U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Deployable Commercial Rooftop Solar Electric System
General Electric (GE) Global Research, under the BOS-X funding opportunity, will demonstrate the technical and economic viability of an innovative deployable solar electric system. This system is designed for rapid and low-cost installation onto a low-slope commercial rooftop without the need for a heavy ballasted mounting system or rooftop penetrations.
Individual PV modules are mechanically interconnected using flexible hinges that allow a string of modules to be folded for transportation and storage into a compact form and then unfolded for installation and directly attached to the roof using established membrane roofing processes. A 1.25 kilowatt (kW) string is preassembled including the electrical interconnections. Each pair of 1.25 kW strings is connected to a GE direct current (DC) power distribution busway through a DC-DC optimizing converter that provides peak power tracking, eliminating wires and conduits.
GE anticipates that its approach to pre-assembling and deploying a lightweight, multi-module solar electric array will result in installed costs of less than $2.50 per watt. Key components include:
- An assembly weight of less than 2 pounds per square foot
- A significant reduction in racking weight, material handling costs, and install time
- Greatly increased project net present value, based on higher energy production revenues on size-constrained commercial rooftops.
Learn about other DOE competitive awards for systems integration research that are in progress.