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Being able to rebuild your kitchen, paint your home, or tile your bathroom brings with it a great sense of pride. But should a very complex solar panel installation project be on your DIY list?
--by Matthew Culligan and Jonathan Botkin
Traditional practice in Europe has focused on maximizing output at the module level, which dictates tilting at or close to 30 degrees depending on latitude. To optimize cost and customer return, economics need to be evaluated at a system level. With the goal of minimum energy cost and maximum social benefit, SunPower (by PowerLight) has pursued the development of lightweight PV systems for large-scale flat rooftop installations. This paper explores the relationship between tilt angle, system GCR, system size, system cost and customer return on investment within constrained area rooftop systems.
--by Jonathan Botkin and Matthew Culligan
From the perspective of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system integrator who performs sales, design, engineering, construction and maintenance services, an ideal product for a commercial PV system would be one in which all the necessary parts are combined into one “unitary” package. Independent of site conditions, array shape, or system size, a single all-in-one product would minimize the complexities of array design, supply logistics, installation, and maintenance, leading to lower cost of energy. However, there are also trade-offs that must be made in pursuing this unitary ideal. Without careful consideration, there is the potential that system design restrictions, lower shipping density, higher material cost, or other factors could offset the benefits of this approach. In developing a new commercial PV product, SunPower has balanced the various aspects of a unitary design approach to create a revolutionary new product. This paper will discuss the economic analysis, design process, and lessons learned during the development of this new product.
--by Mark Shields
During the recent surge in residential and commercial photovoltaic opportunities, many PV suppliers and installers have fielded questions concerning glare and reflectance levels for solar photovoltaic systems. These questions range from the possible glare and reflectance effect on neighbors, to the glare and reflectance effect on air traffic. This document explains why solar PV systems are less reflective than their general populous surroundings.
The SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile is the most powerful solution for area- or weight-constrained flat rooftops. It is the first photovoltaic roof product to combine solar panel, frame, and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. Benefits: Highest efficiency solar panels are tilted at five-degrees; they are easy to install, with no roof penetration needed, and no grounding required; they're durable, lightweight and aerodynamic.
The SunPower T10 Solar Roof Tile is pre-engineered to tilt at a 10-degree angle and enhance energy capture. These non-penetrating roof tiles interlock for secure, rapid installation. Made of durable, lightweight materials, the patented design resists high winds and corrosion and is uniquely flexible to adapt to the size and requirements of virtually any flat rooftop and select ground sites.
The SunPower T0 Solar Tracker delivers up to 25% more energy than fixed-tilt systems, wth fewer parts and motors than conventional solar tracking systems. A single-axis design follows the path of the sun throughout the day. The T0 Tracker has a history of proven reliability and low opearating and maintenance costs.
The SunPower T20 Solar Tracker is built on the same proven, reliable design of the original SunPower T0 Tracker. High-efficiency solar panels are tilted at 20-degrees to deliver higher energy output. The T20 Tracker delivers 30% more energy than fixed-tilt systems and more energy output per unit area than competing systems. It ships ready for fast, simple installation without ground penetrations, rapidly deploys on-site and scales easily from small to large multi-megawatt installations.