Specialty Solar Structures
While industry standards classify virtually all solar installations as roof, ground or carport mounted solar, there is an wide and growing application for specialty solar structures to accommodate non-standard installations. Specialty solar structures may be in the form of solar pavilions, solar trellises or structures that are intended as outdoor areas of interest for employees or customers but not all specialty structures are intended for architectural applications.
Specialty solar structures are more typically not architectural but rather functional with outstanding utility for installations that would not otherwise be well suited for a standard solar canopy. Elevated structures over campsites, trash, dumpster or even loading docks and frankly, any area that is otherwise unproductive, or underutilized can typically be covered in a manner that enhances its value while preserving its functionality. With proper design, these elevated structures require little or maintenance after installation and are durable for 25 years or longer. Commercial specialty solar structures are often designed as a series of light tube trusses so they span over large areas. Accordingly, large open tracks of land with uneven terrain or even water detention areas can be covered. In fact, water treatment facilities often require specially designed solar structures to accommodate their layouts and operations. An elevated specialty solar structure below mounted atop concrete caissons“created” an additional 400 KW of capacity in an area where there was otherwise no available ground or roof space.
Even bus or equipment storage areas are great examples of specialty solar structures. The structure below was designed with a heavy structural roof deck which not only provided coverage / asset protection for the equipment below but was a structural component of the overall design.
Applications for specialty solar structures are limited only by imagination and budget. If provided the size and location for any proposed structural, Structural Solar LLC can quickly and easily estimate the cost. Budget is a matter of value. Some vehicle manufacturers and car dealerships invest in covering large lots as a means to provide asset protection from hail and winter storms in exchange for a corresponding reduction in their insurance premiums. That’s value beyond the PV. Hospitals, commercial and retail centers cover large parking lots and or install roofs on parking decks as a means to enhance image and employee or client comfort. That’s value beyond the PV which needs to be properly recognized and captured in the overall sales proposition and calculations of financial return. In that sense, specialty solar structures can create opportunity, interest and dialogue in solar installations that are otherwise not feasible based on conventional sales technique.