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Savoy Building Gets First Polysilicon Solar Membrane System in California

iPower has begun construction on the first large-scale commercial installation of single-ply membrane solar roof on The Savoy Building at Fisherman’s Wharf. The 40kW system, from Open Energy Corp. will cover 3,000 sq. ft. and generate 50,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. This system will save the company as much as $20,000 in annual electrical costs in the first year, and eliminate 1000 tons of CO2 over the next twenty years.

“We were looking to replace our roof, wanted to lower energy costs for our tenants, and were interested in becoming an early adopter of a renewable energy source for future cost savings. So we not only got a new roof, but we also simultaneously got a new solar power system,” said Jeffrey Brueckner, vice president of operations for Savoy Commercial Properties, owner of The Savoy Building. “Integrated Power Corporation researched several systems, then analyzed savings and output. Their recommendation was a very efficient building-integrated photovoltaic system.”

Savoy’s installation, utilizing the SolarSave roofing membrane from Open Energy Corp., consists of silicon solar cells built into a single-ply membrane roofing “sheet.” In the first step of a two-step process, sheets of 60 mil PVC roofing membrane are rolled onto the roofing surface. The seams are sealed with hot air welding to create a waterproof membrane. Next, solar cell modules measuring 4’x8′ are heat-welded to this layer to create a unified roofing system with built-in solar cells (each 4’x8′ sheet containing l60 solar cells).

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