Tenants of one of the largest office buildings in Shorewood, Wisconsin, can look forward to a reduction in their annual energy bills following the completion of an 83-foot vertical solar array on the side of the seven-story building.
The installer, Wisconsin-based Arch Solar, chose SolarEdge’s DC-optimized technology for the project to overcome inherent design challenges to vertical solar arrays and to realize the vision of the building owner, Dominion Properties, to transform the brick wall into a valuable asset. Now operational, the solar array is forecast to produce about 58,000kWh annually, equivalent to the annual energy use of six homes.
“Solar represents a huge market opportunity for commercial office locations,” explains Mike O’Connor, Co-Founder, Dominion Properties. “Being an office building – where typical working hours are when the most energy is used – a proportion of the building’s energy will come from solar. This means our tenants can enjoy savings on their energy bills, particularly important today as the cost of energy continues to skyrocket.”
The 54kW installation features 120 solar modules secured using masonry anchors in an array 83-feet-high by 23-feet wide, as well as three SolarEdge Inverters with Synergy Technology and SolarEdge Power Optimizers that are attached to the modules to maximize the performance of each module in the array.
Producing a vertical solar array of this kind – in a populated area with shading from neighboring buildings – represented a significant challenge. SolarEdge’s DC-Optimized technology provided the design flexibility and unique module placement required for vertical installs, ensuring maximum power generation was not compromised.
Due to the central location of the office building, ensuring the safety of the solar system is paramount for both on-site staff and passing pedestrians. Industry-leading built-in safety features within the SolarEdge inverters include arc fault detection, temperature sensors in the AC/DC terminal blocks, and SolarEdge’s SafeDCTM function, which automatically reduces the voltage in each solar module to a touch-safe level to enable safe roof access for maintenance teams or firefighters.