Our Blog

June 14, 2018

Sun Day Solar Case Study: S. L. Williamson

From its location out on River Road, just off of Route 250, S. L. Williamson helps keep area roads and other outdoor paved spaces in good shape.

S. L. Williamson is an established third-generation family-run business. It’s a household name in Charlottesville, and a go-to for both residential and commercial projects.

Recently, the company wanted to invest in additional solar energy. As more companies in all sorts of industries look for ways to stay competitive and adapt to today’s cutting-edge technology, S. L. Williamson is helping to lead the way in terms of getting green power on-site, which sets an example in a time when solar is getting “critical mass” – it’s cost-effective, and in today’s world of climate change, it makes abundant sense.

Green Initiatives

S. L. Williamson’s new solar augmentation goes along with some of the other major ways this company is contributing to better ecology for the future.

By recycling materials and offering alternatives like Aquaphault, a green, pre-mixed material without toxic petroleum-based chemicals, the S. L. Williamson shop is allowing customers to make better ecological choices. Aquaphault is one of the company’s premier services, and customers can learn more about it on the S. L. Williamson website.

In addition, S. L. Williamson has been using solar panels to heat liquid asphalt for a while. Last year, company leaders were looking at putting additional solar panels onto the roof to save money on electric bills.

It seemed like a no-brainer,” Blair Williamson said May 15, talking about how government rebates and other incentives led more solar installations.

The old panels, she said, have been in place for a while. The new setup is an attractive roof-mounted system that’s allowing S. L. Williamson to source on-site power in a whole new way.

The Logistics

S. L. Williamson’s sunny property made a good candidate for a solar installation – Sun Day Solar went to work figuring out how to position the roof-mounted panels and make the installation work for the business.

Williamson said the company gets a check back from Dominion under a net metering agreement that the utility provider now offers to solar adopters.

The whole job, she said, went smoothly.

They were very accommodating,” Williamson said of Sun Day Solar install teams. “They didn’t disrupt our business at all.”

Versatility, she said, is also part of the equation. Noting that the panels do take up most of the EPDM-type roof on S. L. Williamson’s plant, Williamson said to get roof access, workers can simply shift the panels, as they’re not permanently bolted to the roof in place. The additional bay roof offers more space to pile on panels.

The S. L. Williamson project is just another example of Sun Day Solar’s success in finding a need in the community, and helping clients to innovate when it comes to sourcing energy. The company has a number of these neighborhood projects under its belt, and stays busy installing all over central Virginia. Ask Sun Day Solar about what makes solar practical, and how to apply the best installation plan to a residential or commercial property.

June 6, 2018

SunDaySolar: Haigney Case Study

Just a few miles out of Charlottesville, on top of a peak facing the Blue Ridge mountains, sits the lovely home of Nina and Mark Haigney.

 

To say that their home is private, and that their driveway is steep, are both understatements!  When winter brings slippery conditions, the couple either walks out or stays.  And when the grid power goes down,  staying without electricity, although novel for a time, is no fun. 

The driveway is so steep that if there is a lot of snow, we are stuck for days or even a week, depending on how much snow,” Nina said earlier this year, describing the couple’s motivations to get solar power in place. “We also wanted solar because we are very concerned about climate change and hope to do what we can to reduce our carbon output.  The technology has gotten so much better, this seemed like a great time to do it.”

Building the Right Solar Power System

To bring the Haigneys to 21st-century clean power generation, SunDaySolar was asked to provide the best solution.  After studying the solar resources at the home, the amount of power needed to maintain the home in a ‘grid down’ situation, and the home’s unique aesthetic and layout, SunDaySolar concluded that a StoreEdge inverter, LG lithium ion battery, and all-black WINAICO 300 watt solar panels would  provide the most elegant and cost-effective solution. 

Working with Logistics

Nina explained that with the house on a slope and “partially buried” in the hill, with a south-slanting roof and considerable tree canopy, seeking sunlight was a job.

We were able to put all the panels on the roof,” she said. “We had to remove three large oaks anyway …they were in bad shape and likely to fall, and that really helped increase sun on roof.”

Brand New Power

Commissioned in December of 2017, the system has yet to be tested in a real power outage, but has busily been providing the Haigneys with homemade, green, carbon-free electricity, while also providing the peace of mind that no matter when or if the grid power fails, they are prepared.

We just got it all working last week, so we don’t have data yet about how much is being produced per month, and we will see seasonal fluctuations, especially in early fall, when sun is lower and leaves still out,” Nina said. “However, our main objectives were to reduce carbon footprint and also have backup battery power for Dominion outages.”

Meanwhile, the Haigneys are enjoying being able to monitor each panel and get data with graphs for real-time energy production on their computers and mobile phones.

This project is just one shining example of so many successful installations that SunDaySolar has done in the central Virginia area. By providing customized solutions and giving detailed attention to each individual client, we make sure that our customers enjoy getting the most out of their solar setups for years to come. We’re pleased to offer Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents the opportunity to switch from fossil fuels to a new, green way of running their homes and businesses.

April 12, 2018

Case Study: Leonard and Carol Lohman

A fall chill was in the air when Sun Day Solar set up a new 8.12Kw roof-mounted solar array on top of Leonard and Carol Lohman’s attractive brick home in Charlottesville’s Key West neighborhood. Now, the Lohmans are eagerly waiting for summer.

“We’re excited about it,” Leonard Lohman says, describing the couple’s experience with a modern solar energy apparatus that allows them to get credits on their electric bill. “As we keep getting longer days, we’re expecting good things.”

While Lohman notes that the home’s solar system is still “in the early stages,” he can already see some of what the installation is doing, as credits come back from the power company. On some days, he says, the solar panels reap around 40 kilowatt hours. All of that makes a difference in the energy that the Lohmans use; when the home’s heat pumps and water heater are off, the system is banking energy for later use.

A Job On Point

One of the things that Lohman says impressed him about Sun Day Solar’s work was the timeline.

Months before the project started, he said, owner Richard Chrisler gave him an estimated date of completion – which turned out to be 100% correct.

“What amazed me was that he was right smack on target,” Lohman says, explaining that in his extensive experience in the world of contracting, that kind of accuracy is rare.

Lohman said he talked to a lot of people and did research before choosing a firm – and the study paid off. Sun Day Solar staff, he said, were professional, and installation went smoothly.

Quality Guarantees

In addition to the money that they save on their electric bills, the Lohmans are also getting long-term security on their investment in solar energy. The SolarWorld 290 Watt all-black modules, along with 28-P-300 optimizers, are warrantied for 25 years. The 1-SolarEdge 7.6  US Inverter comes with a 12-year warranty, and Lifetime Online System Production Monitoring is also provided.

With all of that in hand, the Lohmans will be checking their meters to see what happens as we climb out of the short, dark days of winter and into peak generating season.

We’ve found that this discovery is one of the best parts of getting a solar energy setup in a home. Homeowners are able to see first-hand what the system is making, how it’s replacing utility-delivered power that might come from coal or other sources with the natural, clean, life-giving power of the sun. It’s a simple idea, but it’s one that provides a lot of dividends.

Ask Sun Day Solar about what we can do for you to get your property running on green power.

 

 

March 26, 2018

Sun Day Solar Case Study: MS Events

A new solar project at MS Events in Charlottesville is paying off early.

This project, accomplished by Sun Day Solar, is an example of practical green business. It shows how companies can leverage the power of solar to save money, and also enhance a reputation as a leader in ecological sustainability.

This past year, Sun Day Solar helped to install solar panels on the roof of MS Events, a company that rents party equipment. The job commute from the office wasn’t too far — in fact, the two businesses are next door to each other.

In the Neighborhood

MS Events isn’t the first neighbor to do business with Sun Day Solar; in fact, various nearby businesses including Brown’s Cleaners, Blue Ridge Graphics Screen Printers, Weatherseal Insulation, SL Williamson, and Cedar Park Storage already have solar setups of their own. However, this project was special because of how it fits the company’s model, and what Sun Day Solar was able to do for the client.

Money-Saving Solar

Part of the amazing result that MS Events got involved a number of moving parts. First, there was a $20,000 grant from the USDA, which the company is in the process of getting approved. Also, LEAP made a 0% loan for 80% of the project’s cost over 10 years.

‘When I did my numbers, I’m getting about $200 per month net gain.” MS Events President and CEO Steve Sudduth says, talking about part of what motivated him to get the system installed. That, he says, is not even considering a 30% tax credit that the company will get down the road, along with tax benefits from depreciation.

The City of Charlottesville also promotes green solutions; the city provided MS Events with a break on property taxes to the tune of 1% annually.

Noting that the setup offers MS Events “positive cash flow right away,” Steve calls it a “no-brainer” for the company.

Of course, it’s not just the money.

“We’ve always been interested in solar,” Sudduth says.

Green Power Fueling a Green Service

In looking at how well solar complements MS Events operations, it’s important to note that as a rental company, MS Events prides itself on green business models.

“We promote ourselves as a green company,” Sudduth says, explaining that MS Events uses china and linens instead of paper and plastic products that end up clogging landfills.

Now, the company is powering the processing, the cleaning of reusable dishes and laundry, on green solar power.

“We’re letting all of our clients know,” Sudduth says, remarking on how the new energy source provides more than just money, and also benefits the environment.

A Good Partner

As a top local company, Sun Day Solar takes the time to really assess each property and figure out how to get the most benefit out of solar systems.

In the case of MS Events, that maximum benefit comes out to several hundred dollars per month, and bragging rights for being a company on the cutting edge of green integration.

Take a look at what Sun Day Solar can do for your business or household in getting renewable green energy in place.

March 22, 2018

Sun Day Solar Case Study: Dale and Margaret Walker

Last year, Sun Day Solar workers were busy putting panels on the split roof of Margaret and Dale Walker’s Charlottesville property.

The result is an attractive installation that’s saving the Walkers a lot of money on their electrical bills – but it took some collaborative work to get this project up and running.

 

The Nuts and Bolts of Solar Installation

Before installing the panels, there was significant work to be done. Five trees had to be cut down, and the Walkers decided to go ahead with a needed roof replacement before adding solar panels.

After that, there were design choices and layout decisions. Doing a solar project is more than just setting panels on a roof and hooking them up. Experts and specialists have to know how to support a specific property in the best way – in this project, there was the need to find enough sunny space, as well as keeping walkways safe and attaching accessories such as a snow retention system.

The beautiful solar installation that graces the Walkers’ roof was based on some deliberate process.

“We had been looking at it for a while,” Dale Walker said earlier this month, talking about the Walkers’ motivations for pursuing the solar project. — He also said on a trip to Germany, a place of ancestry for his wife, he found himself thinking that the United States should have more competitive infrastructure, and wondering why the American economy lags behind in terms of a technology that’s so evidently useful.

When the project got started, Walker said, it only took the crew about a week, despite some bad weather days, as well as stiflingly hot temperatures.

Solar in Style

The Walkers are also loving the look of the finished project, enjoying stylish U.S.-made panels in black, with painted metallic conduit running parallel to the gutters of the house.

Walker talked about how matching the panels to the roof and getting made-in-the-USA panels helped add quality to the finished result.

“He gave us a really good deal,” Walker said, explaining that while they were going to be getting Canadian-made panels, Sun Day Solar found the U.S. panels would look nicer against the dark shingle roof.

Electric Bill Savings

The Walkers are also seeing a great number on most of their electric bills from Dominion: zero.

Pointing out that many Southern homes are poorly insulated, Walker said net metering with solar really make sense for a lot of households in his area.

As a result of getting solar installed, the Walkers have not had to pay a cent to Dominion over several months, although they did recently get a bill during the cold streak this past winter.

Dominion has entered a net metering agreement with the Walkers, which means they are allowed to store excess electrical production on the grid and use it later when the sun is not shining.

Walker estimates they often get several hundred kilowatt hours per month in excess power generated.  In this way a customer gets to use 100% of the power they produce with solar.

The Walker project is just one of many success stories from SunDaySolar. By taking the time to really focus on each customer’s property, we offer the means to make solar dreams into reality in a practical, comfortable way that will enhance the value of your home. When you want to partner with a winning solar firm, call Sun Day Solar and ask about financial incentives, easy installation, and more.