7/29/2011

From Concrete Fortress to Solar Palace

When we think of parking lots and garages typically a first thought may be a large blank wall of concrete, disconnection from the neighborhood, dead streets, waste of good real estate, would be better below grade, or any other hundred issues you can think of.  These vast surfaces take up hundreds of acres throughout our nations cities, suburban malls, and shopping centers, often times half full with cars baking for hours in the sun.  Imagine harnessing all of that energy wasted on baking cars day after day and using it to feed our energy grids.  A handful of energy companies have actually taken to this idea and installed large canopies of solar grids raised above parking, serving a double purpose as an energy producer and shade for parked cars.



University of California San Diego Parking Structure


Modular installations like EEPro's Solar Carport and Envision Solar's Solar Grove turn barren lots into solar farms via photovoltaic shade structures, generating energy while keeping carls cool and, in some cases, providing charging stations for electric vehicles.  A smart compromise that gives good purpose to these otherwise wasteful places.