Helping you achieve energy independence!

Create Energy

So you want to create your own energy and reduce your dependence on the grid? Do you want to reduce your cost of fuel for your generator or set up your cabin with no generator or grid connection at all? 


Whatever your situation is, we can help. The experts at Sustainable Energies Inc will get you up and running with the right combination of renewable energy products to suit your needs. Solar electric, solar thermal, wind and more, if it's available, we can get it and set it up right. We can supply your project needs or we can complete the installation for you from start to finish including financing options at great rates to get you started today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Solar Electric

  • How does solar electric energy work?
  • Solar energy comes in many forms but the most common used is solar photovoltaic (PV). Solar PV energy works by using a silicon solar cell to capture energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. From there the energy can be inverted from Direct Current (DC) power to Alternating Current (AC) for use with household devices. This energy can be fed back to the utility grid or stored in batteries for later use.
  • Is solar a good idea in Newfoundland?
  • Solar energy is viable and very useful in all parts of the world. Comparing Newfoundland to many other parts of the world including countries gathering large portions of their electrical capacity from solar such as Germany, most areas of Newfoundland have higher solar output potential than Germany. Even in foggy St. John's we still get 1500 sun hours per year and Toronto for example gets approximately 1800 sun hours, not a dramatic difference (only 20%). This difference can be made up in many ways and the colder annual temperatures we see is one of them.
  • Why is solar so popular for generating energy?
  • Solar electric energy is very popular around the world for good reason and the number one reason is simple, a solar panel has no moving parts. As a result, solar panels are about the most reliable source of energy available with no maintenance required. Hydro electric, nuclear, wind, coal, fuel oil, biomass, natural gas and every other type of power generating facility out there requires extensive maintenance which increases lifecycle costs.
  • Is solar electric energy expensive?
  • Solar electric energy is not expensive. To build a system containing a battery bank and all the necessary components to meet the Canadian Electric Code systems range from $7-10/watt installed and grid connected systems can be under $4/watt installed at the present time. Considering the life span of equipment like this, the environmental and financial cost benefit will be recouped in a reasonable time frame and after that, since the fuel is free (energy from the sun), you can enjoy your system for many years into the future.
  • How can it work for me?
  • Solar electric can power anything you need it to from a couple of lights up to a complete commercial operation in a remote location. Solar has been used for years in remote telecommunication sites, oil and gas sites and list goes on and on. If you need power, solar electric can provide it for you.


Solar Thermal

  • How does solar thermal energy work?
  • Solar thermal energy is gathered typically in a glass covered panel which is painted a dark colour to capture the maximum amount of sun heat energy. From here this energy needs a medium and the two most common are water or air. A solar thermal collector will then transfer the heat collected in this medium to heat a building or a domestic hot water system.
  • How much can I save using solar thermal air heating?
  • Solar thermal energy is very dynamic and depends upon the amount of sunshine you get in a particular year and relates to the outdoor temperatures and heat loss associated with the system. Most solar thermal collectors are in the range of 4'x8' each and have the capacity for about 6000 BTUh of heating. Each year there are about 840 usable sun hours for heating during the heating season and this roughly translates to: 5 MBTUh (5 million BTUh) or the equivalent of 1465 kWh of electricity. At current electricity prices this is $189 per collector per year. 
  • How much can I save using solar thermal water heating?
  • Solar thermal water heating, much like air heating collects heat to a medium, in this case a heat transfer fluid or glycol mix. A hot water tank with a heat exchange coil is installed and domestic hot water fills the tank around the heat exchange coil. This is where the energy exchange happens and the resulting heated water can be used as a preheat system for a standard hot water system or radiant heat system for the building (often a combination of both). Since this system has a function all year round, it can utilize closer to the 1500 sun hours available in Newfoundland (central and western Newfoundland get as much as 1800 sun hours in places). With this much energy it is possible to offset as much as 2600 kWh of energy per collector which is worth $335 per year at current electricity prices.
  • How long does solar thermal equipment last?
  • Solar thermal collectors are made from materials such as aluminum and stainless steel utilizing tempered glass and copper piping. These materials in common use last for 30 years and more day in and day out. The most likely replacements in this type of system come in the form of the electronic controls, pumps and tanks. The energy source (the sun) will be here much longer than that.


Wind Energy

  • How do wind turbines work?
  • Wind turbines gather wind energy from the air moving past turbine blades. The resultant wind is slowed down by the effective amount of blade surface area capturing wind with then turns a generator creating electricity. This power is converted into either DC or AC power depending on the application and the power is either fed back into the electrical grid or stored in batteries. 
  • How much space do I need to install a wind turbine?
  • Wind turbines are mounted on towers of varying height depending on the site and the size/style of turbine. Urban environments are limited to rooftop wind turbines usually and rural environments are able to have larger turbines on larger towers installed. The general rule of thumb for turbine citing is that if you put up for example a 100' tall tower, then there needs to be at least 100' in all directions from the base of the tower of free land with no obstructions to allow for a tower failure without damaging neighboring buildings/property. This guideline eliminates many installation possibilities unless the amount of space you have is significant. 
  • Can I install wind power in the city?
  • Wind power will commonly be limited to a rooftop installation in any of the municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador but if you have more than an acre of land there may be a realistic opportunity to install a standard tower. Rooftop wind produces less power than a proper tower cited away from turbulent obstructions such as trees and other buildings however rooftop wind will still outproduce solar per installed kW in Newfoundland.
  • How much power does a wind turbine create?
  • Wind turbines when installed properly in Newfoundland can output as much as 5 MWh/1 kW installed capacity. This translates to 50000 kWh or 50 MWh of power generated for a 10kW (fairly large) wind turbine. In dollars at the current electricity rate this would work out to $6450 worth of power, more than what most homeowners spend. A rooftop wind turbine can produce up to 3 MWh/1 kW installed capacity which is about 60% of a proper turbine installation.

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