Parking lots, like landfills, aren't ecogeek's favourite places in the world. But because neither the car nor garbage is disappearing any time soon, it's good to know that technology is making parking lots a little more green.
The Envision Solar Grove is a customized photovoltaic-integrated parking lot solar system. Think of it as a grove of solar panels shading the lot. And instead of creating leaves and nuts and stuff...it creates electricity.
Each of the "Solar Trees", a term the San Diego-based company has trademarked, is 10 feet tall at the low end and 13 feet tall at the high end. At the site for Kyocera Solar, the canopy comprises 64 solar modules, approximately 30' by 40' and tilted at five degree angles.
The canopy can be situated in any direction and unlike a traditional carport structure, each canopy can tilt towards the sun in order to maximum the energy production and economic value. Every Solar Tree provides shaded parking for six vehicles which could also lead to reduced air conditioning use. “Now is the time to get serious about solar power,” says Robert Noble, CEO of Envision. “We've all heard about global warming and we know it's a reality.”
As other fuels become increasingly expensive, Mr. Noble said it is increasingly economical to produce energy from the sun. The Solar Grove reduces light pollution by trapping light underneath the canopy while simultaneously lighting the parking lot. Cleaning is also a snap because the Solar Trees can be washed down if they accumulate dust.
In addition, the tilted canopies can route rainwater into bio-swales porous, organic material that filters pollutants from park lot run-off. The energy savings would eventually work out. The Solar Grove parking lot can pay for itself in as little as five years, the company estimates. But that sounds a bit optimistic to us.
written by P7, May 23, 2008
written by CS, May 23, 2008
written by Pamela Stevens, May 24, 2008
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