2011 SmallBiz Success Awards

(page 7 of 8)

     RevoluSun’s clients recognize that conventional energy is
     unsustainable, says Mark Duda, and they come to his
     company for solutions.
     Photo: Olivier Koning

Best new Business:

Photovoltaic Power In Demand

Hawaii has the most expensive electricity in the country, and that’s one reason business at RevoluSun is booming.

Its clients harness the power of the sun with a solar photovoltaic, or PV, system. In doing so, they lower their electricity bills, while also benefitting from state and federal tax incentives. “We enable them to confidently do something they wanted to do anyway,” says principal Mark Duda.

RevoluSun has grown fast since it was founded in July 2009, despite its many competitors in the solar-energy field. The company’s main business is PV systems, but it also installs solar-water-heating systems and heat pumps, which heat water more efficiently than traditional solar heaters.

The company earned $1.85 million in revenue during its partial first year. Duda expected 2010 would end with more than $18 million in revenue and he credits the company’s 25 employees. “We’re lucky because there are a lot of people who want to work in the solar industry,” he says. “They have to want to work hard because there’s a lot to keep up with.”

The staff provides what the company believes is the best service, quality and value in the Islands. RevoluSun keeps in mind not just the function of each system, but also the beauty of its design.

Solar-photovoltaic systems cost from $15,000 to $70,000, depending on the size of the system. About two-thirds of the cost is covered by state and federal tax incentives.

The state support is key, Duda says. “Policy-wise, the government realizes how vulnerable we are to disruptions in power.”

So, how does solar power work? RevoluSun’s website explains the science this way:

“Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon. Electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. An array of solar cells converts solar energy into a usable amount of direct current (DC) electricity.”

In order to demystify PV systems and solar power, the company offers frequent solar open houses and seminars. It also does community outreach and volunteer work, such as providing renewable-energy education to schools, including Aina Haina Elementary, Aiea Middle School and the Honolulu Waldorf School.

In December, the growing company moved its offices from downtown Honolulu to the top floor of the Pan Am Building.

Clients seek out RevoluSun, convinced that conventional energy sources are unsustainable, Duda explains. “Our business lets them take corrective action.”

-Jolyn Okimoto Rosa

1600 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814


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