Yesterday, on Earth Day we had the chance to talk to the Hollywood SignTrust of putting solar panels on the Hollywood sign, In my opinion theTrust was most engaged when we showed them the 3D renderings whichfeatured four designs of how the Hollywood Sign and solar panels couldco-exist. The solar electric systems we proposed are grid connected,meaning the energy is transferred into the network, the community canbenefit from the power especially when there is peak demand. Gridconnected systems also help California reach it’s RPS (renewable energyportfolio standard) a requirement for CA to generate power from cleanrenewable resources.
Hillside Ground Mounted Solar Array:
Themost practical concept that is very common on hillside solar panelinstallations through out the world. This deployment of solar panels isthe most technically feasible and has the highest probability to be asafe,code compliant installation that can generate the most watts persquare foot.
Polemounted solar arrays are a common practice in the solar industry. Thesecomponents are available in the marketplace. The advantages of a polemounted system it’s raised above the ground to reduce accessibility tothe public also the solar panels can be adjusted to the optimalorientation and pitch to maximize energy harvest.
Solar "Lilly Pads"
Circularsolar panels that sit beneath the sign. These type of solar panels donot exist in the marketplace although they can be fabricated using ULand IEEE approved photovoltaic material. The difficult aspect of thislayout would be connecting each panel together since they would besitting far apart. Since the panels sit on the ground it would requiremaintenance of the vegetation growth from shading the solar panels. Thenational electric code is unclear of how it would apply to a solarpanel that lays on the ground. This concept is more of an idea than apractical solution.
The Invisible Hand:
BuildingIntegrated Photovoltaics is the art of integrating solar cells into thefacade of a building. In this design the white paint of the signactually has nano solar cells that generate clean power. Thistechnology is still in the pipeline, although once solar nano painttechnology is out of the lab, its going to change the possiblities ofwhat we can do with solar power. Imagie any facade can be convertedinto an energy producing asset. It is still unclear what rules will beimposed by the national electric code governing paint with solar cells.This concept is the furthest from practicality at this point in time.
Iwant to know what you think? Which concept do you like the best? If youwere a member of the Hollywood Sign Trust what would be your biggestconcern in adding solar panels to the famous landmark?