The Big O Tire store in Dublin, California, is the recipient of a 50kW energy producing system from eIQ Energy using its parallel wiring technology. The installation is an example of Parallel Solar’s capability of using different types of solar panels from Signet Solar, First Solar and CentroSolar, to feed into a single Satcon 50kW inverter. The solar arrays include a combination of four CdTe panels, three a-Si from Signet Solar and one crystalline silicon panel.
The assorted panels allow the array to capture the strongest points of each technology and perform under different temperature and sun exposure. The eight panels are connected to each vBoost module. This new design also allows for a longer lifetime power harvest from the installation through its maximum power point tracking capability, the company said.
“Seeing the panels starting to go up at the end of last year was a great feeling,” commented Bruce Cherry, who has run the franchise for 29 years. “Since the system has come on line in early March, we expect to handle most of our power needs with solar energy. The system’s production has been way higher than we anticipated. I’ve even seen moments where the total AC production is equal to the DC nameplate–that isn’t supposed to happen in solar systems.”
The solar array on the Big O roof uses eIQ’s vBoost DC-to-DC converter modules for a parallel power bus, which runs at constant high voltage. The vBoost also provides an easier connection of solar panels in parallel rather than in series, allowing the connection of numerous panels on one cable.