Simple Solar Perfect Choice For Boulder Custom Builder

This business profile of locally owned Simple Solar focuses on a custom home built by Bob Hughes. Bob’s business, Hughes Construction, is a company which has a history of giving local Boulderites green building solutions. As a result, Simple Solar is a natural fit for Hughes and his Boulder real estate project.

With local roots locally as a company founded right here in Boulder Colorado, and extensive history as the most experienced solar electric system provider, Hughes found the choice to be simple for his photovoltaic power solution.

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hughes-one-lineOn the three different days when we worked on the location work for this video profile for you, we were lucky enough to experience the typical weather changes often found in Boulder. Our first day on site we talked with the crew briefly to learn that the early stages of the project were focused on setting the stage for installing the panels. As it turns out, the crew is full of highly experienced professionals, and in this case all of those on the team are electricians.

After the first day Boulder got a bit of snow and winter weather, which isn’t too surprising for us here in February. It wasn’t a problem for the Simple Solar team since they have several projects under way during any given week. Attention was shifted towards adding resources to another project while we waited.

hughes-pv-schematic-1Fortunately for everyone, Boulder’s weather includes 300+ days of sunshine and the following day brought just that. As you can see in our video profile tour, warm sunshine prevailed and the crew was back on the job and finishing up the final steps to get the system finished and up and running.

One of the most important things I have learned about Simple Solar is that they are very strongly oriented on understanding their client’s goals. This shows up in the consultation part of the process as they help homeowners look carefully at how both Simple Solar and the homeowner can work together to maximize the effectiveness of their solar system, as well as the financial efficiencies of the project design.

When you talk to a consultant at Simple Solar, you’ll see that the objective is not to propose the largest possible system that might fit on your roof. Rather, Simple Solar consultants work closely with you as a homeowner to understand your needs.

I’ve seen some systems designed by Simple Solar which met the objective of creating a solution where the homeowner would continuously produce more electricity than they could use, and consequently the system always sells energy back to the grid.

Other systems have been designed to simply supplement the electricity needs for the homeowner. Whichever solution makes the most sense for you, it can be done, and it is possible to have a keen eye on the return on your investment (ROI) at the same time.

hughes-final-layout-1-21-09In the case of this particular installation, Bob Hughes designed this home very carefully so that it was exceptionally energy efficient, and it was also insulated and sealed very well. Knowing that a Photovoltaic solar system was part of the long range plan played a big part in how he designed and built this home. He even installed ‘tie-offs’ along the ridge line of his roof knowing that installation professionals from Simple Solar would have to contend with the very steep roof pitch on his home.

This steep roof pitch actually works very well for the photovoltaic panels. The angle works to maximize the efficiency of the panels (they get some of the highest levels of sunlight at this angle), and it also helps to promote snow shedding so that the panels are once again exposed to sunlight as quickly as possible.

Hughes chose a somewhat smaller than average system of about 3.5 kilowatts. He didn’t want to completely offset his electric bill, but did want to find a compromise between aesthetics in building design and function along with eco conscious choices. The two dormer features add essential living space solutions for the home, but they interrupt the space that could have been otherwise used for solar panels on the south facing portion of the roof.

Under typical circumstances, this size of solar photovoltaic system might be able to supply about 50% of the electricity needs for a house like Bob’s. However, given the forethought Hughes had about his home, he’ll likely see a return from his solar system of somewhere around up to 70% of his actual electric energy needs. Nice work Bob!

Another key to this system is the use of the SunPower 225 panels. These are very sexy and stealthy all-black panels that produce a whopping 225 watts each. Simple Solar engineered this system to work with 16 panels which brings the total system potential up to about 3.6 kilowatts. In many areas, SunPower is only available through one dealer in a given market, and here locally Simple Solar is a premier  SunPower dealer. What I love about the SunPower 225’s is their low-key, stealthy look. and even more important to many of you in our science and technology rich community; the SunPower panels are extremely efficient. You get a huge bang for your buck with these panels!

What also makes a solar photovoltaic system attractive is the attention given to details. Things such as solar panel placement, location of the conduit runs, ingress and egress points of the conduit and electric lines between the panels and the inverter, and also the location of the inverter itself. We want these things installed to the ancillary parts and pieces are as unobtrusive as possible. Simple Solar did a bang-up job for Hughes, as they have for many other clients during their decade + run of experience in the industry.

I still believe that the main focus of any home solution is to find a way to make the project fit in with your personal values and mission for your home. Simple solar is the kind of organization that embodies this kind of principle.

My goal is to bring you business profiles on people and businesses who definitely have a goal of their own to know their client’s needs, and to work closely to meet their personal goals. I hope that this profile gives you another reason to want to call or email me now, so that I can help you connect with one of the regions best solar electric providers.

-Zachary Epps, full-time RE/MAX professional, Realtor®, and EcoBroker®
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Best of all, you could call or email me now, so we can start talking about what’s important to you about the Boulder real estate market! I look forward to hearing from you.

-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®