Melink Corporation CEO Releases “Fusion Capitalism” with ForbesBooks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This release is posted on behalf of ForbesBooks (operated by Advantage Media Group under license).
NEW YORK (October 27, 2020) — Steve Melink, CEO of Melink Corporation, today announced the publication of Fusion Capitalism: A Clean Energy Vision for Conservatives. The book is published with ForbesBooks, the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes.
In Fusion Capitalism, clean energy expert Steve Melink shares his vision of a clean energy future. In Melink’s view, the economy, national security, public health, and a sustainable environment are all inextricably linked to the world’s energy infrastructure – making the transition to alternative energy one of the greatest opportunities of the 21st Century. Sustainability, he argues, must become a core national value because it is fundamental to the future of America’s success.
“If America is to remain a world leader, we must rise to the new challenges and opportunities of our time,” said Melink. “Our values should demand a fresh take on our love affair with fossil fuels and the costs, risks, and liabilities they impose on society. If we don’t commit to the equivalent of a moon race on clean energy, we will cede our power and influence over to those more willing to adapt.”
Melink shares the story of his awakening on climate change, inviting readers to educate themselves without prejudice. As a lifelong conservative, he sees American capitalism, innovation, and leadership as strategic advantages to make the world safer, healthier, and more prosperous for future generations.
Fusion Capitalism: A Clean Energy Vision for Conservatives is available on Amazon starting today. For more information, please visit fusioncapitalism.com.
About Steve Melink
Steve Melink is founder and CEO of Melink Corporation, a Cincinnati-based company providing energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for commercial building owners. With more than 30 years of experience, Steve is on the forefront of the Zero-Energy Building movement. Melink’s customers include customers include some of the largest corporations and organizations in the world, including top U.S. universities.
Launched in 2016 in partnership with Advantage Media Group, ForbesBooks is the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes. ForbesBooks offers business and thought leaders an innovative, speed-to-market, fee-based publishing model and a suite of services designed to strategically and tactically support authors and promote their expertise. For more information, visit forbesbooks.com.
Call climate change an environmental crisis, an economic opportunity, a matter of national security… Call it whatever you want as long as you don’t call it a “hoax” or “fake news.” Our world is literally burning as we still sit idly by arguing this as a partisan issue. Our children should be ashamed of us.
I hope we can put aside the noise and see this issue for the moral imperative that it is.
Climate change is THE defining issue of the 2020 presidential election. Come November I’m not voting for a candidate (per se) or overly simplified ideology. My vote will be cast in favor of making the world a better place for all future generations.
This photo is of my three children: Jack (8), Janie (4), and Benny (2). I am voting for THEM.
Quickly catch up on the latest solar industry news…
Solar Module Price Fluctuations
Solar suppliers may be noticing recent pricing swings. Several events have led to price fluctuations in the solar supply market:
In mid-July, a series of flash explosions at a GCL Silicon polysilicon plant reportedly took down more than 10% of the global supply of polysilicon. Polysilicon is the base material for making mono- and poly-crystalline modules. This shortage was almost immediately followed by a 60% increase in the price of polysilicon.
Sourcing raw materials, specifically glass, has become a much longer process since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Glass shortages are resulting in higher prices and longer procurement windows for manufacturers.
These events are leading fluctuating pricing within the supply chain. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables estimates that bifacial module pricing will stabilize by 2021.
26% Federal Tax Solar Credit – Act Now!
If you are considering adding a solar energy system to your commercial facility, do not let the market’s price fluctuations dissuade you from moving forward. There is a generous 26% U.S. federal Investment Tax Credit available for 2020 projects. In 2021, this credit steps down to 22%, eventually dropping to just 10% in 2022.
To be eligible for the 26% credit, construction must commence (i.e. physical work start) by Dec. 31, 2020, and the project must be completed by Dec. 31, 2023. There are options available to purchase now but not fully build the project until a later time. As a solar EPC firm, Melink Solar can help you navigate this process and determine what is in your company’s best interest — contact us today.
Solar Plant Growth
According to a survey of U.S. solar industry professionals, large solar plants have a longer operational life expectancy and are cheaper to run, citing the following:
Reductions in up-front expenses
Changes in capacity factors, financing costs, and tax rates
Improvements in project life
The assumed life of projects now averages 32.5 years, up from 21.5 years in 2007. This expanded lifeline comes with many benefits for solar plant owners. Read more on this topic.
Solar in the 2020 Election
The climate crisis is expected to be an important issue in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Most supportive renewable policy in the U.S. is coming at the state level, and many are advocating the need for support at the federal level. President Donald Trump has generally held an unfavorable view of supporting renewables. Presidential candidate Joe Biden supports a national plan to convert the U.S. to 100% clean energy by 2035. Read more about the candidates’ solar policy.
How third-party commissioning agents can improve building construction.
Working with thousands of buildings over the last three decades, I have witnessed firsthand a critical issue in the building industry: Construction Quality. Serious deficiencies with buildings are shockingly common.
These flaws are often born from a construction event — not only in new construction but also remodels and even simple equipment replacements. This quality deficiency is prevalent in all types of buildings: big and small, simple and complex, commercial and residential. Retail, restaurant, office, grocery, lodging, education, warehouse, data center, healthcare… none are immune.
As a result, we have buildings with:
An unhealthy and uncomfortable indoor environment
High energy use
Soaring repair and maintenance costs
Causes of Poor Construction Quality
I have observed four key root causes of poor construction quality:
Pressure on time and money – As a society, we want things faster and cheaper, and buildings are no exception. This puts great constraints on construction teams, forcing errors and cut corners. Important design elements are being ignored or intentionally removed from scopes of work.
Scarcity of skilled labor – The skilled labor shortage has been a national challenge for a while now and is getting increasingly worse. Because of this, we have people installing building systems who lack the necessary training and experience. Even when intentions are good, mistakes happen.
Lack of integrity – Sadly, personal character and ethics are undervalued by many. Frequently I see reports from contractors that claim certain tasks were done but, when checked, clearly are not so… A construction checklist indicating the presence of important equipment accessories that are in fact missing, a balance report showing airflow set to design while the components necessary to do so are not even installed, and the list goes on. Much of the construction process is invisible to the building owner and thus ripe for dishonesty.
Absence of accountability – The vast majority of construction issues are not being caught. In the rare cases they are caught, they are not being pursued to a successful resolution. This problem is exacerbated for chain building owners who are trying to manage dozens, if not hundreds, of projects at a given time. They are unable to keep up, and their level of oversight diminishes.
Commissioning: How to Improve Construction Quality
So, what can we do about it? We can give construction contractors more time and money to do their job and, though that may help, that does not ensure success. The skilled labor shortage is a long-term problem and will not be solved any time soon. We can and should associate with those who have integrity, but we also must verify that our trust in them is justified.
What can we do immediately? What we can immediately do to improve construction quality is provide accountability by auditing and inspecting the construction process. In other words, we can commission the building.
An independent commissioning agent does this by working alongside the design and construction teams, objectively checking things along the way — but not replacing those teams or their responsibilities. The commissioning agent examines particular details of the building systems and also considers how those systems work together in the big picture to accomplish the primary purposes of the building. An experienced and diligent commissioning agent will uncover construction deficiencies and will work with the appropriate contractors to see those issues to a successful resolution.
Without this accountability built into our construction processes (AKA commissioning) the quality of our buildings will only continue to get worse.
Melink offers commissioning services. Contact us to learn more.
Companies, non-profits, government organizations, healthcare facilities, and institutions of higher learning will soon look beyond survival to recovery, and eventually growth. It may be difficult to visualize this given our current state of affairs, but this too shall pass and better times will come. Our culture has seemingly lost its ability to think and plan for the long-term; priorities, politics, and results are driven by short-term metrics. As such, I believe that we should use this opportunity to reinvent, rethink, and rebuild with the following attributes in mind: organizational resiliency, serving the common good, equability, and sustainability.
Sure, this all sounds great. But what do you mean?
I tend to think of nearly every problem (opportunity) in terms of the Pareto Principle, better known as The 80/20 Rule. It asserts that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes for any given event. In business, for example, the goal is to identify what actions or inputs are most productive and prioritize them accordingly.
So, as it pertains to this concept, I believe there are two inputs we should focus on with respect to economic recovery, arguably the biggest global challenges of our time (COVID-19 + climate change), and the attributes I mentioned earlier (Resiliency, serving the common good, equability, and sustainability). Speaking broadly, they are 1.) Energy and 2.) Health.
No, seriously. I get it. Give me specifics.
OK, first we need to deal with the public health crisis at hand. Social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting travel — these practices are already in play and are driven by behavior. But the one thing we can do to make people feel more comfortable returning to our prior norms, such as returning to work, shopping, eating at restaurants, etc. is to invest in the health of our buildings. By focusing on healthy buildings (HBs), we will not only make people feel comfortable, we can actually help reduce the spread of the virus, let alone make ourselves more productive. This leaves our employees, customers, and any other stakeholders feeling better and more productive.
So, what constitutes a healthy building?
First, seek to understand both sick building syndrome (SBS) and building related illnesses (BRI). As defined by the EPA, SBS is a situation in which occupants experience acute health and comfort effects linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. Indicators are discomfort such as headaches; irritated eye, nose, or throat; coughing; dry or itchy skin; nausea; difficulty concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors. Complainants report relief soon after leaving the building. Physical evidence within the building itself includes an incoming draft at the front door; hot or cold spots throughout the facility; condensation on ceiling diffusers; slippery floors; mold; hard to open doors; stuffy or stale air; unpleasant odors; the presence of insects and/or dirt; and high energy expenses. BRI is indicated by occupants complaining of symptoms such as cough; chest tightness; fever, chills; and muscle aches. These can be clinically defined and require prolonged recovery, long after leaving the building.
Holy cow. I hadn’t thought of all this being related to buildings. What are the primary causes of SBS and BRI?
Poor HVAC performance such as inadequate ventilation and negative building pressure.
OK so, how can I invest to make my building healthy as you suggest?
This is a loaded question. There are A LOT of things you can do. I’ll try to keep this brief.
First and foremost, make sure the HVAC system has been well maintained. And think about the health issues described above. Are these currently problems? If not, you may not need to do much, though there’s certainly always room for improvement. If these are problems, consider consulting with an expert on HVAC and healthy buildings. Make sure they’re independent of whomever is responsible for your maintenance and certified to do so. They’ll likely perform an investigation and assessment on the HVAC system, as well as indoor air quality. The factors to be evaluated (and adjusted) on the HVAC system include but aren’t limited to verifying equipment operation; checking building pressure; inspecting filters, belts, and fans; and finally asking questions about comfort. The primary factors that influence indoor air quality are the occupants; the HVAC system; pollutants and their pathways; and internal and external contaminants such as chemicals, smoke, grease, molds, and pollen.
After these initial assessments are complete and adjustments made, get some form of system to monitor building health. Think of these monitors like having a FitBit for your building; empower yourself with data to maintain proper health. There are plenty of options out there and what you install should monitor some of the following attributes: differential building pressure (the #1 indicator of overall building health); C02; relative humidity; and temperature. Monitoring these core attributes will cover the 80/20. Other important, albeit less impactful, attributes to monitor may include volatile organic compounds, water quality, noise pollution, occupancy, lighting quality, and energy usage.
Building health alone covers more ground than I imagined. But you also mentioned energy. What can I do there?
Invest in Energy Efficiency (EE), Renewable Energy (RE), and Clean Energy Transportation (electric vehicles or EVs).
Why? And, how does this relate to helping with economic recovery?
There are a number of reasons. Quite honestly, too many to cover without writing a book. So, again, I’ll focus on the 80/20.
The first, and most pressing is economic opportunity. Energy, and the cost of it, flows through everything. Think about that. The cost. of. energy. flows. through. everything. As far as EE goes, the cost of energy saved is the lowest cost of energy. This is a no-brainer with a guaranteed ROI. Further, the cost of RE is at or below the cost of traditional fossil-fuel based sources, depending on the state, scale, and application. And EE, RE, and EVs are driven by technology — not sources of fuel. In terms of economic growth, every measure of kWh or BTU saved by EE or generated domestically by RE translates into wealth we are not exporting to foreign nations. In other words, we keep more of our own money, thus further strengthening our own economy. Put that into perspective, relative to the cost of energy, which is buried in the cost of… oh yeah, EVERYTHING!
Making the transition is a moral imperative. The science is clear and indisputable. We are harming our earth. If we do not reverse course, soon, the damage will be irrecoverable. Remember how quickly COVID-19 swept the globe and how we’re still reeling from its devastating impacts. Climate change is a crisis in slow motion. Yet, unlike this virus and the subsequent public health crisis, the impact will change the face of the earth — and humanity —forever. I cannot, in good conscience, put that burden on my children and grandchildren. We have borrowed at their expense for far too long.
Making the transition is a matter of national security. How many global conflicts have been fought over the allocation of natural resources? This strategy not only protects the lives of future generations through preserving the earth but, quite literally, may prevent them from fighting avoidable wars. When we leverage technology for our energy, we are not subject to the whims of foreign nations and their strategic interests. As the world seems increasingly less stable, this also seems like a no-brainer, let alone the cost savings relative to current military spending. Simply put, an investment in clean energy is an investment in our own national security.
Finally, consider how the industrial revolutions of the past have shaped our great nation: the emergence of water, steam, and coal as sources of power and how they expanded existing or developed new industries such as railroads, steel manufacturing, electric lighting, the automotive industry, transportation, and the digital revolution — which brought forth widespread globalization, low-cost economies, and new business models. What is next? I contend we are in the beginning of the Clean Energy Revolution. And when we have the benefit of hindsight, I truly believe it will dwarf those prior examples in terms of how it changes the world. Do we want to be the leaders of this revolution? Or will we continue to cede this opportunity to other nations to embrace? And, if we do not lead this New Age, what’s next for America? I can’t think of anything that compares. Let’s dismiss coal and oil to embrace the future. The potential for job growth and opportunities for continued innovation are beyond comprehension.
It is abundantly clear that investing in Clean Energy will make our great nation more resilient, equitable, sustainable, and resilient. Much like Google didn’t build its empire with fax machines, we won’t rebuild our economy by relying on fossil fuels. We cannot subsidize our way out of this. So, let us learn from our current crisis as we begin planning for a better future. None of us can carry the world on our shoulders. But we can carry our world on our shoulders. If we can do our part individually, collectively we can make America — let alone the world — a better place if not for ourselves, then for future generations.
Have you ever wondered how HVAC ductwork is designed?
There are actually six methods for designing low, medium, and high-pressure HVAC systems:
Equal Friction Method
Static Regain Method
Extended Plenum Method
Velocity Reduction Method
Constant Velocity Method
The most commonly used method is the Equal Friction Method. This method is typically used for low-pressure systems found in commercial buildings and is distinguishable by the fact that the pressure loss in the duct system per every 100 feet of duct is designed to be the same for the entire system. A well-designed system is typically designed to have an average friction rate of about 0.1” of water column per 100 ft. of duct length.
After the desired friction rate and cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow is determined for a system, an air duct calculator is used to properly size the ductwork that can support these requirements. The major disadvantage for the Equal Friction Method is that there is no provision for equalizing pressure drops in duct branches unless the duct layout is symmetrical.
Why Is Duct Design Important?
HVAC systems are comparable to cardiovascular systems; rooftop or air handling units are like the heart, and ductwork is similar to the body’s arteries and veins. Taking this example further, if arteries or veins are too big or too small, issues (such as high blood pressure or a stroke) can start to arise.
Similarly, if ductwork is incorrectly sized, vital issues to the units can arise. Having ductwork that is too large can lead to a low CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of air flow in a given space, which could cause the unit to run longer in order to properly heat or cool a space. Inversely, having ductwork that is too small can lead to high velocities and static pressures, creating a loud environment and putting unnecessary stress on the system.
Either direction you go — too big or too small — the system’s life span and energy expenses are both negatively impacted by having incorrectly sized ductwork. Having properly sized ductwork can lead to lower energy expenses, longer unit lifespans, and comfortable environments.
How Does a Melink Technician Verify Ductwork Installation?
While on site performing a Test & Balance, Melink technicians are trained to question if duct systems are installed correctly in the situation where proper airflow is unattainable, unless unit total speeds are further adjusted to deviate from the design.
When occurrences such as this happen, Melink technicians can reference the mechanical plans, a duct design table, or an air duct calculator to verify what the proper duct size should be for a given amount of air flow and compare that with the installed ductwork.
Melink technicians are also trained to look for and identify areas of dynamic losses, which are portions of ductwork that have high friction rates and high static pressure.
Examples of dynamic losses due to installation errors are incorrect duct take offs, failure to include duct turning vanes, long runs of flex duct, or crimped flex duct. These issues, if not corrected, can shorten the lifespan of the unit and cost the owner upwards of $1,200 per year extra in energy expenses. Any duct design discrepancies found in a Melink Test & Balance will be reported and photographed for the customer to reference.
Contributed by Andy Austin, Jeremy Neff & Anna Rusconi
Are electric vehicles (and electric options of all kinds) the future?
The year is 2008. The best-selling vehicle in the United States for the 27th year in a row is the Ford F-Series truck with more than 500,000 sold.
Fast forward to 2020. We are entering a new phase in the automotive industry. As of February, Tesla passed a significant milestone, selling 1 million electric vehicles (EV). Plus, the Tesla Model 3 became the all-time best selling EV globally. This happened in just 2.5 years of production, which had taken the previous leader almost 10 years to accomplish.
Clearly, this is a very exciting time for EV enthusiasts as options become more stylish, have longer ranges, and achieve faster 0-60 MPH times, all while becoming more affordable for the average American. In fact, this is an exciting time for electric options of all kinds…
Is Everything Going Electric?
You may not realize it, but electric operation has been utilized for many years. No matter what your indoor or outdoor “go-to” is for fun or home improvement, chances are that an electric powered vehicle or tool has helped you get the job done.
Have you ever been golfing and paid for “18 and a cart”? If it has been in the last 15 years, it was probably an electric golf cart. More into walking the golf course? They make “smart cart” bag carriers that can now follow you based off of remote control or a “follow me” clip attached to your belt.
If golf is not your sport, how about skateboarding? Hop on one of a myriad of manufacturers’ longboard, traditional, or one-wheel style boards to rip the streets or trails with speeds of 60+ MPH, or a range of almost 60 miles.
Maybe being outdoors isn’t your thing, but you like having a tidy, well-groomed yard… Look no further than Husqvarna or Worx for their cordless, robotic lawn mowers, controlled by an app and GPS.
Electric History All these EVs, toys and tools sound great, but what happens when they run out of charge? Well, the history of the battery — the backbone of electric powered tools and toys — is longer than you may think. The first recorded battery to provide continuous electrical current to a circuit was created by an Italian physicist, Alessandro Volta, in 1799. This was very crude, using zinc and copper for the electrodes and a piece of brine-soaked paper for the electrolyte. We have since gone through Daniell Cell (1836), Lead-Acid (1859), Nickel Cadmium (1899), Alkaline (1950s), Nickel-Metal Hydride (1989), and finally Lithium-Ion (1991) batteries. (Read more about “The Evolution of Battery Technology.”)
Or maybe you work in a warehouse and are sick of the noise and smell of gas-powered fork trucks. Well, you guessed it — there is an electric battery powered alternative.
And kids from 5 to 15 years are getting more and more into hoverboards; electric scooters; electric RC cars, planes and boats; Power Wheels, and even dirt bikes. In fact, I see this trend in my own home. My kids have hoverboards and love them, but they are already looking to the next electric transportation method of their dreams: the one-wheel, a scooter, a dirt bike, etc. I can no longer tell them that such “toys” will disturb the neighbors because the days of the iconic sound of a two-stroke or four-stroke dirt bike may soon be over with how quiet electric motors have become.
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Now, this movement toward electric transportation (and more!) does not have to be all about fun. Some people choose electric it for the savings or the impact on climate change.
Let’s just focus strictly on EVs… Most consumers can expect to save $600-1,300 a year in fuel costs alone when switching from a conventional vehicle. Now, factor in less required maintenance like oil changes and brake service, and the savings just keep stacking up. It can take as little as $0.12/kWh to charge your car, meaning a full “tank” can cost as little as $5 or $6. How does that compare to your last fill up?
Other consumers may switch for the wellbeing of our environment and our children by aiding in the removal of toxic emissions. In 2008, the U.S. averaged 55,108,100 gallons of gasoline sold per day. That is an annual total sale of 20,114,456,500 gallons. This led the U.S. to 5,817 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
However, since the introduction of EVs, this consumption trend has declined. In 2019, the U.S. averaged just 24,239,300 gallons of gasoline sold per day. This makes for a 30,868,800 gallon per day difference, for an annual consumption difference of 11,267,112,000 gallons! That is an average reduction of 1,024,282,909 gallons per year.
If the EV trend sticks and its popularity continues to rise, the U.S. will consume 12,291,394,909 fewer gallons of gasoline in 2020 than just 12 years prior. At a current national average of $2.186, that means that as a nation, we will save an estimated $26,868,989,271.07 on gasoline purchases this year. That is enough money to purchase any of the following:
2 U.S. Navy Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers
15 Buckingham Palaces
16 Burj Khalifa towers
50,000 Teachers hired for 10 years
597,088 Tesla Model 3 cars
700,000 Homes powered with solar energy
3,400,000 People fed three meals a day for a year
Our Electric Future
So, whether you are into electric power vehicles and tools for personal enjoyment or trying to do your part for a cleaner Earth, there is an electric, battery powered solution out there for you. So, get out there and form your own opinions on all things electric.
I challenge you to go electric and just see how you like it! Get behind the wheel of an EV, or climb onto an electric dirt bike and try not to have fun! The torque, the acceleration, and the handling — all of it is intoxicating. It pulls you in and makes you want to find reasons to drive the car or ride the dirt bike at every opportunity.
So drive a Tesla, do a handyman job using a 20v Li-Ion powered tool, rip the local trails on a Onewheel, film a YouTube video using a drone, go golfing and ride along in an electric cart, or start a new hobby with your kids with brushless electric motor RC vehicles. There are so many emerging trends within the battery powered world, and electric vehicles are just one of them.
Will the world ever regress, ever think about going back to its fossil fuel roots? Perhaps so, perhaps not. As for this new EV owner, I’m never looking back.
The Melink family feels strongly about green causes and serving others. As servant leaders, several Melink Employee-Owners give back to the Cincinnati community by volunteering their time on advisory boards.
Angela Bradley, Director of Human Resources — Board of Advisors
The Goering Center is affiliated with University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business. The center brings together a community of experts and peers to support, train, and educate small and private family businesses. Educational events and workshops are held to promote development and collaboration. The Goering Center has a board of community leaders that provide their expertise and support. Bradley has been an advisory board member since 2018.
“The Goering Center’s mission and vision resonate with my own vision for service and stewardship. As an HR professional, I want to be of service to my employees and provide support and guidance to create a positive work environment. Through the Goering Center’s efforts, any small or private family business can impact our local community, retain top talent in our area, and elevate economic growth in the Greater Cincinnati area,” said Bradley.
Angela Bradley, Director of Human Resources — Board of Trustees Craig Davis, President — Board of Trustees Steve Melink, CEO & Chairman — Advisory Board
SonLight Power designs and builds solar energy solutions for community venues (schools, medical clinics, orphanages, community centers, churches, water-pumping stations) in remote locations. Work is conducted through mission trips where solar panels are installed. Not only are regions connected with electricity, but residents are trained on how to install solar power systems and how to care for them.
Green Energy Ohio
Green Energy Ohio (GEO) is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy practices through education, outreach, and representation. Miles serves on GEO’s Board of Directors.
Clermont Senior Services
Janice Scheid, Controller — Board of Trustees
Clermont Senior Services is a non-profit organization committed to serving adults age 60 and over in Clermont County, Melink’s home. The non-profit provides and coordinates in-home and community-based services with input from its board of trustees, in which Scheid serves.
Green Business Council of Cincinnati
Joel Geiman, General Manager — Board Member Allison Sternad, Director of Marketing & Sustainability — Board Member
The Green Business Council of Cincinnati (GBC) helps local business leaders collaborate on sustainability initiatives, such as energy benchmarking, waste management, and composting. To help guide the council’s direction and offer their expertise, Geiman and Sternad are part of the GBC’s Executive Board.
Working in Neighborhoods
Steve Melink, CEO & Chairman — Board Member
Working in Neighborhoods helps to revitalize Cincinnati’s low- and moderate-income neighborhoods through home building renovation and financial literacy training. Steve Melink has served as board member for the organization.
Cincinnati, Ohio — Melink Solar & Geo, Inc., a solar PV and geothermal engineering company, has been awarded grant funding by the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). This funding will enable Melink to accelerate the research and development of its next-generation Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System, which stores energy using thermal batteries. The system can potentially reduce the installation costs of geothermal heat pump systems, which represent a significant energy savings opportunity for the U.S. with widespread implementation. The system’s prototype is currently heating and cooling Melink’s new Net-Zero Energy HQ2 facility in Milford, Ohio.
“Our company is developing a Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System to minimize the need for expensive ground loops. Instead, we are mimicking the thermal energy storage capacity of the water inside such ground loops with phase change materials (PCM),” said Steve Melink, founder and CEO. “Melink is piloting the first prototype at our Net-Zero Energy headquarters, and we are now developing next-generation prototypes for eventual commercialization. With our third U.S. Department of Energy grant, we are committed to mainstreaming this technology for the benefit of the entire HVAC industry.”
The funding is part of an ongoing innovation project with the DOE, which encourages small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies. Melink received the recent funding because its Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System demonstrated technical feasibility during the first phase of research. Melink Solar & Geo’s team of engineers, designers and researchers have worked collaboratively with the University of Dayton, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and industry partners to design a more cost-effective energy efficient HVAC system.
“This funding from the DOE is the result of a multi-year effort wherein a group of intelligent and highly dedicated people have proven that the system has merit, and I’m excited to say that the Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System is just one part of our growing platform of Net-Zero products,” said Seth Parker, vice president and general manager of Melink Solar & Geo.
The two-year funding awarded by the DOE will be used to finalize engineering and early commercialization of the Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System. For more information about the system or Melink Solar & Geo, please visit https://melinkcorp.com/geothermal or contact [email protected].
About MelinkSolar & Geo
Melink Solar & Geo is a national provider of renewable energy and efficiency solutions for commercial buildings. They provide consulting services and turnkey management of solar and geothermal projects to help businesses of all sizes reduce energy consumption and produce clean and sustainable energy for their facilities. The company recently opened a Zero-Energy building on its campus, featuring new thermal storage technologies being tested to further mainstream geothermal HVAC for commercial use. Melink Solar & Geo is affiliated with Melink Corporation, which provides energy efficiency solutions for commercial buildings.
Solar Power World magazine’s Top Solar Contractors annual list includes Cincinnati-based solar installer.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cincinnati, Ohio — Although the COVID-19 pandemic is the immediate crisis, mitigating climate change is also an urgent issue. Solar installations are one way to help reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuel-based power generation. Solar Power World has recognized the efforts of solar contractors across the United States in its 2020 Top Solar Contractors list, where local solar installer Melink Solar achieved a rank of 69 out of 407 companies.
The Top Solar Contractors list is developed each year by Solar Power World to honor the work of solar installers big and small. Solar firms in the utility, commercial and residential markets are ranked by number of kilowatts installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific service (developers, electrical subcontractors, EPCs, installation subcontractors, rooftop installers), markets and states.
“The Solar Power World team is so pleased to highlight more than 400 companies on the 2020 Top Solar Contractors list, especially during this unprecedented time,” said Kelsey Misbrener, senior editor of Solar Power World. “All contractors featured on the 2020 list reported strong 2019 installation numbers and are continuing to stand tall this year.”
This year’s collection of more than 400 Top Solar Contractors is facing obstacles that the industry has never seen before. The first quarter of 2020 was the country’s biggest ever capacity gain, with 3.6 GW of new solar capacity added. However, COVID-19 impacts slowed the market in Q2.
Melink Solar installed 27,266.8 kW (27.2 MW) of solar power in 2019. Since its founding, the company has installed more than 65 MW of solar, equivalent to 215,000 solar panels. Melink Solar is a commercial solar EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firm offering turnkey solutions with projects across the U.S. The firm designs solar systems, procures all labor and supplies, constructs the solar array, monitors performance and provides remote and field troubleshooting assistance.
Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors — including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets — grow their businesses and do their jobs better.
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