SolarCity unveiled its Zep Solar line of solar products today—a flat roof solar mounting solution that it says is twice as fast to install and can generate significantly more solar electricity from each rooftop than alternatives for the commercial market. ZS Peak makes it possible for far more businesses, schools and other organizations to install solar power on their buildings and immediately pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power, and will significantly expand the addressable market for commercial solar.
Like the Zep residential solar systems, SolarCity says the ZS Peak provides a snap-together system to simplify and accelerate installation. SolarCity estimates that ZS Peak can increase generation capacity on flat roof buildings by 20 to 50% per building and do so without requiring any penetrations. The system’s dense, east-west layout structure will allow SolarCity to fit up to 20% more solar panels on standard roofs and up to 50 percent more panels on lightweight roofs, such as those commonly found on warehouses. The increase in panels per roof is particularly valuable in the commercial market, as conventional flat-roof solar systems typically power less than half of a commercial building’s load.
ZS Peak’s east-west orientation not only allows installers to fit more solar panels on each roof than standard south-facing systems, it also captures peak power production throughout a longer period of the day. By lengthening power production time and eliminating the typical mid-day spike of standard solar systems, SolarCity can also make more efficient use of solar inverters to further reduce costs for customers. ZS Peak has so significantly improved on the aerodynamics of conventional systems that it can be installed as a lightweight, non-penetrating system on many roofs that would otherwise require the solar panels to be bolted down.
SolarCity is currently installing its first project with ZS Peak and expects to begin installing the product in volume in January.