Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Solar Testing Facilities Underway

Universities in Connecticut and North Carolina will develop special labs to test solar thermal products, addressing the current shortfall in available testing services in the U.S.

North Carolina State University is scheduled to open its special solar thermal products testing lab in late 2011, while the University of New Haven plans to open its lab in 2012.

Currently, only five U.S. labs are accredited to test the products, causing delays in the certifications that are required for tax credit eligibility.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Orlando Pool and Spa Show

UMA Solar will be exhibiting at the Orlando Pool & Spa Show February 11-12, 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Please stop by and visit us at booth #224.

The Orlando Pool & Spa Show is the premier event of the swimming pool industry in the southeastern United States. The annual event attracts thousands of industry professionals from all over the United States as well as the Caribbean. The show features new products, networking opportunities, excellent education courses and opportunities to meet directly with manufacturers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Jimmy Lupien Relocates

Jimmy Lupien, UMA Solar national logistics manager, recently relocated to the UMA Solar warehouse and distribution center in southern California.

“While this move has been challenging, it has also been very rewarding,” said Lupien. “Meeting some of our West coast partners has already given me a sense of being at home. UMA Solar has such a wide variety of products to offer that it only makes sense that the southern California market would be one of the many distribution areas that UMA wants to call home.

 “With our northern California office in Fairfield growing and with the CSI program going strong, there is just a need for a one stop solar shop in southern California and the surrounding areas. I look forward to meeting all of our west coast customers and helping them to grow their business.”

Ask Bob Z. - Prevent Scalding

Dear Bob Z.,

What is the best way to prevent scalding in solar water heating systems?

--Concerned Contractor

Dear Concerned,

As solar contractors we must be diligent when designing solar water heating systems. I have witnessed many systems over the years where storage tank temperatures have exceeded 165°F in the summer and the customer had not left on vacation. Although we want temperatures to be high enough to destroy bacteria (specifically Legionella bacteria), we do not want to cause scalding burns to small children, elderly or handicapped clients. Many experts recommend turning water heater thermostats down to 120°F to reduce the risk but unfortunately this puts your storage tank right at the high range for breeding Legionella.

Of course turning the thermostat down on a solar system only shuts the back-up element or burner off at 120°, it does not stop the solar from continuing to heat the water unless you have a differential control and set the high limit switch to cut out at a specified temperature. Therefore, here is the dilemma, let the water get hot enough in the tank to kill bacteria or set it down to protect the vulnerable.

I chose both! Installing a thermostatic mixing valve as a standard procedure gives you the best of both worlds. A tank that can rise above 140°F to kill bacteria and a mixed hot water output to the house that protects your clients. Oh... did I mention we carry them in stock at all UMA Solar warehouses. (Sorry for the shameless plug.)

--Bob Z.

Variables Attributable to Third Degree Burn*

Water Temp. F°      Exposure Time

120                         9.5 minutes

125                         2.0 minutes

130                         30 seconds

140                         15 seconds

150                         1.8 seconds

158                         1.0 second

*From studies conducted by Lewis & Love

(1926); Wu. Yung-Chi, N.B.S. (1972);

Dr.M.A. Stoll, for U.S. Navy (1979)

2010 Employees of the Year

 Join UMA Solar in recognizing 2010’s employees of the year: Loren Zuconni, sales; Dave Colon, warehouse supervisor; and Thomas Colon, warehouse employee. UMA Solar CEO Victor Eyal recognized the employees at a recent luncheon, commending them for their service and dedication throughout the year.

Letter From Victor Eyal--February, 2011

Dear Colleagues, 

Surviving 2010 while maintaining a level of activity that is consistent with the last two years is an outstanding accomplishment and I thank you, our dear colleagues, for making that happen. Considering the economical environment on the negative side, and the solar and renewable environment on the positive, I have no doubt that 2011 is going to be a year of growth.

Our sales and marketing departments have been busy making your communication lines with us smooth and open. In addition to providing the best service possible, we have insisted on supplying every one of our colleagues, customers and clients with the lowest prices for the best products available in the solar industry.

Additionally, we will be issuing a printed price list for your convenience. You will now have the pricing and availability of our products at your fingertips at all times.

 The internet is a time burglar and I know that many of us spend a long time in front of the computer screen. Our IT and computer staff has been at work to make your use of easy by having one password for all functions and by making everything available electronically. Take your time to explore our websites. Not only, but also the specific products sites of Heliocol, Solene, MyGen and SunStar. There is a wealth of information in the dealer section behind the password and you will benefit greatly from digging into all corners of our websites.  

Lastly, our slogan of “one-stop solar shop” has become our mission statement in 2011 and I pledge to carry every item that will make your solar business activities more streamlined and efficient. Challenge us and share all your solar needs so that you can rely upon UMA Solar as your one-stop solar shop.

Thank you for your continued support, loyalty and cooperation. I wish you a successful year of growth.

Victor Eyal

Engineering Expansions

Recent expansions within UMA Solar’s engineering department include new licensure and new personnel.

UMA Solar Senior Engineer Michael Studney, PE, has expanded his professional engineer licensure to include the state of North Carolina. Studney already holds professional engineer licenses in Texas, Arizona and Florida. The additional licensing is part of UMA Solar’s ongoing effort to provide solar engineering services to its family of partners throughout the nation.

In addition, Chris Meyers, CAD specialist, has joined the UMA Solar engineering team.

“Our multi-licensed and multi-disciplined engineering department continues to grow in scope and experience,” said UMA Solar COO Bob Zrallack. “This will help us continue to provide advanced technical support and training to our new and existing partners.”


Heliocol Retreat 2010

 In early August 2010, Heliocol partners and sales teams throughout the United States gathered for a four-day, fun-filled retreat in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Heliocol retreat was designed as a reward for top performing Heliocol partners and their sales personnel. The main purpose of the trip was for fun and relaxation, with a bit of time set aside for business. Heliocol partners had the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with UMA Solar’s executive staff to offer feedback, suggestions and constructive criticism.

But the bulk of the four-day retreat was spent swimming, scuba diving, parasailing, fishing, drinking and eating—a great time for all involved!