Beckett Solar Energy sent word that it’s the official solar industry marketer of an intriguing new product called Terra Pave Top-Seal White Albedo (TSW) — an eco-friendly permanent soil binder that transforms the ground into a concrete-like structure and provides a permanent white-as-snow color.
This addresses several common issues on solar sites, especially in the bifacial solar module era.
#1 A common problem in solar installations is that solar panels become soiled by dust from exposed ground soil surfaces around the installation. Soiled solar panels decrease revenue (5%-50% reduced output of the system) and increase O&M costs. In addition, vegetation such as tall weeds can create shading and reduce system production; they can also cause hot spots that destroy panels.
#2 The efficiency of bifacial solar panels is highly dependent on the albedo* or reflective quality of the ground; natural ground has low albedo. Because of that, it is hard for developers to create accurate revenue models.
#3 Typically used asphalt roads are not eco-friendly and their construction comes with the generation of toxic fumes and high costs.
Patented by the University of Texas, Austin, in association with Ecological Estates Inc., Terra Pave Top-Seal White Albedo solves these problems by creating a water-impenetrable barrier that holds the soil and dust in place and prevents vegetation from growing through the binder.
Terra Pave Top-Seal White Albedo can significantly reduce the costs for existing solar farms in Dust/Vegetation control and reduce O&M costs. Because of its high-albedo properties, Terra Pave TSW Albedo can greatly increase efficiency of bifacial solar farms by creating a surface that is consistently and highly reflective albedo 365 days per year equal to albedo of snow.
Unlike asphalt or concrete, Terra Pave products are pitched as eco-friendly because – as tested by San Antonio Testing labs – they have no detectable concentrations of volatile, semi-volatile, heavy metals or petroleum hydrocarbons. This is clearly advantageous for human health and the environment.
Product testing also indicated that Terra Pave is:
- Non-Petroleum based
- Erosion Resistant
Terra Pave can also shorten the depth of pile-driving for the mounting structure of the solar modules and lessen the use of steel – about or around a 20% decrease in mounting structure installation cost.
Terra Pave enables easier financial modeling, accurate engineering design and accurate prediction for bifacial panels
Terra Pave enables the creation of cost-effective eco-friendly access roads
— Solar Builder magazine