Solar power has come a long way

Some 25 years ago or so, my parents built a new home for the family. Installed on the roof were a couple of very large solar panels. The panels harnessed the power of the sun to provide us with hot water.

The problem with the system was that we ran out of hot water fairly quickly. If all five of us took showers right after each other, the fourth and fifth people in would be taking a cold shower. My mother had to do laundry at night so as not to waste the hot water.

doran.jpgMy, how things have changed.

Doran Manufacturing has installed 148 solar panels on the roof of its facility in Cincinnati and six inverters to generate 50% of the electricity needed to run the facility. The system uses solar panels from Third Sun Solar & Wind Power. It will produce 50,500 kW hours per year and reduce the peak kW load by 15-25 kW’s during the summer months, Doran said. In fact, the energy produced is enough to power five homes for a year.

“We spend so much time working with our truck fleet and RV customers on the significant economic benefits associated with using Doran’s tire pressure monitoring systems that it inspired us to look internally at the available opportunities to control our costs by investing in technology,” said Jeff Stegman Doran’s CEO. “Whether we can help to extend the life of tires and improve fuel efficiency for fleets or produce our own electricity with the help of the sun, it will have a positive impact on the environment and the economy.”

Doran said it expects a return on investment in less than four years through a combination of energy savings, Renewable Energy Credits and other incentives.

Doran is not the only company doing this. But it is a good example that other companies can follow.

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