Although net-zero projects have been creating a lot of buzz lately in the field of green building, the Sonnenschiff solar city in Freiburg, Germany is very much net positive. The self-sustaining city accomplishes this feat through smart solar design and lots and lots of photovoltaic panels pointed in the right direction. It seems like a simple strategy — but designers often incorporate solar installations as an afterthought, or worse, as a label. Designed by Rolf Disch, the Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship) and Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) emphasize power production from the start by smartly incorporating a series of large rooftop solar arrays that double as sun shades. The buildings are also built to Passivhaus standards, which allows the project to produce four times the amount of energy it consumes!
In solar since 1985
Donna Napolitano President of Mechanical Energy Systems. A Federally recognized woman owned business specializing in solar and high efficiency heating and cooling since 1985, along with her husband Joe.
Joe started working in solar in the mid 70’s as the VP of a fortune 500 solar company here in Michigan and Donna joined in sales and created a finance dept. a few years later. In the early 80’s most solar company’s closed their doors because tax incentives disappeared and prices went down for utilities making solar uncompetitive. Donna and Joe decided to continue in solar energy because they believed in it and bought up thousands of customer lists of Michigan solar customers of the defunct companies and continued to maintain and service clients who would have been orphaned, and install new systems. They have seen continuous improvements and changes in solar equipment over time and completely understand how to find the best system for the client.
Today, modern innovation has made solar more affordable and efficient, and real-time monitoring systems make solar highly measurable and comparable around the United States demonstrating the actual efficiency and productivity of solar. These metrics have helped give substance to engineers and professionals, that understand the data, and has helped increase the amount of solar installed on businesses and homes. Solar today is a growing market. During the 2008 recession Donna’s company was growing and expanding when others were shrinking and struggling.
Donna was awarded the Green Business Leader by the Michigan Green Team in 2011. She holds regular educational seminars, workshops and has been on the radio for years. A well-known speaker for solar energy and high efficiency systems Donna is often a go-to source for information.
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Mechanical Energy Systems1-734-453-6746Monday - Friday 8:30 - 4:30
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