When the sustainability director at Lane Community College decided on adding electric car chargers to the campus, she also dreamt of adding solar as well. It was when the engineer working on the project suggested the Solar RainFrame™ product that the idea was given form.
When the leadership at First United Methodist Church wanted to put together a community solar project their plan at the start was to place solar on the roof of the building. However, the uniquely shaped building has a portion of the roof angled at 60 degrees, and flat regions not safe to utilize the roof of the building was no longer an option. The discussion then turned to putting together a solar array in the parking lot as it was the only viable location, so the church received proposals for a solar canopy using under-decking to make it weatherized, as well as a proposal for a Solar RainFrame™. For a 30kW array covering 11 parking spaces the difference in price on the bids was a staggering 30% in favor of Solar RainFrame™.
Mahonia Building Trash Enclosure
We often see solar portrayed in a glamorous light, but the dirty jobs are no less important, and sometimes something great can come about as a result. This Solar RainFrame™ installation is being used as an enclosure for a dumpster. Featuring creatively up-cycled materials to create the enclosure this structure cost only slightly more money than it would have cost to build a CMU brick enclosure. The calculus on this decision was simple as could be; pay a significant amount of money for a single purpose enclosure or pay slightly more for an enclosure that will pay for itself over time.
Discussion around this project was at the beginning aimed at a typical roof mount with the awnings pictured here also planned as the typical steel awning. Further discussion eventually came to the subject of the Solar RainFrame™ product and how the awning could be made to be the solar array combining both needs into one structure. As an added note, this project makes use of microinverters and because the underside of the array is fully open to the air and not able to trap heat like a typical roof mount system these microinverters will last far longer as they won’t get nearly as hot.
Built specially for an off-grid home, this shed was originally intended to be a place to keep firewood. Part of the way through planning the owner decided to instead use it to keep batteries and a generator within. For solar, the plan prior to the change was that he would get a typical ground mount system, though when the shed was repurposed to house the generator and batteries it was suggested that he instead go with a Solar RainFrame™ system as the roof of the structure. Not only does the result look outstanding, but the decision to use the Solar RainFrame™ system saved him considerable cost because of the dual-purpose nature of the shed making it a true solar structure.
The project that gave birth to the idea of the Solar RainFrame™ product. Two friends brainstorming ideas of what would be a fantastic way to incorporate solar into an environmentally focused biofuels gas station, the question was asked; “How could we make the canopy covering the fuel pumps a solar array and still keep everything dry?” At over 33kW this is no small solar array, what’s even more surprising is that very few people actually realize that they are standing underneath a solar array. Tempting as it might be to leave it secret for your own projects our own research shows that people will change their plans for the day to be able to park underneath elevated solar structures. More than just a means of providing power or displaying a commitment to the environment a Solar RainFrame™ providing a dry space will draw people to your location!