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Mounting Gone Wild?

If you are at all familiar with solar energy, you have probably heard that panels in the U.S. should face south. This is because solar modules can only produce when the sun is shining directly on them. Facing them to the south and at a tilt provides the most solar radiation possible. At solar noon (industry jargon for when the sun is directly overhead) a traditional south facing system produces the most. Power generation spikes and then it fades into the evening.

If you are at all familiar with the sun, you know that it rises in the east and sets in the west.  An east oriented panel receives sun until around noon and a west facing one after. But wait, there’s more.

The clever folks at Renusol America have combined German engineering with American innovation resulting in an unexpected twist. They claim that there are benefits to orienting panels to the east and west. Their Renusol EW racking is designed for flat commercial roof tops. The ballasted system doesn’t require roof penetration or separate wind deflectors. The unconventional layout allows for more panel density and thus more power per square foot.  This unusual mounting style began in Europe and is now making a debut in the United States. Its potential may even usher it to mainstream.
The benefits of the east west mounting system are ironically practical. The solution is rail-less, modular and lightweight. With module prices dropping, adding more of them is not expensive. Although the noon spike is absent, there are extended sun hours in the morning and evening. Generation is steady throughout the day. Therefore, these systems can be designed with lower-capacity inverters and lower component costs.  Later in the day, when demand increases, these systems can still produce.

At Lionshead, we champion innovation and cost savings. If the idea provides better service to our clients, we are all ears. Contact us to find the unique solar solution that is right for you.

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