Articles (Hawaii Renovation & Misc.)

Giving Wind Energy Systems a Whirl

Posted: Energy

Giving Wind Energy Systems a WhirlSolar electric systems provide power during daylight hours or when the sun is shining, but what about providing energy when there is no sunlight? At Pacific Islands Construction, we work tirelessly to bring you products and services at the cutting edge of energy efficiency and sustainability. In that pursuit, we are proud to present the Zefr, a small wind turbine that operates as part of the modular and scalable Wind Array Turbine System (WATS) developed by JLM Energy Inc. of Rocklin, California. Zefr turbines make up WATS to collectively harness the power of the wind, routing the power of 20 turbines into a single smart inverter to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy costs.

Small wind turbine array challenges

Because of the variability in wind gusts, it has been very difficult to harness energy from multiple interconnected wind turbines. Turbines that would be spinning faster than others would send power down the line of their adjacent counterparts and further slow, or completely disrupt, those generators. This posed a challenge in the scalability and distribution of small wind turbine systems — until now.

Don’t let its small size fool you

Coming in with a 36-inch rotor diameter, the Zefr packs an arsenal of cutting-edge technology. JLM Energy’s Zefr turbine overcame the technological obstacles by developing a new wind turbine that houses revolutionary power electronics. The power created from every Zefr turbine in the Wind Array Turbine System flows through the same tethered cable harness without disrupting the power generation of neighboring turbines. A 3.6kW smart inverter, which seamlessly and optimally generates the maximum amount of power, converts the power from 20 Zefr turbines into common AC electricity. Additionally, JLM engineers keep a close eye on the quality of their products by keeping manufacturing in the U.S.

Bringing you efficiency and flexibility

Traditionally, a single turbine was a big investment with no opportunity for scalability. The inherent small size of the Zefr and easy-mounting features make it flexible to put multiple units on a roof line, parapet or other structural surfaces that enable a seamless blend into the architectural landscape of your building. It also is easy to scale up your energy production at any point down the road simply by adding more turbines.

Whether you’re a small or large business, owner of a residential complex or simply a homeowner interested in lowering your carbon footprint and monthly utility bill, the Wind Array Turbine System offers the modularity to easily customize the installation.

The Wind Array Turbine System also comes with JLM’s energy monitoring software so that you can track each Zefr’s energy production in real time. That way, you can see your investment saving you money and also determine whether your system is running optimally or not.

Finding out more

Visit booths 234 and 235 at the Summer New Product Show today, June 10 at the Blaisdell, or call us at 841-7756. You also can visit us online at to learn more about Zefr and what it can offer you. We install solar electric, solar thermal and now wind power systems. Our goal is to provide complete satisfaction now and into the future by providing our customers with the best-constructed solar and wind energy systems. Find out more about what we feel are the finest-made systems that will last and produce for a lifetime.

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Putting Energy Into Wind, Solar Power (June 2, 2012)

Pacific Islands Construction (PIC) provides energy solutions with product installation for solar energy (PV), solar thermal (hot water) and wind energy. As a solutions-based contractor, installing high-quality equipment that will provide long-term service is the company’s goal. Its product line includes Kyocera solar modules, one of the oldest solar module manufacturers in the industry, known for making very high-quality and robust PV modules. It also installs hot water modules from Apricus, which need less area to make hot water than traditional flat panels because of evacuated tubes. PIC also has recently introduced micro wind turbines from JLM Energy for making electricity 24/7.

What makes PIC stand above the competition is its experience as a general contractor, roofing contractor and solar contractor. All of these disciplines are needed for energy system installations because they require knowledge in carpentry to attach the solar modules, waterproofing for the roof penetrations and electrical knowledge for the correct system configuration. Pacific Islands Construction has it all covered whereas others may have strength in only one area.

Another area that sets the company apart is its knowledge of the industry and desire to share that expertise. As many manufacturers are exiting the industry because of financial loss or low-volume sales, PIC has carefully selected its business partners to insure its clients with the best products from companies that will be in business in the future and honor warranties. The solutions need to be with companies that have strong financials and are committed to providing high-quality services, not just a low price. PIC also has educated its staff to provide the customer with valuable information to help educate themselves.

Here are a few points that PIC believes every person should follow prior to selecting a system and contractor:

• Does the installation include roofing industry details for roof penetrations?

• Has the racking system that holds the modules on the roof been tested by an independent third party to verify the system will stay in place when there are high winds?

• Does the system installation come with a maintenance program that protects your investment by maintaining equipment, as opposed to providing a warranty that is not proactive in protecting your equipment?

• Have you been provided with copies of the warranties to see what is really provided?

• Have you inspected the contractor installations to see what details they use in their construction and what the quality of the workmanship is?

• Do the manufacturers of the equipment have a good track record in the industry, and are they financially strong?

Pacific Islands Construction will be at the Summer New Product Show at Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall June 8-10, when you can view the Zefr micro wind turbines, the Kyocera PV modules and the Apricus solar hot water system. Contact the company by calling 841-7756 for an appointment or visiting its website at

PIC believes that an informed consumer will make a better decision when purchasing a solar energy system. It makes the effort to provide customers with the peace of mind that they have selected a contractor that is providing both outstanding value and the best-quality equipment. Trust in the company because there really is a difference in its quality of installation and equipment selected.

CONTACT: 841-7756

Maintaining Solar Energy Systems (Hawaii Renovation Magazine)

April 7, 2012

Maintaining Solar Energy SystemsPacific Islands Construction has a goal to help photovoltaic (PV) owners and those considering solar energy for their home become more knowledgeable about their purchase. As a general rule, most systems are sold without any maintenance plans, and owners believe that the warranties will protect them from any future problems. Pacific Islands Construction provides free maintenance with every system purchase because we know that this is not in the best interest of the equipment and installation. To protect the long-term investment, it is critical that these systems are serviced and protected, otherwise repairs not covered by the warranties will be quite expensive.

What is not covered in the warranties? Most warranties cover the module construction for only five to 10 years. Energy performance warranties are usually for 25 years. Inverters have warranties for anywhere from 10 to 25 years. In the fine print are many exclusions, and this is where the term “limited” comes into play. Consumers become far too comfortable thinking the warranties will cover everything, and this is where future costly repairs can eliminate all of the savings one is expecting from owning a system.

The following system maintenance should be performed yearly:

• Modules should be cleaned periodically. Cleaning them will increase energy production. It also will remove contaminants that may corrode the metal components.

• Roof penetrations need to be inspected to insure they are watertight. If the roof penetration’s waterproofing is failing, allowing water to enter the building, it causes damage to interior items that come into contact with it. Inspections helps to prevent this from happening.

• All cables and wires on the roof need to be inspected to insure that they are not setting on the roof and show no signs of deterioration. Electric cable attached to modules can get loose from securement and will blow back and forth on the roof as a result of the wind. This damages the cable and leads to a costly repair.

• Electrical connections need to be inspected to insure no arcing occurs between connections, which can lead to bigger problems.

• Inverters need to be cleaned and inspected. Inverters become hotter when they have dust or dirt on or in them. Cleaning will keep them operating at cooler temperatures, making them more efficient.

• Modules need to be inspected to make sure they are securely attached to the racking system and there are no loose connections from any hardware to the roof. Modules that blow off roofs are costly in many ways other than just the module replacement.

The long-term system performance is dependent on the quality of the product and the periodic servicing of the equipment. Pacific Islands Construction will service most manufactured equipment, and this will help protect your investment.

Pacific Islands Construction provides a comprehensive education on solar energy with every presentation we give. The more you know, the better your decision will be. Contact Pacific Islands Construction by calling 841-7756 for a consultation or emailing pic05@ The company’s goal is complete satisfaction, now and into the future, by providing the best constructed/installed solar energy system. Find out what we believe are the finest-made systems that will last and produce over the expected lifetime.

CONTACT: 841-7756


It’s a Great Time to Buy a Photovoltaic System (Sept 25,2011)


It’s a Great Time to Buy a Photovoltaic SystemThere has never been a better time to purchase a photovoltaic system (PV) than the present moment and those reasons include the lowest module price in the history of such systems, high electricity rates, and tax credits that are still available to help pay for the system. The average payback period after tax credits and savings on your utility bill, is between four to five years when purchasing one of these systems.

Perhaps you have recently seen the articles regarding the default of a large loan made to an American solar company that is being investigated by the FBI? The company has fallen victim to the collapse in prices for solar modules due to discontinued financial support or subsidies in Europe, the largest market for PV up to this point. There is an over-supply that has caused the market to lower prices on modules causing manufacturers to have no profits and go into the red. The stock market prices for solar companies have plummeted and many companies probably will not survive. Consumers who have had reservations regarding the purchase of a photovoltaic system may not have a better time to do so than now, but there is some caution to be taken.

The reasons for caution are:

1. Companies have started to cut back on quality by using cheaper components such as glass, plastic backer material, thinner metal frames, and lower-quality construction practices.

2. Using lower-quality cells to place in module. Due to the high cost to manufacture cells, lower-quality cells are being used rather than rejected. Thus, bottom line cost has replaced quality as the main objective.

3. Companies going out of business or consolidating due to poor market conditions and weak financial conditions.

Pacific Islands Construction believes that now is a great time to purchase your system, but the product manufacturer you choose also is very important. The company believes that other companies such as Kyocera, which has been producing solar modules for more than 35 years, has strong financials, and produces what is the finest solar module in the industry. Independent testing performed at the Dessert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre shows Kyocera as the leading producer of energy among many of the leading solar module manufacturers. You can check out the website, for more information. Kyocera has one of the finest reputations for quality, durability and higher energy.

Reasons to purchase a new PV system today are as follows:

1. The existing tax credits that are available will not be here forever, which means now is the time to take advantage of them. The state of Hawaii tax credit of 35 percent of the system cost with a limit of $5,000 per system and the federal tax credit of 30 percent of the total cost are still available but may not be around much longer.

2. The cost of energy that we pay per kilo watt hour has increased from under 26 cents per kilowatt hour at the beginning of the year to more than 32 cents per kilowatt hour. If you have seen an increase in your energy bill from last year to this year, you are well aware of the sizeable increase to your electric bill. It was recently announced that HECO has filed for an additional rate increase and if approved, will increase the prices you pay for electricity even further.

3. HECO has set limits to the percentage of customers installing PV in a particular area to 15 percent of the area usage. If environmental factors were to decrease the amount of alternative energy produced within a particular zone, then HECO will need to respond by producing more energy at their plants and this might strain their capacity to respond within a short time.

The purchase of a photovoltaic system is not only a price issue. The modules also need to be installed so that during high winds, the modules stay on the roof as well as keep the home waterproofed. Many systems have over 30 penetrations into the roof and each one should be detailed in the proper way to prevent future leaks.

Contact Pacific Islands Construction by calling 841-7756 for a consultation or visiting the web-site at The company’s goal is to provide complete satisfaction now and into the future by providing customers with the best constructed and installed solar energy system.

CONTACT: 841-7756