Whether you’re looking to maximize your parking lot, make a visible commitment to sustainability, or take advantage of local clean energy incentives, your carport options are as varied as the reasons for going solar.
Businesses and institutions across the country are increasingly choosing solar canopies to reap the benefits of renewable energy. Before investing in a carport structure, it’s important to determine how much your budget will influence design decisions. For some, cost is a big driver of carport decision making, but others are more motivated by aesthetics. The desired energy output of the system and parking row coverage should also be considered when defining what you’d like to get out of your solar canopies. Read the rest of this entry »
Location: Pocono Township, PA
Size: 640.5 kW
Angle of tilt: 7.4°
Module: Renesola 305W
Module quantity: 2,100
Foundation type: concrete piers
Northampton Community College is one US college that has achieved Gold LEED status. The campus has a wind turbine and geothermal heating system in addition to 640.5 kW solar carports that will provide clean, efficient energy for decades. Energy generated from the solar carport structures powers the equivalent of about 500 homes. With these solar canopies, the vehicles of Northampton Community College students, faculty, staff, and visitors are protected from the elements.
For energy solutions provider Alliant Energy, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and clean energy is an important part of their mission. And their high-profile solar carports stand testament to this mission in front of the company’s headquarters.
Much of the critical work on the carports were done mid-winter in Madison, WI—a city that is no stranger to heavy snows and frigid winter temperatures. Despite these unfavorable conditions, the installation was completed successfully and safely.
Inverted structures were used for the carports to direct rain and snow to a single gutter system. This design helps to avoid large amounts of snow shedding and prevent the possibility of falling snow and ice from injuring those below. A larger clearance height on the outer edge of the carport was chosen to reduce tall vehicle collisions and for aesthetics.
While these covered parking spaces are not the closest to the building’s entrances, they are the first spots to fill up each morning. Alliant Energy employees typically need to arrive an hour early to work to find a space under the protection of the solar canopies. Read the rest of this entry »
At RBI Solar, we’ve learned a thing or two about designing and constructing a solar carport that is both aesthetically pleasing and efficient. From sports teams, zoos, police stations, and family attractions, we’ve designed carport structures in a variety of styles across the country.
Along the way, we’ve advanced and continue to hone our processes to minimize obstacles and maximize the efficiency of our carport structures.
You can find some of these development strategies in Solar Builder magazine’s September/October feature titled “Park-onomics”. In this feature, you’ll find several keys from our structural engineer and project manager Mike Slack to make your solar carport project a success, including site conditions and project phasing.
To read the “Park-onomics” feature in full, subscribe to the digital or print addition of Solar Builder magazine here.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has prided itself as being one of the greenest zoos in America. Being a staple in the city since 1875, the zoo has put forth several green initiatives, transforming its daily operations to reduce its impact on the environment. Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency, the zoo has publicly committed to building new projects to LEED standards. To date, there are seven buildings on the premises with LEED certification; more than any other zoo in the country.
Collaborating with RBI Solar, the Cincinnati Zoo’s latest renewable energy project was a 1.5 MW solar canopy to welcome patrons at the Vine Street entrance. The structure was installed with a truss design with a powder coat over epoxy finish. This solar structure is one of the country’s largest solar projects in an urban setting. Read the rest of this entry »