Pittsburg School District PV and Wind System
May 28, 2019
Pittsburg School district is the first installation of our proprietary AG panels. These unique solar panels are the result of many years of designing & testing. We were first approached about this idea many years ago when the government officials in the central valley were starting to complain that we were using up too much valuable farm land with our solar panel installation. The alternative, we thought, was manufacture a solar panel that not only produces power but also enhances plant growth. It was a collaborated effort by many of us in this industry. The result is a UL listed, 10 year full and 25 year performance warranty AG panel. We use bifacial cells. This means we produce power both on the front and back of the solar panels. We cut the cells into quarter cells and only cover 50% of the panel surface area with these ¼ cells. This allows maximum amount of sunlight to pass through the panels. Our proprietary back sheet acts like a Fresnel lens. It disburses the sunlight and eliminates shadowing created by the ¼ cells. We also pigment the back sheet so the sunlight that passes through the panel is now altered color wise, to accelerate plant growth and blooming. Tests we have done have shown that these panels can increase plant growth and blooming by up to 50%. Now farmers no longer need to dedicate portions of their farmland for PV systems. They can do both, produce power and crops together.
Pittsburgh chose these unique solar panels to cover their bio swale. The bio swale is designed to collect rainwater, filter it through plants and ground to a collection system, and then “recycle” the water to the nearest water district distribution plant. Plant growth is paramount for the proper functioning of a bio swale. Because of this, bio swales, normally, are never covered with anything. Our unique solar panels changed all this.
The 4, 10 kW VAWT (vertical axis wind turbines) are the industries leader for quiet, non directional and environmentally sensitive wind turbines. These turbines don’t kill birds, bats, etc… They are also not affected by turbulence. In fact many times, turbulence enhances their power production. As you can see these turbines are placed in a “city” environment. No other turbines could be installed in such a densely populated area. Our VAWT hold many proprietary world patents for cutting edge technology. These are the same turbines we installed on Kodiak Island in Alaska. However, in Kodiak we used hydraulic tilt up towers because there is no access for heavy equipment on the island. The installation in Pittsburgh was different and we were able to readily access any heavy equipment we needed for this project.
This project won the state of California’s best green project of the year award. It is a model for many future systems that require critical considerations such as plant growth, not wasting valuable land to produce power, and locating these systems in urban environments— where the power they are generating is urgently needed.