Atlantic Green Energy: Harnessing the Power of the Sun
Feb 26, 2013 12:23PM
● By Kim Childs
George Hurley, president of Atlantic Green Energy, in Seabrook, New Hampshire, entered the renewable energy business after a long career in construction. It was a visit to a home show in 2009 that turned things around for Hurley, who was inspired by the renewable energy products that he saw on display. Soon afterward, Hurley immersed himself in the field and opened his own solar store and installation company. Natural Awakenings wanted to know more about the birth of Atlantic Green Energy, and the latest news on green energy technologies.
What kinds of products did you begin with?
We started with a solar furnace, a piece of equipment that resembled a solar panel and went on the side of a building. It took air from inside the house and ran it through the solar furnace back into the house. It was a good product, but we realized that it was obsolete once we found the solar inflector, a window-insulating treatment that brings heat in and retains it. We then found a product called the K-shield, which is another radiant barrier, developed by NASA. The K-shield mainly goes in the attic.
How do these technologies work?
The solar inflector is a window insulator with a dark side and a silver side. When the dark side faces out during the winter, it absorbs the sun’s rays and transfers that heat through to the interior. Most people lose between 50 and 80 percent of their heat through window glass but, with this treatment, warm air is reflected off the granite back into the room. The silver side keeps the heat from escaping through the glass. This means that the furnace is not coming on as often, which saves money. It also turns skylights into heat sources all winter long. In the summer, you turn the inflector around and it reflects heat away to keep the interior cool. Schools and businesses would benefit enormously from these solar inflectors because they keep the heat inside while allowing you to still see outside.
The K-shield radiant barrier gets rolled out over insulation in the attic. As the heat penetrates though the ceiling, it reflects 97 percent of that heat back into the building. In summer, it does the opposite, reflecting heat away and keeping the cool air in. These two products can save homeowners and companies 30 to 40 percent of their heating and cooling costs. We sell both of them in the store and anyone can install them in their home or business. If desired, we’ll also do the installation.
What else does Atlantic Green Energy do?
We sell solar generator packages featuring solar panels and a battery backup so you never lose power. So if someone wants to run their TV, refrigerator, lights and the electronics of the heating system, we can do that with a system that’s safe and clean. We designed these packages for customers who have camps in New Hampshire and Vermont that don’t have any power or running water. They include composting toilets and a water filtration system.
Our burner boosters are also great products, saving someone up to 35 percent on their oil consumption. They essentially preheat the oil that comes from the tank and make it burn cleaner. Burner boosters, combined with our solar electrical systems and window treatments, create substantial savings for our customers. In addition, there’s a 30 percent federal tax credit and up to a 35 percent tax depreciation over six years for those using renewable energy. Massachusetts residents can also take advantage of Solar Renewable Energy Credits for the energy they’re producing.
Four years into this new business, how is it going?
It’s been a steep learning curve for my customers and myself. People want proof that these systems will work and save them money. What I love about this business is that it’s changing daily, with new developments coming out of universities and research institutes all the time. It’s also fun to watch people’s faces when they realize how much money they’re going to save with rebates and credits.
Atlantic Green Energy Solar Store is located at 255 Lafayette Rd., Seabrook, NH. For more information, call 603474-2550 or visit AtlanticGE.com.