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Solar – The New American Energy Revolution

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity using photovoltaics.  Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.  Solar PV has become an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun.  Solar electric is competitive with retail electricity in an increasing number of markets due to declining solar panel costs as well as improving financing options.  We provide free solar consultations to commercial, industrial and nonprofit clients looking to cut energy costs.  Contact Scott Licamele at Ext. 277 for a consultation.  We develop solar projects nationwide.

Roof-Mounted Solar – Flat Roof

The solar array of a PV system can be mounted on rooftops, generally with a few inches gap and parallel to the surface of the roof.  If the rooftop is horizontal, the array is mounted with each panel aligned at an angle.  Flat-roof ballasted solar installations generally do not require penetrations, so the integrity of the roof is always maintained.  MSL Group works with our structural and electrical engineering team to design the optimal solar array for your property.

Roof-Mounted Solar – Pitched Roof

One of the many good things about photovoltaic technology is the ability to transform underutilized space—a pitched roof—into a clean, renewable, local power production plant.  For the PV system and installer, the pitch is important for ease of installation and for system efficiency, since modules produce greater power the more perpendicular they are to the sun’s rays.

Ground-Mounted Solar

Ground-mounted PV systems are usually large, utility-scale photovoltaic power stations. The PV array consist of solar modules held in place by racks or frames that are attached to ground based mounting supports.  Pole mounts are driven directly into the ground or embedded in concrete.  Foundation mounts are concrete slabs or poured footings.  Ballasted footing mounts consist of concrete or steel bases that use weight to secure the solar module system in position and do not require ground penetration. This type of mounting system is well suited for sites where excavation is not possible such as capped landfills and simplifies decommissioning or relocation of solar module systems.

Solar Carports

Solar carports provide valuable parking lot shade while generating clean, low-cost energy.  They can also significantly improve a parking area’s overall lighting.  Solar carports are typically tilted ten degrees to the south or to the west.  Geotechnical issues, such as soil load bearing pressures, are important to understand at any particular solar site.  MSL Group has engineered and constructed solar carports and truck ports in the Northeast, where we have worked with a multidisciplinary team of engineering firms, and project stakeholders to meet various local and regional codes and standards.