Although the use of solar power is gaining traction throughout many industries, it’s still mostly uncharted territory for commercial businesses. The problem with most solar power panels is that they’re better suited for ground usage — which can be an issue for office buildings and high-rises.
Up until now, solar power “trackers” have been used mainly for farmland. These trackers are able to move solar panels throughout the day and ensure they face the sun, thus rendering them much more efficient. Not only do they help increase the amount of energy the panels can make, they also lower the overall cost of the energy generation itself.
It’s been tricky to translate the success of solar trackers to companies housed in large buildings, mainly because of the complexity of rooftop conditions and qualifications that need to be met. Roof trackers need to be light enough to be secured to the roof, but they also need to be able to withstand strong gusts of wind.
One solar power startup, Edisun Microgrids, has been able to develop technology that meets all of these requirements and has been specifically designed to be placed on large roofs. When these trackers are added, they’ve been shown to increase solar power energy by 40%, and they make existing solar energy panels far more economical than before.
Solar panels and trackers are not the only rooftop adjustment that can have a big impact on energy costs. The use of a metal roof can reduce interior cooling costs by up to 20%, and can reduce peak cooling demand by up to 15%.
Although the roof might be the last thing business owners consider when calculating their costs, they might want to contemplate taking their “overhead” needs more literally. The materials and technology used over inhabitants’ heads can have a huge effect on how much energy is used and how much it costs. In this day and age, efficiency is the name of the game, and examining the benefits of new technology and building materials can be a big benefit for businesses.