Parking lots in the U.S. and around the world are a solar gold mine, one Envison Solar has been capitalizing on for awhile. Now, the California company has developed another tool in the quest to transform America’s wasted — and often scorchingly hot — blacktop space into a solar production machine: A solar canopy that can track the sun as it moves through the sky.
Envision Solar’s Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™ is a parking lot solar array that incorporates solar tracking into the primary structure of its canopy. The dual-axis tracking Solar Tree has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
According to Envision, by tracking the movement of the sun throughout the day, a Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak can produce a significant increase in energy output over traditional static solar arrays, which generate maximum output only when the sun is at its peak, generally between noon and 3 p.m.
“By offering the first dual-axis tracking parking lot solar array, we can enable organizations to significantly increase the amount of clean energy that they produce for very little additional cost,” said Bob Noble, CEO of Envision Solar.
EnvisionTrak’s planned first installation of an EnvisonTrak Solar Tree is part of an Axion Power Cube™ project, with funding recently approved by the state of Pennsylvania’s Solar Energy Program. The project will analyze the amount of solar energy that can be generated by Envision’s Solar Trees and then stored in Axion Power’s lead carbon PbC(TM) batteries.
A Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak will deliver solar energy during the day with its output compared to that of an adjacent fixed Solar Tree. The energy will then be released to demonstrate how it can be delivered back to the grid during peak usage times.
Axion’s PbC batteries extend the capabilities of the Solar Tree by enabling it to charge a battery during the day and continue to generate power at night.
“EnvisionTrak is a major leap forward in clean energy,” said Tom Granvile, CEO of Axion Power International. “By extending the high generation period beyond the midday hours, we can significantly increase the amount of energy transferred to our batteries.This provides an even greater opportunity to send energy back into the grid during peak demand hours.
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