Go big or go home
We’re pleased to announce that we now have a 12 Kilowatt DC Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Tracker System from Solaflect Energy in Norwich Vermont. Solar Trackers follow the sun, allowing our solar panels to generate 40% more power than fixed installations. This system should provide all of Trillium’s power needs for the next 30+ years, offset 39 tons of carbon emissions, and save us over $275 per month. Besides the economic advantages of adopting renewable energy, there is the environmental aspect.
Vermont’s climate looks more and more like that of our neighbors to the south. Over the last 50 years, our summers are 2.3, and our winters 5.2 degrees warmer. It may not feel like that during a frigid cold snap, but our winter mean temp has risen from 18 to 23 degrees in the last 5 decades. Lilacs bloom 17 days earlier and there are 40 fewer days of ice in local ponds each winter.
By directly tracking the sun all day, the Tracker captures approximately 40% more solar energy than solar panels mounted on a fixed surface – like a rooftop or fixed panels on the ground – which miss a good deal of morning and afternoon sun, particularly on long summer days. A Tracker uses fewer solar panels to generate the same amount of electricity as panels on a roof – e.g., 16 solar panels on a Tracker is the equivalent of at least 23 and as many as 30 panels on a roof.
The ability to shed snow quickly is also an important feature here in New England, as rooftop solar loses 12%-15% of its production per year from snow cover. A Tracker is pitched steeply all winter as it is pointed right at the sun – which is low in the sky through its winter trajectory – so snow slides off quickly. The Tracker also “sleeps” vertical at night, meaning gravity takes care of any remaining snow.