Urban Solar Panel Project Creates Rooftop Living Spaces

Urban Solar Panel Project Creates Rooftop Living Spaces
Design

The Solar Canopy design was originally developed to adhere to a local fire code restriction, but grew into something bigger

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 11 may 2017

Brooklyn SolarWorks is aiming to transform the thousands of rooftops around NYC’s five boroughs into energy generating surfaces. Their Solar Canopy, developed in partnership with design firm Situ Studio not only generates clean, renewable electricity but it also creates a sheltered rooftop patio. Brooklyn SolarWorks exhibited a smaller scale version of the Solar Canopy at the 2017 BKLYN Designs fair.

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Steve Nelson, Senior Solar Consultant with the company explained that the Solar Canopy was originally developed to work within local fire code restrictions. In New York City, there must be sufficient clear vertical space for a fireman to swing an axe during firefighting situations. This meant that traditional roof mounted sloped solar panels wouldn’t work for smaller sized residential buildings. The Solar Canopy gets around this by mounting to a building’s perimeter walls and elevating the panels with an aluminum structure. High winds, heavy snows and fire code compliance aren’t an issue with the design.

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Nelson said typical installations have 18 panels and can generate an average of 5.76kw a day. That electricity is fed back into the grid and issued as a credit on customer’s bills.

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Solar Canopy is a way to boost the energy efficiency of older buildings, of which NYC has plenty, without costly interior renovations.

Brooklyn SolarWorks

Photos: Brooklyn SolarWorks, Dave Pinter

Brooklyn SolarWorks is aiming to transform the thousands of rooftops around NYC’s five boroughs into energy generating surfaces. Their Solar Canopy, developed in partnership with design firm Situ Studio not only generates clean, renewable electricity but it also creates a sheltered rooftop patio. Brooklyn SolarWorks exhibited a smaller scale version of the Solar Canopy at the 2017 BKLYN Designs fair.

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