In Focus: Solar Carports

How Solar Carports Work

Solar Carports work mostly using the same principles like a normalresidential solar installation.Solar Panels are installed on the roof of the carport and then connected electrically to the power grid using aninverter.The designing,installation and power connection of the solarcarport is done by most of the normal Solar EPC Contractors that work on residential and commercial rooftops.

Solar Carports Costs

If you put up Solar Panels on an existing Carport rather than buying a new structure than the cost of the Solar Carport should not be morethan that of putting Solar Panels on the Roof.The Cost of Putting a Solar Panel is around $4-5/watt for small commercial installations and somewhathigher for residential installations.On the other hand buying a SolarCarport Structure with Solar Panels would be higher.Note you would getsubsidies for Solar Carports just the same as for Rooftop SolarInstallations and probably subsidies for Charging Stations for EVs aswell.

Solar Carport Structures

Some companies also sell carports that includes the steel structurewhich house the vehicle.The whole carport is sold as a single pieceinstead of putting solar panels on the roof of an existing carport.Thisstructures have the advantage of being customized for generatingelectricity.Note Solar Carports can be of different designs – a singlepole with solar panels forming the roof of the solar carport or a steelstructure which is customized for putting up solar panels on top

Solar Carports as Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

Solar Carports are being increasingly being used as Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles making the Carports totally green.Note ElectricVehicles are being massively subsidized and supported by governmentaround the world.Charging stations for Lithium,NiMH batteries areessential infrastructure for EVs and Hybrid Vehicles.These SolarCarports are ideal for use as Charging Stations as they generate GreenElectricity and house Cars as well.Solar Carports and Electric Vehiclesare kind of made for each other and make the Electric Car Concepttotally Green.Cities are increasingly adopting this model such as LosAngeles

Solar Carports Suppliers

Envision Solar – The original pioneer of the concept of Solar Carport Envision Solaris listed on the US markets.The company has a number of solar productsbased on high tech design of solar carports which include Solar Tree®,Solar Row™, LifePort®, LifePod™ and LifeVillage™.The company has tied up with Chevy Volts for putting up Charging Stations as well.

Note most Solar Installers in USA will design Solar Carports andthere are only a few players dedicated to Solar Carport segmentsonly.Here is a list of some of the top residential and commercialinstallers in the USA

Akeena/Westinghouse Solar (WEST) – Thefirst US Solar Installer to list on the US Stock Exchange,the company’s operations are based mainly in California.The company also sells solar sytems through retail outlets which was a first.The company also has a unique solar system which reduces solar installation costs calledMandalay.

Real Goods Solar (RSOL)- The second US Solar Installer to list on the Stockexchange,Real Goods Solar is present in California and Colorado and ittargets the residential and commercial segments of the market

Verengo Solar – The company also provides solar financing solutions and is present in the California market.

Borrego Solar – The company is similar to Verengo Solar but mainly concentrates on the commercial market.The company signed a deal with Chinese solar panelproducer Yingli for procuring solar panels.The company is headquartered in California like most others.

Sungevity – Sungevity is a California company targeting the residential marketthrough a solar leasing plan.It extensively uses the Internet to design the system and has a JV with US Bank to provide financing to itscustomers.

SolarCity – SolarCity is a full-service solar provider for commercial andresidential customers and does solar power system design, financing,installation and monitoring services from a single source.SolarCity is introduced  a new solar lease option, called SolarLease.It also hasother options like PPA .The company’s footprint extends to Arizona,California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York,Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington D.C.

SunRun –SunRun is one of the newer solar installation and solar financingcompanies that target the residential market mainly.The company ispresent mainly in the Western  part of USA operating in 7 statesArizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, andPennsylvania.The company uses a PPA model to sell solar systems and has partnered with a numer of pure play solar installers

Largest Solar Carports

Phoenix Solar,Italy – The largest Solar Carport isbeing built by Phoenix Solar which is a   5.9 MW solar carport inItaly.24,700 Solarwatt crystalline photovoltaics modules are expected to be installed on four individual surface areas, which will form theroof of the roughly 13,000 square meter carport

Sunwize Systems,Arizona,USA – SunWize Systems isinstalling the largest carport at Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center,Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) medical center in Phoenix, Arizona with a capacity of around 4 MW using  18,000 Samsung and Panasoniccrystalline solar modules

Original Article on Green World Investor


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