The Solar Parking Lot Of The Future Has Arrived

SEP 29 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 43

Imagine if all parking lots resembled the one you see above.

Solar is the now and the future.  The same is true for plug-in electric vehicles.

Combine the two and you’re left with this spectacular parking lot.  If this is the future, then we’re all in.

Where is it located?  We’ll let you figure that one out.

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43 Comments on "The Solar Parking Lot Of The Future Has Arrived"

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George Bower

Well the sun’s out so that eliminates the UK.

(dumb American comment)

erfahrbar

Germany

erfahrbar

more precisely Haag in Bavaria, Germany – Schletter GmbH

Jouni Valkonen

Google tells me that that particular 8 MW solar parking lot is in the Rutgers University, New Jersey.

You can find lots of solar parking lots with google image search: “Solar Parking Lot”.

ArkansasVolt

arent those euro style plates?

Jouni Valkonen

Mistake, New Jersey solar parking lot was only visually similar. But that one is in Schletter, Germany.

David Murray

Awesome.. Not only is this a great way to generate electricity, but during the Texas Summer, the people parked under them would be very grateful!

Jouni Valkonen

What idea I fancy is that we have a vertical parking towers. That is when you arrive to the port, your car drives herself to the elevator that lifts car to the vacant parking lot in the upper floors. And when you arrive you just call with your smartphone app and your car is waiting you at the port of vertical parking tower.

This would also simplify the city centres as lower floors could be reserved for shops and other commercial activity where as cars could be stored into lower valued upper floors. Lifting car with elevator to the top floors is cheap as most of the energy is returned when car gets down with the elevator. Of course this is very slow, but that is why we have self-driving technology!

Micke Larsson

I want Kandi… 🙂

George Bower

You got it

kdawg

Wow George. I though you only listened to Elvis. 🙂

Micke Larsson

Hehe… you got my message of double meaning. 😛
But then it’s this also:

pete g

A penthouse apartment for cars. How do we get middle-class tax dollars to pay for that?

Unplugged

Practically all the high schools in the Irvine Unified School District have solar panels above the parking lots. This began in 2010 and ’11.

Photo here: http://www.sunedison.com/wps/portal/memc/publicsector/schoolsuniversities/casestudies/iusd

Explanation here: http://www.iusd.org/district_services/facilities_planning_and_construction/solar_technology/

NeilBlanchard

There are more and more solar PV systems going in over parking lots. Here’s one that in installed over the parking lot at REI in Framingham, MA:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/NeilBlanchard/Maynard%20MA%20Solar%20PV%20Array/REIFraminghamMA_zps0fdb2eca.png

NeilBlanchard

The two arrays over the parking lot total 210kW, and it looks like they have additional panels on the roof of the building, too.

sven

A solar parking lot grows in Brooklyn. Whole Foods installed a 324-kW solar array in the parking lot of it’s Brooklyn store. It also has wind turbines on top of the parking lot lampposts to boot!

http://ecowatch.com/2013/12/23/brooklyn-whole-foods-solar-wind-ev-chargers-greenhouse/

Just_Chris

Which genius decided on the vertical wind turbines in? Their shadows probably cost more in lost PV output than those silly little turbines could generate in an urban environment.

sven

But the wind turbines can generate electricity for the lampposts at night when they need it, unlike the PV array. Also, the angled PV panels on each lampost more than makes up for the few wind turbines which actually cast shadows on the PV array. This Whole Foods is also in a pretty good wind corridor since it’s right next to New York Harbor on the Gowanus Canal.

Coby

Chris, the parking lot has to have lights, I don’t understand why you are angry that they smartly added vertical axis turbines to them. VA turbines do better in low wind conditions, take less space, less maintenance, & don’t kill birds. We need more of them out there!

Brian

Compared to open parking, a solar covered lot will even save gasoline for the non-plug in cars; on a hot summer day, their A/C will not have to run nearly as hard to cool the car!

Spec9

Uh . . . what happens if a couple feet of snow fall on that one? That “V” shape seems like it would trap the snow up there.

Stimpacker

Solar frigging roadways…
Supposedly they can melt snow off. Hahahaha. Sad that people throw money at those things.

Sorry for going OT. Was meant as a joke.

DaveMart

It would not be the first time super-duper new technology has come unstuck due to simple design flaws.

I would not imagine solar panels take too kindly to being cleared with a shovel either.

I suppose they may have some kind of resistive heater in their, but at the latitude of Germany solar is more or less useless at the times of the year snow is likely to fall anyway, so it is probably best just to put up with zero instead of almost no power until it melts anyway.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

I would assume that they use a V because it’s a much better way to deal with rain and snow.

Eric Cote

Why are the panels tilted in the way that they are? It seems like their angle is such that one side cannot possibly be optimal for electricity generation.

John Hansen

Well, east and west facing panels produce output during a more useful time of day than producing peak power at noon. Also, that design actually covers and protects cars parked under it, vs the ones that are all facing the same direction with gaps between rows.

Brian Henderson

Solar cover parking lots are fairly common in some regions. Not only for charging, but reduces solar heating on any vehicle, reducing the need to cool when an ICE vehicle is least efficient.

Another example from National Drive Electric Week in photo with over 507 EVs (and only half the lot is covered).

QCO

The system at D’Anza college (shown above) is pretty cool since it tracks the sun, which also maximizes shading.

Thanh Lim

Temple City High School in California also has the same type of set up.

Not as large though, as the parking lot is nowhere that size.

Kosh

Many of the public school parking lots in California have started doing that. Can’t remember the company that has been doing it, but IIRC the schools aren’t actually having to pay for them, the company benefits from over-generation to the utility.

islandboy

At first glance I thought it could be the Petaluma High School in California, see website here;

http://www.cei.com/projects/petaluma-joint-high-school-district/

My cousin used to work less than a block away from there and she knows me so, she drove me around the parking lot a couple of summers ago while driving me around to show me where she works. In all honesty, I had no idea what it looked like from above, having only seen it from ground level.

CounterStrike Cat

With the panels not directing correctly to south, the real generation will be much lower than the installed capacity suggests.

Spec9

That is always true. Really . . . without a two axis tracker, you are always getting less than optimal. But there are other considerations such as the way other existing things (buildings, parking lots) are already oriented.

And utilities would prefer you to have them pointed to the southwest or west because they need more electricity in the evening rather than at noon.

John Hansen

The company I work for, Epic, has a solar array over our parking lot too, and it’s big.

John Hansen

That’s in Verona, Wisconsin.

Lou

Great story. I wonder how much of the lot is devoted to EV parking, with Level I or II charging available? Would seem to be a natural tie-in. Interestingly enough, Lincoln Financial Field in Philadlephia(home of the Phila Eagles NFL team) also has a large solar mirror covered parking lot. But as far as I can tell, no EV charging available there at all. I was there a few weeks ago in my EV, needed to charge but was told that they had no such capability there. IIRC, this was a an NRG location…

Lou

Robert

Our current parking lot is cleared of snow, with a front end loader with an attached large push blade, about 20′ wide. These Solar panels would have to have some way to shed the snow and we would need smaller equipment to get between the support posts, but it might work!