Giant solar parking canopies are springing up all over NJ. While designed to capture solar power, they also succeed in overpowering their surroundings. These large, angular structures installed in parking areas typically block the stores and municipal buildings that they service.
When the team at Sigma Design first saw the rough sketches for the PowerArbor™ they immediately saw that this would be different. Working closely with their client WattLots LLC, the Sigma team developed the detail design and manufacturing package for the PowerArbor™ including the solar trackers whose challenge is to maximize the annual capture of energy. Sigma succeeded in developing the unique rotational capabilities of these trackers, which allow the PowerArbor™ to capture 25% more energy than from traditional stationary canopies. It is amazing to watch the LITEBeam™ PV panels rotating with the arbors following the sun’s path.
The PowerArbor™ parking lot canopy system is designed to harness clean, abundant solar energy, but is also an inspiring blend of industrial art and technology. The structure has grace, fluidity, and curves in all the right places. It is an aesthetic addition to any landscape. Each arbor is on its own pedestal, removing the ‘parking deck’ appearance that is seen in most other installations.
Besides good looks and performance, Sigma had to make sure that it was structurally safe and sound. A variety of tests were done to determine its ability to withstand hurricane winds. Then Hurricane Sandy happened. The installation was half installed when it hit—and as expected the system passed the most critical test of all with no damage at all.
The first installation of the PowerArbor™ system can be seen at Runnells Specialized Hospital in Berkeley Heights, NJ. It is estimated that this project will save the hospital $1.7 million dollars over the next three decades. The design, manufacture and installation of this MADE IN NEW JERSEY system was conceived by WattLots, LLC and installation by EMSA Solar. Not only did Sigma Design Company develop the manufactured design they are also the manufacturers of the proprietary solar tracker in Middlesex, NJ.
For more information about the WattLots PowerArbor™ system, visit: http://www.wattlots.com/PDF/PowerArborSpecSheet.pdf