Skyline Solar makes solar equipment using auto factories

May 5, 2009

Skyline Solar makes solar equipment using auto factories Skyline Solar makes unique solar equipment that requires the ability to fabricate very large pieces for its reflective rack and the prefabricated struts and ribs.  The company uses the excess or unused capacity of auto plants to make these large pieces cost effectively.

Skyline Solar has found a way to integrate high-gain solar (HGS) panels with a concentrator to make the solar panels more effective.  The HGS panels are much smaller than traditional solar panels.  The panels have a metal heat sink that allows natural air flow and cooling of the panels.   The heat sinks allow the HGS panels to operate at a lower temperature allowing greater efficiency of the panel.

The solar arrays consist of four rows of HGS panels attached to the edges of a reflective panel.  These solar arrays are “scalable” meaning that one or more can be mounted in an area and connected together for greater solar energy collection.  Skyline solar arrays can be mechanically connected into long rows with arrays sharing the same mounting and tracking hardware.  Because of the large reflector panels, the solar arrays use only a single axis tracking system to gain the most solar energy possible.

The solar arrays are connected in long side by side rows to create a power plant. The company says that its solar array power plants are aimed at the 50 – 100 kilowatt market and would be inappropriate for a single residence.

According to Greentech media, Skyline Solar is using “excess capacity from the auto industry” to make some of its pieces.  At this point Skyline will have plenty of auto industry facilities to use, since at least one auto giant will be shutting down manufacturing facilities and laying off workers.  Skyline Solar may be able to provide a use for those factories and employ some of the out-of-work employees.

Skyline Solar has set a goal of reaching grid parity with it solar panel systems.  In order for the company to meet its goal, the system “has to be built, shipped and deployed in a very inexpensive fashion.” Using the auto plants for part of its fabrication allows the company to produce pieces that are easily stackable for shipping and assembled.

Who knows, Skyline Solar could even provide renewable energy power  plants to run the facilities they are borrowing.

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