September 09, 2011
While the Solar FlexRack is in use at solar installations all across the United States and Canada, the latest array to come online is very close to where the innovative racking system is manufactured — in parent company Northern States Metal's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
Youngstown State University has unveiled a 4,100-square-foot solar array on the roof of Moser Hall, the campus building that is the home of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Housing the photovoltaic panels used in the array are 59 Solar FlexRacks, which were manufactured at the Northern States Metals facility just a few miles from YSU. Zarbana Industries of Columbiana, Ohio supplies the aluminum rails that are part of the system.
The 64,000 kilowatt hours of electricity generated annually by the array will be used exclusively within Moser Hall, supplying electricity equivalent to what is needed to power as many has eight homes for an entire year. An additional benefit: as the door leading to the roof is located in one of the building’s classrooms, students will have an opportunity to observe the solar array as part of their learning experience.
The rooftop installation is a cooperative venture with Carbon Vision LLC of Shaker Heights, Ohio, who will own, operate and maintain the array while YSU purchases the energy. At the end of a six-year contract, YSU will own the system and generate the power free of charge. Over the 25-year life expectancy of the system, YSU is expected to save $160,000 in energy costs.
The Solar FlexRack’s unique, pre-assembled unfolding design means each rack can be installed by a three-man crew in 5 minutes or less. Solar FlexRack’s nearest competitor touts an installation time of 45 minutes with a six-man crew. The result: significantly accelerated construction times and dramatic savings on labor costs for any solar array project.
More information about the Solar FlexRack is available at www.SolarFlexRack.com.
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