System Options

Commercial solar energy systems and panels can be installed in a variety of ways. Traditionally, solar panels are mounted in a tilted fashion on flat roofs or flush against a pitched roof. Here are some other ways that businesses have installed solar electric power in Maryland, DC and Virginia.

Solar Skins

Solar panels can be integrated into a commercial building’s structure, either on the roof (commonly called solar shingles) or as the “skin” for a building. One example is 4 Times Square, a 48-story New York City skyscraper designed in the 1990s.

This office building features a photovoltaic “skin” that includes thin-film solar panels that replace traditional glass cladding material. The photovoltaic skin extends from the 37th to the 43rd floor on the south and west walls, and is a highly visible part of the midtown skyline.

Solar Awnings

Solar panels can also be mounted as an awning. A solar awning provides shelter, as well as electricity, light and cooling.

The University of Oregon developed a modular solar energy system made up of conventional solar panels and shading, but their solar awning assembly is unique. It is applied to the exterior of a classroom or office building where it can shade windows and reflect light back inside.

This commercial solar energy installation generates about six to eight times the energy needed to provide light to the building and reduces indoor temperatures, which decreases stress on cooling facilities.

Solar Car Ports

Solar energy systems can be used as car ports to provide electricity and shade in office parking facilities.

Solar Lighting

Solar energy can also provide outdoor lighting for various commercial needs, including parking lots, walkways, and signs.

Ground Mounted Solar Panels

Solar panels can also be mounted on the ground to make use of an area in a commercial office park or other property that would otherwise not be used. Solar farms such as these can also monetize wasteland such as a brownfield site.

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