Solar Thermal Site Survey 8.16.2010

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Date : 08/16/2010

Solar Thermal Site Survey:

This is an other addition of our sunmaxx solar webinar series, Today we are going to talk about Solar Thermal Site Surveys as well as T*SOL, later on the program shared with our product manager will discuss how to properly design and size the system using T*SOL. So the first half-hour I will talk about site surveys I’d like to remind everyone that I more welcome to ask questions in the chat box and I will try my best to answer them right away.

Ok Well, What I like to discuss this morning around this afternoon is how to properly survey a project that is lot of considerations they have to be made, many of them are fairly consistent from ever from with one project to another and some are relatively unique but its important you understand all the considerations okay anywhere any questions, here we go, one of the first things you have to do is determine the solar potential of your client and that should be done before you give them any indication of what your system can perform how well it can perform and there are many ways to analyzes the solar potential and I will talk about those little bit but that’s got to be your number one priority right off the bat is what type of solar potential do they have chances are using a thermal collectors of today whether flat platter or aqudity two.

I personally run across very very few rooftops that has a minimal solar potential , even you know, some that are half shaded or 75% shaded will still yield a decent amount of solar energy, so it’s not that you wanted to disclude anyone from using solar but you have to accurately assess their solar potential so we can figure out exactly what a system can do for them. because as you may know already it’s all about expectations. Few properly survey a system or a project is starts with solar potential and you really shouldn’t say anything to the client regarding solar potential until that it’s been accomplished. Another consideration site surveys is in our experience is that when they are done professionally they become a very intercrop part of the sales process and so it starts out as being well dressed and well spoken but it’s not opportunity for you or your sales rep for your engineer, designer to accomplish much of the sales process as you walk around the home whether the wood building it up on the roof or as the key questions the clients can very easily assess your knowledge. So be cautious of sending someone to do a site survey just for the purpose.

So site surveys have dual purposes or triple purposes and not the least of which is actually the most important is to gain a sale and by assessing the project in a very professional manner with someone who is knowledgeable and who can also design a system on the spot determine solar potential, the client is going to be much more confident your ability and another consideration to make it easier sunmaxx developed prepackaged kits and leave practice of always thinking so prepackaged kits right off the bat.

So for just about every system we have seen leave developer prepackaged kits, another not to say that those prepackaged kits campy customizable but it’s very important that you first look at the prepackaged kit options and then the last point I would like to say in this introduction is that you should never overstate the system’s ability, like I said briefly that it’s all about expectations. So you want to be very conservative in your estimates early on. So that it gives the system and ability and opportunity over performed and lot of your future job sources the ability of your other company will rely on our referrals.

So any customer that is disappointed in their system, from our experience, disappointment lies in their expectations. So we set expectations properly accurately the beginning then you can set yourself up for success that is very very important. We learnt from our mistakes of early on that over emphasizing the system ability will inevitably lead to disappointed in performance. Now one of the first thing you should do before you can do a site surveys qualify your leads. You can spend a considerable amount of time, chasing leads around, doing site surveys, only to find that those leads have really had the interest begin with or that you know after the proposals done the financials are working out in the 8 to 10 year payback and other some cases whether financially it doesn’t just exclusively financially doesn’t make a lot of sense. So it’s very important for you to determine which of the site surveys you’re going to fall through with. Another question is, are you going to offer free site surveys, we should allow this lot of success in trade shows and at public events where companies that offer free site surveys, will have an number of leads to fall through it, that’s a good thing but it’s also report prioritize those leads and qualified them, in qualifying leads for site surveys you want to first determine their hot water load and be sure that they have a hot water load , hot water loadss compared to heating loads , hot water loads will afford the client much better payback in a higher return.

So if you have 26 surveys you want to take a look and identify those the first of the large hot water load and secondly the ones that have a consistent look throughout the year. lastly if you can determine the status time those that are paying a premium rate for instance if someone is using natural gas versus electricity. the client is using electricity largely have a much better payback. so you can save yourself a lot of time I think, by qualifying your leads in determining which ones will percent of the best financials after the site survey. I have listed a few of those quotations in order of these are essentially the low hanging fruits of the solar thermal market large water load a consistent usage throughout the year relatively consistent anyway and those that pay a premium rate from descending order would be fossil fuel and number two diesel, electricity, propane and natural gas, so the best feedback sure are those clients are using fuel oil, second would be electricity then propane and natural gas. it’s very important you do your background information, in other words, you should really try to do your homework before you go to the site survey. There’s many things you can learn from your client without actually going to the house.

I listed some bullets that goal will give you little bit of detail and if there’s ways you can find and determine how water usage and their low profile you can come into the site survey with relatively decent amount of knowledge that would eventually lead to more confidence in your client, for instance, looking at the water usage, programs such as retscreen will help you determine how water usage indirectly through the hotels, llaundromats, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and different manufacturing and the like.So you can get relatively good idea of how water usage before you even step foot on the property. Another thing you’d want to try to do for commercial properties in particular it get over the superintendent or the head of maintenance that person is going to give you access to places that before you do an official meeting or our proposal you wanted to be sure every these opportunities lined up.

So you can see the weather skin on the roof , couple of the tools you can use, as mentioned here roof ray, you can go to this is a site that allows you to measure and determine solar potential of most any roof, is certainly in North America and have seen several South American, I can speak for the ability to look at a roof and in the Middle East, but is simply plug in the address very similar to Google Earth, might use the same software but more importantly it allows you to plot out the roof and determine the size of the roof, so that before you go to the site surveys you already have 50% of that solar potential done.

Next thing you want to find out ahead of time as possible is what type of boilers do they used and what type of fuel and how much they pay for that fuel. This helps you qualify those. Another important point to make is, in the end after the site surveys done and your proposals done, you really have to build communicate with the person who is going to make the decision. Now with residential clients is very easy, because you know that the husband or wife and sometimes unfortunate enough they’ll both make that decision but often there is board or someone who is going to be responsible for making the ultimate decision. You should do some background research to find out who that person is so that ultimately you can be in front of them and convince them directly. Other thing to learn ahead of time is Francis organization has some existing initiatives that you can piggyback the solar thermal upgrade with this part of capital improvement, do they intend to do any energy upgrades, replacing boilers or replacing chillers will be doing the roof or any other capitol projects.

This again is just as head is as homework ahead of time. So you can come into it with some well-informed suggestions with regard to capitol projects, you can bring the cost of your system laid down by including into an existing upgrade. Also once you identify the decision-makers, what is it that really drives the decisions are they green minded, are they really just looking for to save money, are they looking for tax rid off, are they image-conscious and they have clients in hotels or apartment buildings.

Today they intend to promote their building as being green and energy smart. another thing that you can do ahead of time is to being contacted with sunmaxx rep, let them know that you planned to do the site survey for particular job in and they might be able to offer some suggestions or similar systems that we’ve recently designed and sold and be sure you have your pricing all figured out ahead of time because it does help to offer clients ballpark figures. You want to be very careful in a conservative in that but many people like to you know as part of a second stage qualification. many people like to have an idea of what a system might cost them and so I highly recommended that you have your price list, not necessarily memorized but you know what ballpark you will be working within, what overhead and margins you’d expect and also may be the price is part of a bid.

So what type of bid is, we will be bidding on an old job or is it just commercial but you should know what type of bid and also for larger systems , some homework ahead a time is identified, some bonding capacity, any requirements in terms of insurance and what type of bond you need to hold case of this is also that needs to be done ahead of time if possible of that gives you the more professional parents as you begin to meet with them face-to-face doing a site survey you obviously done your homework and will go along ways to purchase sales cycle. So a proper site surveys is very important, I have listed only really 5 reasons why proper site surveys is important but there’s many more, simply for all solar thermal systems must achieve 50% solar fraction and really the only way to determine that solar fraction is to do a proper site survey. Site surveys don’t always require on-site. They can be done using virtual methods and indirect load calculations but most often site surveys will need to be able to determine the load so that solar fraction can be assessed.

Another reason that proper site surveys are important is that clients especially the ones early on many of your early clients are typically the ones that are more well-informed than others and the well-informed clients need to feel confident that all the considerations have been made. It also gives you an ability to demonstrate your knowledge as you do the site survey look at the site survey as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and like I said before, it’s a very important part of the sales cycle, whether it’s on phone or face-to-face, it’s important that they understand, how knowledgeable and passionate you are. If they see that you are, you may be all very knowledgeable but perhaps you don’t have the passion that’s going to obviously reflect poorly on your business, but you wouldn’t be listening to this if you’re passionate already, I would imagined such as myself. also remembers many ways to size and design systems and they properly survey project will give the client the best fit, whether it’s you go with your option is flat plates, evacuated tubes, still mount, flush mount, train back, close loop. There is many ways it is important that you have a host of methods that you can install these. The most successful installers will be the ones that has the largest degree of variability I guess in their systems, so that you can pick from your magic at the system that suits their situation the best.

In other way to do that is with proper site survey and I will leave you with this last point on the slide is that site surveys will properly size systems and that the filling the rooftop is not the best solution and one thing that we found when you suggest that a smaller system is better, it immediately indicates to the client figure out for their benefit as well as your own. obviously you make more money on a bigger system but it is important for the client to know that bigger systems are not always better in your recommendation is that they have the best system and not the biggest system. Any questions at this point.

On-site semi-exterior considerations that must be made in determining your solar potential are the first two bullets; obviously the size but also the orientation which direction does the roof phase and will this orientation of the existing roof hindered the aesthetic appeal. so it’s important to know that you know if you feel the roof is facing/the slope is facing north west or south east or it’s not a dealbreaker but that’s a consideration we need to use to determine the potential of the roof and from that then will decide whether it’s going to be better for you too, cantilever the collectors are creating compound angle, flush mount because one of the most important things in sustainability of your business is the aesthetic appeal of your systems. So by knowing the correct orientation of the roof, we can take that into account in terms of the performance.

So you better off may trying to make the collectors the roof statically rather than a big compound angles and still mount of self-pitched roof, you want to use compass, if you don’t have the other tools to determine and other one is accessibility how easy is it to be for you to if you need to get truck or ladder or forklift or cherry picker whatever it’s going to take how accessible is this rooftop to getting the equipment on there and another any structural hindrances like chimneys or dormers identifying where shadowing is not only done by trees and houses but parts of the roof can provide shading as well in terms of obstructions.

Can you go down the chase ways either chase ways you can follow or you go down on the side of the house, if you go down the side of the house and you have exterior piping, how will look, what you can do to create that aesthetic appeal with exterior piping in terms of chase ways how accessible it will be for you to run piping all the way down, obviously if there’s a way for you to go inside the house, ultimately you will have a higher performing system and it will cost less but exterior piping has been done of the fashionably I guess and I’ve seen many that look way well and in hiding in cursor downspouts or a wrapped in a corner of the house.

So you have to determine how you’re going to, you have to need a picture in your head and use your imagination, how will this look on the roof, how will you oriented on the roof, how you will run the piping down. Another thing is wind load.

Different places in the country would have different wind velocities and we have to be sure that the collectors in this and the type of mounting will accommodate the wind. In some cases where we would recommend flat plates based on a budget and performance the deal breaker was the fact that the wind load would be too high to mount these.

So you have to be prepared even though your clients might prefer flat plates and flat plates are better you should consider the fact that you know mount these up of to the roof this is excluding the fresh mount, mounting them up of the roof will increase wind load and every minutes right now so far has had different quotes, reference scenario little town here $25 building permit and a one-page of application will get the job started and then the court will come around and take a quick look at the system and typically sign off if you’ve met certain small set of guidelines in other cases you just an hour away the city officials have determined that of their going to make it very difficult to install anything on the roof and some extra pair to help you with all the specifications that you need in order to meet these codes.

Unfortunately we don’t have the nationwide database of all municipal codes but we can help you with the federal quotes. Also if they have a white roof or highly reflective roof that needs to be noted for our search survey TSOL reports that we can include a reflectivity in the performance. We’ve seen anywhere from 10 to 25% increase in performance based on different reflectivity is of roof structures and see light-colored roof is going to increase the performance of evacuated tubes, won’t do much at all for flat plates but if you go with evacuated tubes reflectivity will be played portal additionally can you increase the reflective, even if they have black asphalt of architectural shingles, can you increased reflectively by applying a roof made below the collectors or some foil backed foam under the collectors and the client is going to do this.

I can say this much that if with a flush mount evacuated tube system, we’ve seen performance of 17% simply by claiming the roof would surely williams highly reflective roofing. Also how old this roof, is there an existing warranty that will need to be re-warranted and they plan to replace the roof anytime soon, if so can we include the solar thermal system with that endeavor and how far away is the boiler, what the distance that we need to travel with these pipes to get to where we need to go and that might affect the placement of the collectors on the roof is a shorter savage the better in terms of heat loss to the system.

Now it’s important if you follow scripted assessment for your site, you can go with a scratch pad and could board and ask questions in a random manner and that would probably be fine but goes back to original being professional and having homework. We highly suggest that you have a scripted assessment and liked to show you one for example right now.

This is our, I am going to show you my computer screen here and it will take a second. Now if you take a look at the Sumaxx survey form, we have several different pieces of information that need to be assessed on some situations you find that this point is irrelevant and you can specify but it’s you have all these points covered, obviously the location is a public or a private, the type of building, it is a nursing home, resident, hospital, workshop, quickly check that off and the one of the most important things is determine the low profile which includes the scheduled throughout the year, throughout the week is a five day system or five day occupancy, or they all week long so they goes back to our original qualification of having customers at consistent loads and their hot water consumption on workdays and Saturdays Sundays holidays.

We want to know what their low-profile is, not only for the day but also throughout the entire year, determining the water consumption throughout the year that is their yearly low-profile will help us properly size the system, determining low profiles for daily use without the determine the size and storage tank, So this allows you to determine what percentage of their load is used during different months of the year and Franciscekey resorts so water park is going to have in inverse relationship in their water usage.

So we want to be able to size of the system that doesn’t exceed 100% , those typically the systems are given as the best payback not always the case but often we can build a system that rarely if ever exceeds 100% percent than the system utilization will be much higher. I don’t have time to go through this entire site survey form but I would like to show you point attention to the fact that it’s highly scripted and it comes with experience of from the European market that we’ve adopted by looking at the most important information that we need to gather in order to run a T*SOL report.

Summary, back to the to the PowerPoint quickly this site survey form is available to you through your deal around and just one second will get right back to the PowerPoint. The next thing you have to do, once you’ve done the site surveys, submit a quote request form, the quote request form that you are going to access through your login information as a dealer if you don’t have login information please contact your Europe sunmaxx representatives in the picture to get you login. So you can just show up quote request form with the information you done from a site survey and engineering department will help you size design a system of thinking first to the prepackaged kits and then lastly we would look at a customized solution.

One of the important thing about quote request form is decreases your liability, we would like to take liable. We are liable for the systems that you’re going to be installing. So it’s important that we have input in size and design solar faction of that system said also helps you because the less liable you are the better it is, the quote request form is for you. you will be submitting a quote request form to us and will help you design the systems, looking like this at first at the prepackaged kits and then customized solution and like I said that if we size it properly, it can reduce your liability and every time that you would like a quote from us, will see quote request form so that we have ways to track and see that and modify the type of systems that you have been requesting.

It helps us to make a more customized service with your relationship. Once you get that quote where we will submit a quote to you at your cost. We give you manufacture suggested prices but those margin will be entirely up to use, so as a dealer you will receive the dealer pricing in your quote, a site survey is required the use of submitting in order to do it properly assesses solar potential, got to use one or two, these two that are shown or are just two of the options but I found also an application that will accomplish mostly with these two will, solar pathfinder is the most commonly used in, many of you might be familiar with this.

We would probably have a webinar in the near future on the use of the solar Pathfinder. But for now you can go to, there are several videos and tutorials that walk you through, Solmetric Suneye is priced in for or five times more than solar Pathfinder. But it becomes highly technical allows you to give a much more instant feedback and original GPS Lincoln and all that. But it’s very important they use instrument rather than your own intuition regarding the path of the sun front here. Now, when it comes to interior considerations, we have to see the boiler room, you can look at the age of the boiler that can help us determining the efficiency of the boiler.

And if it’s true for any particular upgrades, the size of the boiler, also remember that the size of the boiler is typically designed for design days that is the coldest time of the year, boilers will indicate, how are you such but it’s it becomes difficult to determine how our usage based only on the size of the boiler because they are most often oversized, that is, the result of oil you know fuel companies selling you bigger boilers because bigger boilers use more energy , more energy use the more money they make. We also need to know piping diameter for cold water supply. how water feeds that allows to directly determine the flow rates. We want to built to accommodate the maximum flow rate specially preheat solar water tank, you also need to assess whether there’s room for storage, the special for Cumby systems that require significant amount of space to store the energy. Hot water systems take up much less room in fact week in tirade into the existing structure cannot think of any room of the two better get a look if there is room and client is okay with that you’re better off always gone with preheat tank

So it your priority is to find a place for preheat tank if that’s not possible then you can use existing tank can you get those tanks inside the house, can you get even downstairs, how, why do the doors, is there any temperature maintains, how high is the ceiling, with height of the tank fit, is there any existing storage place you can use that already have a storage tanks and where will we put the valves , another valves you can argue corporate do you have to install new valves, so it’s important to get a little drawing , scan then send it to your dealer around and sharing can help you make the most of what they are to have in place looking of.

I have come to the conclusion of the site survey webinar I would like to thank every attention and remind you that we’re always available for questions. So again thank you for your attention.

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