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Big O Tires Installs 50-kw Solar Power System

Big O Tires of Dublin, California has installed a 50-kilowatt, 500-panel solar power system that supplies 75% of the facility’s electrical needs.

The system uses parallel wiring technology from eIQ Energy, integrating different types of solar panels – a combination of cadmium telluride (CdTe) panels from First Solar and amorphous silicon (a-Si) panels from Signet Solar, as well as crystalline silicon panels from CentroSolar – which all feed into a single Satcon 50-kW inverter.

eIQ says that this heterogeneous approach allows array designers to create an array that can perform well under varying combinations of temperature and sun exposure, taking advantage, at Big O Tires, of all available space.

“Seeing the panels starting to go up at the end of last year was a great feeling,” says 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.”

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