A gable roof solar system that can be installed without penetrating a roof has passed wind testing as required by ASCE codes (American Society of Civil Engineers). Called SolarPod Crown, it uses integrated prefabricated racking, inverters, and PV modules in a patented product.
“We are very excited about the recent test results. This technology helps to reduce installation cost by 30 to 50% and significantly improves roof structure reliability because no holes are placed on the structure. We believe insurance companies will like our products because of the inherent higher liability in penetrated systems. Further, older buildings with aged roofs can place solar now because re-installation cost is low,” explained Mouli Vaidyanathan, founder and designer of the SolarPodTM products.
SolarPod technology has been installed in about 17 American states so far.
Installation is one of the main costs of a home solar power system, so obviously a reduction of 30–50% would be most welcome. We currently seem to be in a transition period in terms of consumer awareness. Solar power has never been more affordable, but many people may still (incorrectly) believe it is too expensive. Nonetheless, the costs may actually continue to decrease by another 40%, and that estimate was made before this technology was approved.
Reducing installation time is also an advantage if homeowners don’t want workers on their roofs or hanging around for extended periods of time. Solar power systems that don’t require a lot of preparation and construction to install sometimes are called “Plug and Play” technology. They are relatively easy to install and have up and running quickly.
Notably, an award-winning home design featured SolarPod technology.”Dan Yudchitz and Revelations Architects (www.revarch.com) placed SolarPodTM in his AIA award-winning home, Essential House, in St. Paul. We are proud of Dan and for being part of the low-cost and efficient space use design. We share his philosophy in the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Wind testing is required to make sure that rooftop technology can withstand storms winds so it doesn’t get ripped off and fly into other objects and damage them.
Vaidyanathan founded Mouli Engineering, Inc., in 2009 and holds patents on his solar technology. The company is located in Eagan, Minnesota.