Solar Canopy Soars Above Trucks

By SETH MASIA

Conergy
Conergy’s SunTop racks handle the roof-mounted part of the array.

Conergy’s Solar Large Projects Group recently completed a fixed-tilt 510-kilowatt installation, providing power for a cold-storage facility at Kirschenman Enterprises, a large produce grower in Bakersfield, Calif.

Using Conergy’s PH 235P modules with three SunTop (roof-mount) and two SolarLinea II (ground-mount) racking systems, the complex is expected to produce 768,182 kilowatt-hours annually.

Storage SolarArray
Kirschenman’s cold-storage facility needed to operate full-size trailer trucks under the solar array. The solution was a steel truss structure with 20 feet (6 meters) of clearance.

The design challenge was truck access. The company needed to get its refrigerated semi-trailers to the loading dock, unobstructed by ground-mount pillars. Conergy Project Development Manager David Vincent used a concept the company calls the Elevated Agriculture Solar Structure — essentially an elevated canopy with an operating clearance of 20 feet. California’s highway code calls for a maximum truck height of 14 feet, so there’s even room to work on top of the trailers while parked at the loading dock.

“The Elevated Ag Solar Structure design really works well for agricultural facilities that might not otherwise have the room for solar,” said Vincent.

System Accomplished focuses on unique design or installation problems and how they were solved. If you have solved a difficult installation problem, we want to hear about it. Email smasia@solartoday.org.

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