Lincolnville Library aims to be ‘net zero’ with solar PV and heat pump combo

August 29th, 2014 by ReVision Energy

Lincolnville Library Goes Solar
Click to view video coverage of this solar project from WCSH Channel 6

The Lincolnville Community Library is now powered by the sun, thanks to grant funding by Efficiency Maine and the solar pros at ReVision Energy. The former one-room school house received 30 US-made solar electric panels to help power the 12,000 BTU heat pump that provides heating and cooling for the library.

“The Lincolnville Community Library is an excellent size and location to model energy conservation and renewable energy technologies that could be widely adopted by homeowners throughout the state,” says librarian Sheila Polson. At 24 by 34 feet and with a monthly electricity bill similar to that of many Maine households, the library’s energy efficiency measures and solar energy project, could be replicated by an average homeowner. “Already many visitors to the library ask questions about the heat pump, passive solar heating, and general energy usage,” says Polson.

Lincolnville’s library truly embodies the essence of “Community.” The town originally did not have a library, but a group of volunteers, with support from the community, rallied to move the existing 19th century school house across the street to the new site. From there, the Schoolhouse turned Library has become a central hub in the town, hosting community events, speakers, and educational gatherings. Energy efficiency improvements and the solar project are one more way the library showcases technology and knowledge for the broader community.

The Library has made the real-time performance of the solar array available online. Also see the Library’s Facebook page at:

Teaming Heat Pumps with Rooftop Solar

August 19th, 2014 by christine

Trends are positive for solar electric power. Panel prices have been dropping for years, while panel output and efficiency has been rising. Mini-split heat pumps are also riding a wave: Every year, one of the big name-brand manufacturers leap-frogs the others, posting another jump in efficiency.

For ReVision Energy in Portland, Maine, those two positive trends are the key to a new business model. For several years, the company has been selling Mainers on the idea that the smart way to heat your house is to put solar panels on your roof, and mount a mini-split heat pump on your wall. Some houses only get panels, and some houses only get mini-splits; but as ReVision founder Fortunat Mueller said in February during a three-hour technical presentation at the Building Energy 14 conference in Boston, “To me, the easiest path to net zero—if there are easy paths to net zero—is an on-site, grid-tied solar electric system and some form of electric heat, either resistive or a heat pump. Heat pumps let you cool and heat efficiently with electricity, and electricity is easy to make off the roof.” The combination is enough to serve as a stand-alone heating system, if the house is well suited for the strategy.

Full story is available here:

Local Businesses Show Support For Solar Energy

August 19th, 2014 by christine

nh-event-solarDespite ironically having to huddle in the shade to find relief from the heat, nearly half a dozen advocates for solar energy in New Hampshire gathered at Arms Park in Manchester on Tuesday as a united front to further the efforts of bringing the smart choice, renewable energy to the state.

“The thing I like the most about solar is that it really empowers the individual to take control over their energy sources and produce clean energy,” said Jonathan Gregory, a sale representative for ReVision Energy in Exeter. “Not everybody’s got a good wind site, the Granite State doesn’t have a lot of good wind sites. Ultimately, the sun does shine of every square foot of the state… Anybody can tap into it.”

Full story is available here:

Coastal Cohousing Community Wins North American Copper in Architecture Award

August 19th, 2014 by christine

Salt Marsh Cohousing
The decision to use copper extensively on the Coastal Cohousing Community project was a carefully considered one, as low maintenance and long durability were high on the owners’ list of priorities.

The ease of adapting copper to a variety of conditions and configurations allowed the architects to design all eaves, rakes, dormers and chimneys entirely in copper. This was both performance-enhancing and an aesthetic benefit. The result is a contemporary interpretation of the classic New England building form.

Full story is available here:

Another New Solar Electric Installation in Andover

August 19th, 2014 by christine

Revision Energy of Exeter installed another photovoltaic array in Andover last month.

The 18 panels should provide about 5.4 kilowatts of electricity over the course of a year, enough to power the entire household. Any excess power goes into the New Hampshire Electric Co-op’s grid for other NHEC customers to use. Revision recently announced a new program that lets qualified homeowners add solar with no money down.

Full story is available here: