The 3 massive inverters convert the DC solar power to AC power. No moving parts means nothing wears out.
We installed a meter that just shows how much power comes from the roof. Watch it spin!
Special thanks to the following for their help in making this dream become a reality:Garden State Roofing and Solar 732-671-5559, Remi Electrical Contractors 732-567-4663, Rowan's HVAC 732-842-6913, and Hapco Fence 732-757-7552.
- What happens when we have a thunderstorm and hail?
The panels are strong enough to repel hail impacts. The grid has a lightning rod the same as any roof with no extra risk. The panels and brackets can handle wind loads up to 120mph and the roof was examined by engineers to make sure it can handle the wind, weight, and even uplift caused when wind goes under the panels.
- What is the life expectancy and payback time of the panels?
The panels are guaranteed for 25 years. They paid for themselves in 5 years. There's no moving parts involved and no maintenance.
- What happens when it snows?
Because they're glass, tilted towards the sun, and raised off the roof, they don't accumulate much snow and it will melt off rapidly.
- Where does the power come from at night?
When the system is making more power then the building uses it feeds back into the power grid and the meter actually spins backwards. The system will also make power on rainy days. Not as much of course. But much better then panels of 10 years ago. No batteries are used and the energy "stored". That would be insanely expensive and the batteries would be worse for the environment then the energy we save.
- What happens during a power failure?
The system is designed to shut itself off. Otherwise it would be trying to feed the entire blacked-out area with power and would fry. It also is for the safety of any power linesman who would think the power grid is off but would be getting fed by our building.
Making More Light with Less Power
We took the savings from the solar panels and used it to replace all of the light fixtures in the store with new high-efficiency T8 lighting. These fixtures use 30% less electricity then the old ones yet make the store much brighter inside. Our green initiatives have made our 7000 square foot building light up all day 7 days a week with less electricity then most people's homes use.
STOP IN TO SEE HOW INCREDIBLY THESE LIGHTS BRIGHTEN THE STORE!
Peanuts! Get your Green Peanuts!
Hobbymasters is located in the heart of Downtown Red Bank, a busy retail district. Most of the stores in town receive their shipments and used to throw away their packing materials. Now all of their packing materials are collected by Hobbymasters and re-used to ship your order to you.
Better then Recycling!
Hobbymasters uses a lot of cardboard boxes to complete all of the orders we receive. Like the big chain stores we could get fancy boxes made with our name on it. Instead we choose to re-use boxes that come to us from our distributors and neighboring stores. While there are some items that we've had to purchase specialty boxes for to get them to you safely, we'd prefer to keep even our recycled cardboard contributions to a minimum.
More Power to the Dumps!
Hobbymasters repairs a lot of remote control vehicles and Power Wheels Ride-On vehicles. As a result we collect an enormous amount of dead batteries. We make special trips to a recycle center with lead acids, lithium polymers, nickel cadmium, and nickel metal-hydride batteries. This is not a requirement but a choice that we feel is the right thing to do.
Giving Back Green to the Country!
In 2007 the town of Greensburg, Kansas had 95% of all residential, commercial, industrial, and farm buildings destroyed by a massive tornado. The town has decided to rebuild every building in a "green" manner, with either solar, geothermal, or other alternative fuel sources. And that barely touches on the green initiative the town is taking. In 2008 Hobbymasters' employees held a fundraiser to collect Green Educational Science Kits for the Greensburg School System and Visitor Center. This resulted in more then $1500 in contributions to help educate their town.