Discussions on Going Green, Sustainable Solar, & Practical Preparedness. SUNRNR of Virginia manufactures and sells clean, silent, portable renewable energy generator power systems which store solar, wind, or water turbine energy in a rechargeable battery for off grid electricity or emergency backup power. We also work diligently to raise public awareness of energy issues, consumption, and conservation as well as championing the relationship of solar to preparedness and sustainability.
In 2004, SunRunr began as a spark of an idea. Now just twelve years later, our portable
Solar + Storage generator systems are making a global impact. From Virginia to the South Pacific, our
systems are providing off-grid, supplemental, and backup power to homes and
businesses. 2016 was a year that
highlighted our three key passions: providing portable renewable energy
solutions, championing discussions on energy issues and policy, and raising
public awareness of sustainability and preparedness.
In the SunRunner Sphere Blog this past year, we shared how
SunRunr owners around the world are Using the 4 Phases of Emergency Management to Weather a
Power Outage. SunRunr owner, Andrew P., gave us a front row seat in
this video he recorded as Hurricane Matthew tore
through the Caribbean. “Here we are in
the middle of Hurricane Matthew,” Andrew reported. “But the good thing is that
we have the SunRunr generator here giving us light, powering the refrigerator,
and running some fans.”
In calmer but uniquely difficult waters, our partners Alternative
Energy, Inc. incorporated a SunRunr generator within a custom,
off-grid solar solution on the island nation of Palau.
A fish hatchery powered by the sun is now up and running on the remote island.
September found SunRunr’s Jenny French at the 2016 StartUpAfrica Entrepreneurship Conference held at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. French spoke on a panel discussing “Entrepreneurship in Africa: Now and in the Future.”
Raising Awareness of
Sustainability and Preparedness
SunRunr was nationally honored this year with the Federal
Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Award for
During an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., SunRunr and ten other
awardees were recognized for our innovative practices and programs that
contribute to making communities safer, better prepared, and more
resilient. During roundtable and
breakout discussions with high-level officials, recipients were asked to share
our success stories, lessons learned, and expertise. The two-day event gave us a lot to reflect on as we look to the future.
In 2017, join our discussions on SunRunner
Sphere Blog and on Facebook as we continue to bring you news and
developments from around the world on Going Green, Sustainable Solar, &
advancement of renewable energy innovation is in the hands of 6th grade students. And rightly so. This
past year, science teacher John Woods and his students at North Fork Middle
School in Quicksburg, Virginia, have beenimplementing real-world
energy solutions to
develop a Net-Zero Science Classroom.
With financial support from theMoore Educational Trust and partnerships with SUNRNR
and other local businesses and community-based organizations, the full vision
of a Net-Zero Science Center is shining bright.
Science Center has a two phase implementation plan. Phase I includes a Mini Instructional
Alternative Energy System with the purpose of providing students a compact
instructional off-grid ground-level system that can be explored and deployed
each academic year. A SUNRNR 110,
ground mounted solar panels, and a ground deployed wind turbine were chosen to
serve as the instructional components for investigating hands-on, real-life
alternative energy applications.
phase to reach Net-Zero includes the design and implementation of a Grid-Tie
Alternative Energy System that will power the entire classroom via solar and
wind. The project recently received a
boost with the donation of a 45-panel 3kW solar array. The panels came from a decommissioned remote
communications installation, and once the array is installed it is expected to
fully power all the classroom’s lighting, computers, and devices. With this
crucial donation, the project now enters Phase II and is seeking partnerships
to accomplish the technical and design elements necessary for a fully
operational Alternative Energy System and instructional space.
Innovation Begins with Questions
it take to….?” These young energy scientists at North
Fork Middle School have embraced thechallenge to reduce their school’s dependence
on the conventional energy grid. And by
immersing themselves in problem-solving and building a network of advisors,
this 6th Grade classroom is fast becoming a model for engaging in
alternative energy solutions.
When Hurricane Matthew tore through the Caribbean
and up the coast of the United States last month, the deadly hurricane lasted
11 days and caused record-breaking flooding and sustained winds over 100mph.
After the storm moved through, residents and aid agencies faced the daunting
task of reestablishing access to basic necessities and sanitation. And efforts to recover were impeded in many
areas by massive power outages and washed out bridges
To many of our SUNRNR customers, hurricanes are no
strangers. Over the years their names
have changed, but their impact and threat of impact is familiar and
constant. While a SUNRNR may be a solar
+ storage portable solution for off-grid, agribusiness, or daily use, an
extreme weather event such as Hurricane Matthew exemplifies the crucial need
for emergency power that is safe and reliable.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency identifies 4
Phases of Emergency Management:
Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Emergencies may give little or no warning and
evacuation is not always an option. This cycle provides a good framework for
identifying when and how to incorporate portable solar + storage into your
●What could be the consequences of short term and long
term power outage for yourself, family, neighbors, farm, or business? How will you address food, water, and
sanitation needs, receive emergency announcements, communicate with family, and
refrigerate perishable food or medicine?
●What have you learned from past events? What could you
●What power tools would you need for emergency repairs
during or after an event?
Photo courtesy of SUNRNR owners, Gary & Ellen B.
“The storm was
predicted to have 60-70 mph winds here. Prior to the storm, we topped the three
units off to the max with an AC charger, just in case. It’s a good feeling,
knowing that we have this system for everyday use and emergency power!”-SUNRNR owners, Gary & Ellen B.
Preparation enables you to respond more quickly and
efficiently when an emergency is headed your way or is right on your
●Know your equipment and what your SUNRNR can power. You
don’t want to be reading an owner’s manual when you need to be boarding up
windows or taking care of your family or livestock.
●Do a test run with your SUNRNR ahead of time and
involve everyone in your household.
“Here we are in the
middle of Hurricane Matthew...but the good thing is that we have the SUNRNR
generator here giving us light, powering the refrigerator, and running some
-SUNRNR owner, Andrew P.
During the Response Phase of Emergency Management,
preparedness plans are put into action to safeguard lives and prevent further
property damage. As you can see in this video that SUNRNR owner, Andrew recorded
during Hurricane Matthew, having a portable solar + storage generator and
knowing how to use it can power not only essentials but also provide a degree
of calm during a chaotic situation.
●Let there be light. Not only does illumination create
an emotional sense of safety for you and your family, but it reduces falls and
accidents and allows you to assess damage and identify imminent hazards.
●Stay informed. Weather emergencies can often create
cascading events. Power your radio or TV and keep your cell phone charged so
you can learn of any additional hazards heading your way, request help,
communicate with family and neighbors, and stay informed about recovery efforts
in your community.
●Safety first. A SUNRNR generator can be used indoors
and creates no toxic fumes. You can use your generator to power a fan to
keep your family cool and to keep your perishable foods and medicines safe.
After the immediate emergency is over, recovery can be
indeterminate and impaired by a damaged infrastructure and a scarcity of
fuel. As soon as the storm has passed
and it’s safe to do so, set out your solar panels so you can begin recharging
your SUNRNR. With solar + storage you
have the ability to care for your basic power needs.
●Make repairs around your home with the benefit of power
●Keep your food fresh.
●Give support to family, neighbors, or recovery workers
simply by being able to provide a charging station or a cooling station.
What did you learn?
What could you improve to lessen the impact of the next emergency and
Hurricane. Tornado. Derecho. Ice storm... The causes of
power outages are countless, but with the 4 Phases of Emergency Management as a
guide, you can use solar + storage to care for your family and property.