May 19, 2015
Local company donates and installs solar AC and Big Ass Fans
HONOLULU – Students at Kalaheo High School won’t have to suffer through the late summer heat this year thanks to RevoluSun Smart Home (RevoluSun), Hawaii’s leading solar provider and one-stop shop for advanced sustainable home technology.
This morning the sustainable services company, Principal Susan Hummel, Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua, Kaneohe), Sen. Laura Thielen and Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo) turned on an off-grid, solar-powered air conditioning (AC) unit at the Kailua high school. RevoluSun designed and installed the system, valued at $25,000, free of charge. The AC unit is not connected to the utility grid and will not increase the school’s power bill. RevoluSun also installed eight, advanced technology Haiku fans between two classrooms, which were donated by the Big Ass Fan Company.
“We are grateful that RevoluSun Smart Home, with the help of Representative Thielen and Sen. Laura Thielen, stepped forward to make this donation after hearing about the negative effects of the very hot classrooms, with the temperature rising due to the unusually hot weather last school year,” said Principal Susan Hummel. “Of course, cooling classrooms should be a priority, but how do we take care of the cost? Having a completely off-grid system is a blessing to the school, and this pilot of new technology may benefit more than just Kalaheo, but other schools in our DOE system.”
This solar AC system includes 15, 260-watt PV modules (3.9 kW), an Aquion battery backup, and a 36,000 BTU Mitsubishi split AC unit. The eight Haiku ceiling fans manufactured and donated by Big Ass Fans will be split between two rooms: the AC room (Ms. Powers’ American Problems classroom) received four fans and an adjacent classroom received four fans. The value of the AC system materials and installation is $25,000 and the value of the eight fans donated by The Big Ass Fan company and installed by RevoluSun Smart Home is $4,500.
“We’re excited to contribute to the much greater effort of cooling our public school classrooms,” said Colin Yost, COO of RevoluSun. “It’s our hope that the lessons learned from this installation will help the Department of Education save money and apply creative solutions to other schools throughout the state.”
At the beginning of the next school year, RevoluSun will conduct an experiment with the help of Kalaheo’s environmental and science teachers and students on the cooling effects of different improvements. When RevoluSun started the process, the Department of Education (DOE) coated the roof white, and the surrounding buildings still have black asphalt roofs. This allows for temperature testing in the four distinct classroom environments:
1. white roof, Solar AC and new fans
2. white roof and new fans
3. white roof and old fans
4. black roof and old fans
The experiment should provide valuable information about the relative cost and cooling effects of each improvement.
Last September, RevoluSun, the school and DOE began to plan this installation, during that time Hawaii was enduring record-breaking heat and the DOE was urgently working to cool down public school classrooms. Principal Susan Hummel worried that it was approaching triple digits some school days and expressed concern to Rep. Thielen, who called RevoluSun to ask for help.
“The heat was brutal in the second floor classrooms, so I reached out to RevoluSun Smart Home to see if the company could help,” recalled Rep. Thielen. “The answer was ‘Yes’ and the company has put in an off-grid PV-Battery system to keep students cool and able to learn in a comfortable environment. I am grateful for their pro-bono assistance.”
RevoluSun also is designing a back-up battery system to complement the AC, to store power and help on cloudy days.
About RevoluSun Smart Home
Locally owned and operated RevoluSun Smart Home makes solar energy affordable for every Hawaii homeowner and is the only full-service provider of energy efficient home technology. This includes PV hot water, whole house fans, skylights and sun tunnels, home automation and security, EV car charging, solar batteries, and more. RevoluSun Smart Home has helped over 6,500 Hawaii families gain energy independence. With 65 MW of systems built, RevoluSunaries are saving over $20 million in utility expenses annually. RevoluSun Smart Home is a SunPower Elite Dealer and the only solar company to be awarded SunPower’s Residential National Top Producer of the Year twice. RevoluSun Smart Home offers regular, free seminars at its Ward Ave. Innovation Center for homeowners who want to learn about solar and the latest smart home technologies. For more information about RevoluSun Smart Home visit www.RevoluSun.com or call 808.748.8888.