Solar applications can include a wide array of both passive and active technologies. Applications that may be of special relevance for public entities could include:
Federal government resource that provides a very brief and basic overview of solar applications.
Grid-Connected Solar PV Resources
Solar car canopies are a popular application across the county. This page shows examples of different types of open lot system designs from Sunpower.
Petra Solar’s SunWave solutions offer solar energy generation, smart grid communications and control, and electric grid reliability capabilities with certified, utility-grade robustness. SunWave systems bring solar online faster, enabling meaningful energy generation utilizing existing assets and time-tested deployment strategies. The SunWave solution mounts quickly and safely to utility distribution and streetlight poles to deliver power directly to the electric grid. Systems consist of a high efficiency solar module and a Smart Energy Module (SEMTM) with smart grid communications capability, mounted to a utility-grade rack system that is compatible with wood, metal, fiberglass and concrete poles.
Solar Thermal for Cooling and Industrial Applications
This NREL page gives a brief overview of other commercial building applications including ventilation air preheating, solar process heating, and solar cooling.
RREAL operates out of a fully equipped facility on the Hunt Utilities Group research campus in Pine River. They are a lean, green, fully functioning manufacturing, contracting, research and advocacy center for solar hot air technologies. Their website also contains a nice Solar Air Heating Basics page.
Solar-Powered Street Lighting
This paper provides a brief introduction to solar powered exterior light-emitting diode (LED) lighting systems, highlights the benefits and challenges that federal facility managers should consider when evaluating these systems, and provides links to additional resources.
The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, in an effort to increase visibility and mitigate safety concerns at bus stops/shelters, made the decision to install solar lighting systems in bus shelters with limited on-street lighting. They selected solar lighting systems because they provide dusk to dawn illumination, require minimal maintenance, and are cost-effective; there are no annual energy bills or trench, pipe, and wiring costs associated with a grid-tied system. MVTA solicited bids for solar lighting systems. Four companies responded with bids and Sol, Inc. was awarded the contract based on lowest bid. MVTA currently has six solar lighting systems installed in bus shelters on Highway 13 in Burnsville and plans on installing systems in additional bus shelters in the near future. (Contact Samantha Porter, Operations Manager, SPorter@mvta.com for more information)
Includes examples of commercially available solar street lighting.
The BigBelly Solar intelligent waste & recycling collection system has been designed to harness the power of information technology and renewable energy to solve an expensive and messy problem: how to more efficiently manage the process of collecting solid waste and recycling.
Riverside, Calif., is harnessing the power of the sun in an effort aimed at slashing waste, costs and greenhouse gases.