HomeEvents Calendar MidAtlantic Renewable Energy Association monthly meeting

MidAtlantic Renewable Energy Association monthly meeting

Date/Time Tuesday, May 29, 2012
from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Each monthly meeting of MAREA begins with a presentation.

May 29, 2012: We’re in Hot Water now …and it’s all good!

MAREA has long had our sight on the Opportunity House in Reading, PA, as a great, I’ll say it, “opportunity” for solar hot water! Located in the city recently named the poorest in America, the Opportunity House provides much needed emergency housing and meals, and daycare for the working poor. Hot water is a basic need, costing the shelter about $6,000 a year.

The building is well suited for solar hot water-with sufficient, solid roof space and ample solar access. MAREA and the Opportunity House attempted to work together in the past but encountered obstacles and challenges that delayed progress. This time, we have a reconfigured approach to the project that involves new roles and more partners. This team now has the collective skills and resources to design, manage and complete this project. We’re excited!

At this meeting, we want to share with you all that we know, and all that we are dreaming for, related to this extraordinary project. We’ll start with an introduction to the Opportunity House, how it operates and the services it provides to help those in need, followed by a look at the building itself, including current systems for providing hot water, and of course, its potential as a site for solar hot water. The solar hot water system design has gone through several iterations, before settling on a pressurized, glycol system. We’ll explain the thought process behind this decision and discuss current design details. We’re interested in your questions and observations.

We’ll also take a look at the benefits provided by this installation, in terms of cost savings to the Opportunity House (making other services possible) and environmental impact. MAREA, of course, has a keen interest in the educational potential of this project both before, during and after. We could use your ideas.

To complete this project, we’re going to need to raise significant money. This is a first for MAREA. We are looking for sponsors and partners to contribute time, expertise, money and materials. MAREA is in the early stages of collaborating with a partner organization to develop the message and materials we’ll need when approaching organizations and philanthropists to ask for sponsorship of this project. The TEK Park meeting is NOT a fund raising meeting, but we would be very interested in hearing questions and comments you may have that will help hone this message for others.

We hope you’ll join us. As always, our meetings are open to the public free of charge! We are excited to talk about this project in detail with others for the very first time! If you’re new to solar hot water, this conversation should be a great way to get your feet wet (couldn’t resist!) with an inside look at a SHW design, project plan and expected benefits. And the Opportunity House is an interesting place that does great work; it’ll open your heart. We look forward to hearing your questions and ideas.

After the meeting, plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We’re also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services. Coffee and light snacks will be served. Please bring your own mug.

Speakers and Project Partners

Bob Elwell of Energy Systems and Installation (ESI) will discuss the various hot water systems that were considered for the project. He said that the Lebanon company will be donating its services as contractor for the installation. “It’s a great project,” said Elwell, HVAC manager of the Berks County company, “and we want to do our part.” He noted that ESI is licensed as a plumbing contractor in the city and has the crew ready to do the work.

Pier Ignozzi-Shaffer, longtime volunteer organizer at Opportunity House, will also give a brief presentation.

MAREA Board Representatives:

  • Tom Green, P.E., Director of Campus Energy Services, Kutztown University
  • Bill Hennessy, Berks Solar, Owner
  • Dave Bascelli, MAREA Graphics Designer
  • Don Bucci, P.E., Tonnage Gases Global Supply Chain Manager, Air Products

Also joining the project as a supplier is Hickory Ridge Solar of Virginville. The company will provide the solar collectors and other materials for the project at cost or at a greatly reduced rate.

Entec Engineering, a Reading neighbor of Opportunity House, is donating engineering and drawing services. “These companies are sharing their resources with the community. We hope this generosity is contagious and we are looking forward to the contributions necessary to complete the installation,” said Bill Hennessy, vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, the project sponsor.

MAREA Broadcasts

To watch presentations live from your home computer, please visit MAREA Broadcasts. We’re still working out the kinks, but getting better with each try. Please let us know if you join us and what you think, write to themarea@gmail.com.

Recordings of all 2012 meetings are also available for viewing anytime, also at MAREA Broadcasts. Thanks for your interest and support!

For questions on the meeting or our broadcasts, contact Vera Cole, 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net.

MAREA, which was formed in 2005, is a nonprofit, grassroots educational organization that supports citizen participation in renewable energy and sustainable living projects.

Visit the MidAtlantic Renewable Energy Association monthly meeting website
Location 1 TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd
Breinigsville, PA 18031
Map link
Contact Vera Cole
Phone: 610 682 4300
Event Type Planning Meeting
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