The City of Palm Desert had started construction on the Palm Village Apartments affordable housing project when, as part of the City’s energy program, solar electricity was added to the project as an afterthought. Because the project already called for carports for shading, they became the ideal location for the arrays.
Rather than have the carports built by one contractor and then retrofit them with solar arrays by another contractor, the city wanted a single system delivered by a prime contractor, and, ideally, a combined solution in which the array was predesigned and engineered for the carport.
New York-based solar system installation company SunWize provided the PowerPort, a turnkey carport solution of our the company’s own design. Its design flexibility enabled it to easily fit into the existing parking space of the apartment complex. The low tilt angle of the deck and solar array reduces wind loading and maximizes power output to coincide with peak electrical load periods while the metal roof provides waterproofing and mounting for the modules. The powerport’s simplicity minimized engineering costs and on-site construction time. The Palm Village Apartments’ system included four carport structures holding 327 Sharp 170 solar modules. Individual inverters fed power directly into nine residential units. The remaining three inverters were used to provide power to the common areas. The system installation completed in 2007.
The City of Palm Desert contributed toward its energy goals and exceeded the California State Title 24 requirements by 17%. This also qualified them for a larger cash rebate from the state. In addition, residents living in solar-powered units do not receive an electricity allowance, saving the City money and shortening their payback period.
Sunwize Solar Power Systems www.sunwize.com