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Run on Sun Monthly Newsletter

In this Issue:

August, 2016

Volume: 7 Issue: 8

Run on Sun's Secret Solar Weapon: Velvet Art

By Laurel Hamilton

I love conducting solar site assessments and having that first conversation with a potential client. Often we spend far more time discussing all the ins and outs of going solar with the property owner than is necessary for the solar assessment measurements. One of the questions we always spend some time on is: "How exactly is Run on Sun different than other solar companies?" Here in sunny Southern California this is an important question as there are so many people offering PV solar services. Of course I describe how the products we use are selected for their high quality, warranties, and trust in the manufacturers. I also explain how as a small company with a mission focus, we take a very honest and ethical approach to helping people green their energy. But one of the major ways we stand above all the rest is also a feature that is hard to convey in that first conversation.

My best answer to the above question: "We have Velvet Dallesandro as our Chief Electrician."

The work that Velvet does connecting the power of the sun to your electric meter is akin to an art form. But alas, the art of a solar electrician is often hidden behind dead fronts and is easy to overlook if you're not paying attention.

Velvet may not be in a Los Angeles art gallery, but her work is providing people with beautiful, safe, and emission-free energy across the county!

But before we show you Velvet's work, let's set the stage—what is the standard fare out there?

If you've ever looked behind the dead front on your electric service panel (where all your breakers are) you likely were frightened by what you saw. A mess of cables, cobwebs, and sometimes outright dangerous circumstances - like the time I saw one missing its main breaker entirely.

But even when the service panel is not a hazard, it still tends to be a mess, like this panel on the right. No real safety issues, but it suggests that whoever did this work was trying to get it done as fast as possible and couldn't be bothered to make it neat and orderly. That is not the approach that Velvet takes, and it is not the approach that she teaches.

Typical service panel
AC sub-panel

Instead, if Velvet is wiring up the electrical equipment for your solar installation, it will look more like something you could put on your wall, with rainbows of color coded wires and perfect 90 degree bends - as is the case here with a sub-panel from a recent job.

This is the hallmark of someone who takes great pride in her work, even when it is unlikely to ever be noticed by our client.

Or consider this disconnect switch from our commercial installation at the Ware Reservoir.

That same attention to detail is present here, even though the heavier gauge wire makes bends that much more difficult. This work was done by Velvet's prodigy apprentice Ralph, and it is clear that he has taken her lessons to heart.


Wiring is far from Velvet's only art form. How do installers bring solar power from the roof to the electrical service? While the most visually appealing is to hide the magic completely by going thru an attic space and inside walls, sometimes that just isn't possible.

Chandler Conduit

Velvet doesn't just throw flex conduit around willy nilly to get the job done quickly like some installers. It takes a lot of creativity to make the wiring run as attractive as possible.

First and foremost, she always uses galvanized conduit for outside wiring as opposed to flex - it lasts for the long run and it is much more difficult to punch a fire axe through than flex, making it much safer.

Second, Velvet avoids piecing together conduit as much as possible. Her goal is to make whatever crazy runs are necessary as seamless as possible - thereby avoiding possible leaky weak spots at seams. This means she has become a Jedi master at bending conduit. Eight bends in one stick of conduit paralleling windows, gutters, or that pretty bush you don't want to disturb? Not out of the question when Velvet is on the job.


Beyond the art she's also an all around rock star. Check out this classic; pulling wire for a 45kW job at Chandler School...(That's her on the right pulling wire through 50 feet of conduit on a 100+ degree summer day.)

Pulling her weight

She more than pulls her weight!

So if you're looking into going solar take note, there is an art that goes into the details. And the details really do count! Velvet's wiring is the safest you will find and truly built to last. A rarity in an industry where most companies are trying to race through projects at lightning speed and brag about doing "one-day installs."

But ask yourself, who benefits from doing your solar installation—which is supposed to last for 20+ years—in one day, you or the quickie installer?


Bottom line...we are so thankful to have Velvet on our team!

“What separates Run on Sun from all the rest? We have Velvet Dallesandro as our Chief Electrician…”

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Check out our Cool New Video

Recently we had the opportunity to work with our distributor, BayWa r.e., to create a video showcasing some of our work and our philosophy. Check it out by clicking on the picture below:

Run on Sun team

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Coming to a road near you - E-Trucks!

Having just completed a cross-country drive from Pasadena to Washington, D.C., I can tell you that there are a whole lot of trucks out there, crisscrossing this country on a round-the-clock basis. That is a lot of diesel emissions polluting our atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

But it doesn't have to be that way, and there are a host of automakers laboring right now to bring clean, efficient, electric trucks for the long-haul fleet to market.

Mercedes Electric Truck

To read more about these game-changing trucks of the (near) future, click here.

“Clean, efficient, electric trucks are coming…”

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