter wind flow. There is also the issue of rotating blades. We want to make sure that they do not strike anything while turning, especially someone’s head while moving about the boat.

I chose to use the factory designed pole kit that was built for our turbine. It provides a 3-point connection which also allows us to lay it down for servicing. It is powder coated anodized aluminum, with stainless steel, brackets, designed to withstand the harsh marine environment.

My turbine is actually a hybrid system I designed using both wind power and solar power.

Being Neighborly
Many people feel strongly about the need to preserve the views and peace and quiet of their marinas. Expect some questions from your dockmates. Understand your neighbors’ natural fear of the unknown and be prepared to respond to their concerns. Some of the concerns raised about wind turbines are not true. They are not, as many people think, hazardous to birds. A shiny reflective window is more dangerous to birds than a small wind turbine. They also have no potential to interfere with radio and television reception.

Wind Turbine Noise
Your neighbors’ concerns involving wind turbine noise are important. Regardless of the size of the unit, the possibility for turbine noise to bother other people always exists. Even if a turbine does not emit enough sound to break any noise regulations, the noise it produces may still be offensive to other people. Older turbines were indeed noisy, but modern day engineering has developed turbine blades that are virtually silent. Our turbine is about 3 feet in diameter and at 4 mph winds; the unit produces a light flutter. At 10 mph the unit produces no sound at all.

Wind Turbine Advantages
— Wind is free
— Produces no waste or greenhouse gases
— Does not usually get in the way of other boating activities

Wind Turbine Disadvantages
— The wind is not always predictable – some days we have no wind at all
— Some people feel that wind turbines ruin the lines of a boat; I thought that way too in the beginning but have since changed my opinion
— Some units can be noisy. The small modern wind generators used on boats hardly produce any sound at all

How Much Power Do They Produce
Turbines can be purchased that produce different power outputs. The turbine that I chose is a Sunforce 450 watt turbine. It has a cut-in speed of 4 mph and has a survival wind speed capacity of 157 mph.

The amps (power) produced is:
— 6 mph winds – 8.3 amps
— 10 mp winds – 25 amps
— 14 mph winds – 58.3 amps

The unit has a built in brake that will engage automatically when the batteries are at full charge, or it can be manually set if so desired.

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