A new product intended to make the installation of solar carport systems easier, cheaper, and safer was recently unveiled by the US-based solar energy giant SolarCity.
The new product — ZS Beam, part of the company’s Zep Solar line — will make it possible for a much larger number of businesses, schools, and organizations interested in creating solar carparks to do so.
Part of the benefit of using the new technology — according to SolarCity — is in the ability to significantly reduce construction costs. This seems to be serendipitously (or coordinated) good timing as well — the US solar carport market is approaching a boom, according to a recent report from GTM Research.
The GTM Research report predicts that the US solar carport market will grow from a projected 180.2 MW of annual installed capacity in 2014 to a projected 317.9 MW in 2016 — that’s a 76% increase in just two years. Big growth.
SolarCity provides more details on the product:
ZS Beam uses a special clamp that locks solar panels onto carport or canopy structures. While many solar carport systems require panels to be installed from above, ZS Beam clamps allow solar panels to be connected to the support structure from below, improving safety and increasing installation speed.
ZS Beam further improves safety and increases speed by automatically creating an electrical ground connection when attaching the panels, and by eliminating the multiple loose fasteners and hardware required by conventional carport systems. As with all products in the Zep Solar line, ZS Beam also significantly improves aesthetics by seamlessly connecting panels into a single plane.
The carport system can pair effectively with SolarCity’s ZS Peak; SolarCity’s lightweight, “snap together” mounting system for commercial flat roofs that can significantly increase the number of panels that can be installed on each roof.
Those interested (presumably representing businesses or organizations) can reach the company at 1-888-SOL-CITY (1-888-765-2489) and receive a free consultation.
Perhaps SolarCity can strike a deal with Tesla to install solar carports at the new gigafactory? Given that the factory is reportedly going to generate and supply all of its own power, the idea isn’t so far fetched. Of course, both companies are headed by Elon Musk.
If you don’t follow the industry, its worth knowing that SolarCity is by far the leader in the residential solar market, and aims to have 1 million customers by 2018.