Mary B.
Jenkins Road
CHESAPEAKE CITY, Maryland

Background

In January, 2006, Aurora Energy, Inc. installed a (16) 170W modulesolar PV array (2 .72 kW) and an 80 gallon solar water heater system.

In 2007, Aurora Energy, Inc. installed an (18) 170W module solar PV array (3.06kW) and a 60 gallon solar water heater system to service an addition to our house.

In 2010, Aurora Energy, Inc installed (9) additional 175W PV modules (1.575 kW), adding to the 2007 (18) 170W module PV array. This project was completed 12/17/2010.

In August, 2011, Aurora Energy Inc.replaced (2) 170W panels in our 2006 16 module array with (2) compatible 175W replacement modules.

On August 2nd and 3rd, 2012  Aurora Energy, Inc. removed (32) 170 kW panels and on September 26, 2012 replaced them with (24) new 255W modules, (1) new 190W module and (1) new 6.0 PV inverter.

Whole House Broadley 2006

In 2006, my husband and I chose Aurora Energy, Inc. to install a (16) 170W module solar PV array (2 .72 kW), based on their expertise demonstrated by previous government and residential projects, and recommendations received from our power company and the MEA (Maryland Energy Adm.).  They recommended highly rated solar panels manufactured in MD, which was also a factor in our choice, as was the 25-year Warranty. The project was completed 1/11/2006.  An 80 gallon solar water heater was also installed.

In 2007, Aurora Energy, Inc. installed an (18) 170W module solar PV array (3.06kW).  This project was completed 1/10/2007.  A 60 gallon solar water heater was also installed to service an addition to our house.

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In 2010, Aurora Energy, Inc installed (9) additional 175W PV modules (1.575 kW), adding to the 2007 (18) 170W module PV array. This project was completed 12/17/2010.  At this point, we had 7.355 kW total.  Since our home energy is totally electric, the two solar panel arrays, together with the two solar water heaters (which supply approx. 95% of our hot water) had reduced our power usage from the “grid” by 75% from year-end 2005 to year-end 2010.

In August, 2011, we experienced a junction box failure in two 170W panels in our 2006 (16) module array, putting a string of (8) panels out of order.  Upon receiving our service call, Aurora Energy technicians arrived the next day to remove the panels.  Because 170W modules were no longer being manufactured, Aurora Energy was able to obtain two compatible 175W replacement modules from the manufacturer and reinstalled the string at no cost to us, upgrading our total DC system capacity to 7.365 kW.

On 7/31/2012,  we contacted Aurora Energy to let them know that we had a 170W  module failure with a (9 ) module string shut-down on our 2007 array.  On August 2nd, Aurora Energy technicians removed the suspected module and confirmed a junction box related failure.  Coincidentally, the manufacturer had sent a “Product Advisory” on 7/25/2012 to Aurora Energy, Inc. that stated, …”Testing has shown there is a limited risk of cable to busbar disconnection in the junction box that, in rare cases, may lead to a thermal event in certain applications….”.  All of our 170W modules were included on the manufacturer’s list of affected modules.

After three module “thermal events”, a 7/25/2012 Product Advisory letter, and a warning that our Homeowners Insurance would not reimburse us for “secondary damage to surrounding materials that are not fire resistant” now that we had received notice of the danger, we ordered Aurora Energy, Inc. to remove all (32) 170W modules, which was accomplished by end of day August 3rd.

We discovered that the manufacturer, a European based energy company, had shut down their solar operation and that 175W replacement modules would not be available to us.  After the President of Aurora Energy, Inc. explored all options available to us, he initiated a dialogue between the manufacturer and me to resolve a financial settlement.  Aurora Energy, Inc. then, at our request, designed two new systems using our (11) remaining 175W modules plus (1) compatible 190W module (Mfg. in Canada), and our existing inverter for System #1, and (24) new 255W modules (Mfg. in Oregon), and a new inverter for system #2.

Aurora Energy, Inc. designed the systems, obtained all the parts, secured the required building and electrical permits, installed and secured inspection approvals by 9/26/2012, gave advice for an IRS Energy Credit and applied on our behalf to the MEA for a Solar Energy Grant.  Our solar systems were upgraded to 8.235 kW, increasing our DC system capacity by 800 watts more than the original systems.

Throughout our solar projects starting in 2006 until September, 2011 we found each member of the Aurora Energy team we dealt with to be very responsive to our needs, extensively trained, very courteous, and highly professional.  This company brings Customer Service to a new level … a true partnership.  We offer our highest possible recommendation of Aurora Energy, Inc. to anyone considering solar power.