Three recent solar installations from SunWize.

Case Studies With SunWize

Matt Ziskin | SunWize

City Light & Power, Inc.

Date of Completion:  November 2008

List of Products used:
The SunPower Powerguard non-penetrating system was utilized to preserve the structural integrity of the water reservoir. The system consisted of 1,342 SunPower SPR-210 solar modules (17% module efficiency) paired with a single Xantrex 250 kW inverter (Model GT250-480-PG, 96.0% CEC efficiency) to achieve the high efficiency desired.

The principal design goal on the project was to maximize electricity production on the limited roof space of the water reservoir, requiring high efficiency solar modules. Additionally, the system had to meet stringent Southern California seismic requirements without penetrating the concrete roof of the reservoir (in order to preserve its structural integrity).

City Light & Power, Inc., a developer of utility infrastructure solutions, including electrical distribution systems and distributed generation projects, wanted to meet the City of Lakewood’s recently developed green goals that called for greenhouse gas reduction, sustainable use of natural resources and preservation. As a result, the company was contracted to install a large scale solar electric system atop the Department of Water Resources 5-million gallon water reservoir. City Light & Power then went through an extensive evaluation process with several solar contractors. SunWize Commercial Power Systems was awarded the contract and collaborated with City Light & Power on the design, engineering and installation of the system.

This system, completed in November 2008, can power the 300 horse-power pumps that operate the water system during peak demand time, off-setting the highest rate of electricity and lightening the load on the electrical grid. Residents now have a more reliable water system, and Edison customers have another source of greenhouse gas-free electricity. The City of Lakewood also received approximately $700,000 in rebates from the state to offset a portion of the system cost.


Dallas VA Medical Center

Date of Completion:  February 2009

List of Products used:
SANYO 195 watt BA-19 solar modules coupled with state-of-the art 333 kW Advanced Energy Solaron inverters are monitored over the Internet by Fat Spaniel software. The modules are mounted onto SunLink racks ballasted as well as anchored to the concrete roof. The installation is one of the most efficient fixed mount, crystalline systems available today, maximizing the power production in the amount of roof space available.

Hospitals are enormous consumers of energy and therefore strong candidates for distributed power generation. However, their continual, life critical operations cannot be disrupted by large scale construction projects. SunWize was able to develop and execute a project plan that avoided any significant disruptions to hospital operations. Pre-assembling the modules into panels reduced the amount of work required on the roof, enabling the entire system to be installed in eight weeks–minimizing the impact on the hospital.

The Dallas VA Medical Center PV system, completed in February 2009, consists of 1,728 Sanyo 195-watt BA-19 modules roof-mounted onto SunLink racks ballasted as well as anchored to the concrete roof. The system utilizes an Advanced Energy Solaron 333 kW inverter and is monitored by the hospital’s Square D PowerLogic energy and power management system as well as Fat Spaniel Technologies. It is one of the most efficient fixed mount, crystalline systems available today, maximizing the power production in the limited amount of roof space. Most importantly, this major installation was completed without interfering with the hospital’s normal operations.

Not only will the medical center save over $50,000 annually on its electricity costs, it is making a significant contribution to the distributed generation of energy and a reliable electrical grid. The Dallas VA Medical Center was chosen in part because of its location in a congested electrical distribution system. High temperatures and air conditioning demand put considerable strain on the grid during the day. The hospital’s PV system produces power during these periods of peak demand, lessening the load on the utility and helping the community. The hospital easily consumes every kW of power it produces.


Illahe Vineyards and Winery-First Solar Powered Vineyard in Dallas, Oregon

Date of Completion:  March 2008

List of Products used:
Sharp 216W solar panels, Xantrex GT 5.0 inverters, and Pro Solar Roof Trac.

Illahe was undergoing new construction and wanted to incorporate solar on the roof of the new building. The architect designed the building to have a curved standing seam metal roof. The problem with installing solar was the system would have needed a clumsy junction box in the midspan of this seamlessly curved roof. It was too late to redesign the aesthetics of the new building.

Illahe is an 80-acre Vineyard and Winery in Dallas, Oregon just outside Salem. The goal at Illahe is to make wine as natural as possible from the soil to bottle. The process includes hand picking, immediate delivery to the winery in buckets, not totes, sorting in the vineyard and at the winery, gravity-feed processing, native fermentations, moving pomace to the press by hand to remove bitter seeds and lees, gentle pressing in a basket press and 100% barrel storage for reds. Owner, Lowell Ford wanted to make sure Illahe was a sustainable green company and decided to add solar power to that mix.

When the representative from SunWize came out to the Illahe Vineyard, he determined the existing pole barn could fit 48 Sharp 216 watt solar panels, 2 Xantrex GT 5.0 inverters and a Professional Solar Roof Trac. With a recently passed law from the Oregon Public Utility Commission, SunWize was able propose a solution allowing a solar installation on the pole barn to offset the energy usage of the new building. In addition, the pole barn installation would be less expensive than the proposed installation on the new building.

Illahe Vineyards became the first vineyard with solar in Dallas, Oregon. Their system produces enough energy to offset 50% of their total electrical usage. Along with solar, Illahe features gravity-fed vinification and rainwater harvesting helping make Illahe Vineyards and Winery a true green and sustainable company. SunWize is proud of its role in helping Illahe distinguish itself in the marketplace. The central Oregon market has responded to Illahe’s green practices and brought them many new loyal customers.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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