Categories: "Solar Events"


  10:30:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 381 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SEIA, SPI 2011

SPI2011: See You in Dallas!

Solar Power International 2011 starts next week in Dallas and we will be there, thanks to our friends at Enphase Energy. If you are going to be there as well, we hope you will stop by the Enphase booth and say hi!


Here’s how this came about - as readers of this blog probably know, we have attended the Solar Power conference every year since entering the business back in 2006.  However, this year the show has moved out of California - a certainly reasonable decision given the size of solar markets in other states - but given the added expense, we were sadly resigned to giving it a pass.  Then, out of the blue, we were contacted by the folks at Enphase who invited us to participate with them in demonstrating how quick and easy their new M215 line is to install.  So, along with five other installers from around the country, we will be spending time at the Enphase booth - #1331 - on Tuesday and Thursday morning helping to spread the word about the value of Enphase micro-inverters.

(Full disclosure: this is the first time that Run on Sun has received any stipend or other consideration from Enphase and everything we have ever written about them and their products was done without any inducement of any kind.  The stipend in this case is to merely cover our expenses in attending the conference.)

As always, we are really looking forward to attending the show as it is a great way for us to see what innovative products are coming (it was the 2008 show that introduced us to Enphase), touch base with all of our suppliers (who will all be there) and generally get recharged from the collective energy exuded by thousands of other believers in the value of renewable energy in general and solar power in particular.  It should be a wonderful show - and will hopefully help to generate some positive press about the solar industry at a time when it desperately needs it.

So if you are attending the show, feel free to reach out via the SPI online social app or just come by the Enphase booth - #1331 on the main floor - on Tuesday or Thursday morning.  I’ll be the good-looking guy with the beard, sporting Run on Sun livery!  Hope to see you in Dallas!

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  07:52:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 233 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SCE, Energy Efficiency, Residential Solar, Solar Decathlon - 2011

CHIPs are Up - Caltech's Solar Decathlon Entry - UPDATED

UPDATE: The final tallies are in and our hometown team placed sixth overall and tied for the lead in two categories: Energy Balance and Hot Water efficiency.  Congratulations to all who participated in this competition - you make us proud!

The Solar Decathlon is a tremendously cool event that allows collegiate teams from around the world to show just what innovative, energy-efficient design looks like - and boy can these kids think outside the box!

Here in Pasadena we admit to being a bit partial to our hometown heroes over at Caltech (as in, the California Institute of Technology, in case you didn’t know).  Teaming up with architecture students from SCI-Arc (as in the Southern California Institute of Architecture, in case you didn’t know), the combined team’s entry - called CHIP,  for Compact, Hyper-Insulated Prototype - features insulation on the outside of the building and some other very clever design features, including - of course - solar panels.

Check out this video “walkthrough":

The Decathlon starts September 23 and runs through October 2 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  We can only hope that the folks who work in Washington and have a hand in setting national energy policy will take the time to become educated about the possibilities created by innovative thinking regarding our long-term energy needs.

We will be following the status of the SCI-Arc/Caltech team and will post updates as they become available.  Go team, GO!


  01:25:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 188 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, Solar Events, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar

Run on Sun Turns Five - But You Get the Presents!

Normally we avoid the blatant sales pitch in this blog, but September
Party! marks Run on Sun’s Fifth Anniversary - no mean feat in this economy, thank you very much! - and we are celebrating with our best sale ever!

When you combine our Special Anniversary Discount with the lowest equipment prices of all time and add in the recently lowered sales tax rate throughout L.A. County - you are looking at some serious savings!

Here’s all there is to it: for every contract that we sign during the month of September, we will take a full 5% off our already affordable prices.  This offer is good throughout the Run on Sun service area and applies to all systems 5 kW or larger.  All you have to do is mention that you saw this blog post and the savings are yours!

So what are you waiting for - September won’t last forever!  Pick up the phone and give us a call (626-793-6025) or better yet, click on the Sun over there on the right and fill out our easy online form to get the process started.

Happy Anniversary from all of us at Run on Sun!


  10:22:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 429 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Events, Solar News

Can Solar Light the Hollywood Sign?

We have previously lamented solar’s PR problem - but here is one approach to changing that with some really good press.  A group of volunteers is looking to use a portable solar power system to light the famous Hollywood Sign the night of the Academy Awards.  Now how cool is that?

We became aware of this project through fellow solar fan, Deep Patel, who is one of the advisors to the project.  The plan is simple and designed to minimize the impact on the environment - and the residents near the Sign who are understandably anxious over anything that might increase the traffic in their community.  Here’s how they describe it:

Our plan to light the Hollywood Sign will have no adverse affect on the natural habitat in Griffith Park, where the Sign is situated, or the surrounding neighborhoods. Because LED lights create a directional, focused light and not a spherical light field, they will cause no light pollution, nor will they ‘bounce’ into nearby homes.

The lightweight system we have designed consists of:

#1- One mobile solar array parked on the road above the Sign

#2 - One extension cord

#3 - Eighteen lightweight ground-mounted LED lights

The set-up and the removal of the solar equipment will take a matter of hours. The system and the production will be completely noise-free.

Residents in the vicinity of the Hollywood Sign are, understandably, sensitive to tourist and sightseeing traffic on their streets. This is the primary reason the Hollywood Sign is not currently lit at night, and it is why our plan calls for lighting it, as a symbolic act, only one night a year.

A traffic abatement plan will be worked out with the LAPD and the neighborhoods closest to the Sign. Our plan includes a PR campaign to let people know the best view of the lighted Sign will be from the commercial areas of Hollywood, not from the residential areas in the Hills.

Because Solar The Sign is funded by sponsorships and private donations, we can do this at no cost to taxpayers.

As symbolic gestures go, this one seems quite appealing.  A chance to showcase solar power as part of one of the most publicized events in the year (at least here in SoCal) can only help raise public awareness of solar’s potential.

The group is trying to get the word out and - more importantly - get folks to sign on to their petition.  If you agree, please sign up at: Light the Hollywood Sign with Solar Power the Night of the Academy Awards - and let us know that you did in the comments.


  09:03:41 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 317 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, SPI 2010, Climate Change

Solar Power International #10 - Day 1 - Chinese Solar Panels and No on Prop 23

The first day of the 10th Annual Solar Power International Conference is in the books and after an exhausting day of walking the exhibit floor (all three of them!) I am left with an overwhelming impression - renewable energy in general and solar power in particular constitute the wave of the future and that wave is breaking now! But please take note - our friends in Asia, especially China and Korea, already get this big time.  The number of solar panel manufacturers present here from Asia is nothing short of astounding. While I have no idea who is buying their product (with the exception of world-class producers like Suntech), it is apparent that other countries, especially China, are invested heavily in their solar industry for both domestic and foreign consumption.

Which got me thinking. Solar advocates and other environmentally enlightened folks tout the clean-tech jobs that derive from the solar industry - whether by way of installation or manufacturing.  Yet those manufacturing jobs are facing a constant threat from thoroughly engaged foreign competitors - as was amply demonstrated today - who receive serious subsidies from governments that are not at all confused about where their long-term interest lies. And while it is true that the installation jobs cannot be outsourced, they could certainly be reduced or eliminated by the adoption of short-sighted policies like Prop 23.

Attending a conference like SPI is always exciting as you meet your colleagues from around the world who share your vision and your passion. But progress is not guaranteed. It requires sound public policy that will support this industry, even in the face of an economic downturn. Our competitors are building for the future - let’s not let some out-of-state special interests who make their money off our addiction to fossil fuels drag us back into the economy of the past.

I’ve said it before and for the next three weeks I’ll keep saying it:
Vote No on Prop 23!

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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