50 kW of solar-PV, custom aluminum and steel structures, and electric vehicle charging stations
The Moonrise and Pageant projects were a unique opportunity for us. A suite of projects for the owner included multiple solar-PV awnings and canopies, electric vehicle charging stations, and a building-integrated solar-PV roof for the prestigious Twilight Room rooftop restaurant. We engineered and constructed a special framework to support the module installation, including waterproofing measures to keep out the outdoor elements.
Design Rationale and System Architecture: The awnings, canopies, and solar roof were designed to provide additional amenities and occupancy opportunities for the hotel and enhanced aesthetics for the theatre. Hotel occupants and the general public can actually touch the operating solar-PV systems, so increased attention to safety was paramount in the design process.
All of the power electronics and other components tie into the buildings in different places. However, they still provide the level of safety and documentation necessary for the utility and emergency responders.
Project Challenges: Since these two buildings were not designed to integrate distributed renewable generation, there was no consideration given to interconnection or making them “solar ready.” The Twilight Room did not exist at all on the roof prior to this project. So interconnection and power for the energy systems had to be engineered into the existing distribution system. Conduit routing through the buildings was exceptionally difficult, since both buildings were highly compartmentalized with masonry firewalls throughout due to the high occupancy.
Since both buildings were heavily occupied, and the solar-PV systems were highly visible and “touchable.” Some of the solar-PV awnings were at street level. We designed these components custom to this application (they are not kits), so that they would perform for the long term and also not present an attractive or susceptible opportunity for vandalism or invite damaging misbehavior.