Creative installations: Three solar project designs with aesthetics in mind

With the right customer, a new PV system can be more than just a way to reduce an electric bill and even become an aesthetic calling card. As we prep our Project of the Year issue, we thought we’d share a few of these concepts.

New Hope Community Church

Palomar Solar PV design

Installed in Chula Vista, Calif., this is believed to be the first design of its kind. Palomar Solar came up with the idea to use black on white panels for the design of the cross and black on black panels to frame it. The church was very excited and did not reveal what we were up to too the rest of the congregation including the Pastor until the install was completed. Palomar used LG modules, SolarEdge inverters and Everest mounting systems to complete the job.

Guido & Companies

Freedom Solar Power

Freedom Solar Power recently designed and installed a one-of-a-kind project for Guido & Companies Inc. that uses solar panels to spell out the word “GUIDO” on the building’s rooftop and doubles as creative aerial advertising.

Guido Construction Company and Guido Building Materials Company are located right next to the San Antonio International Airport, so people flying into or out of the airport get a prime view of the company’s large solar panel “billboard.”

The 85-kW project is comprised of 260 SunPower modules, will meet than 60 percent of Guido’s energy needs, and will pay for itself in less than 4.6 years.

There were significant space issues that made installation very technical, according to Freedom Solar’s lead designer Josh Meade. The roof’s tilt changes on the left and right sides of the building, which required two separate arrays on the main part of the rooftop project where the word “GUIDO” appears. Freedom Solar also had to install a third array on the other side of the building to increase the number of panels and reach the desired kilowatt-energy production.

 

The project features 327-watt high-efficiency solar panels SunPower, which are the most efficient available today and unmatched in reliability with an expected useful life of more than 40 years. Freedom Solar is a SunPower Master Dealer, the only company with that distinction in Texas.

The Solar Labyrinth

solar labyrinth

solar labyrinth project

solar labyrinth PV

Solar Labyrinth was commissioned by Dr. Allan Berger of Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails Veterinary Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, and designed and fabricated by Anthony Castronovo. The project was an outgrowth of a 40-kW solar installation on the roof of the building. The goal of the project was to design a creative solar sculpture that would add to the visual presence of solar power at the site while also creative an exciting work of public art. The ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur became a focus of discussion and the Labyrinth form was the resulting physical embodiment of this ancient story. Each of the 14 panels on the interior of the structure have a different animal surrounded by a sine wave pattern to reference the path of the sun. A Minotaur sculpture will eventually be added to the center of the labyrinth to complete the project.

— Solar Builder magazine

Leave a Reply