Solar power in operation

The environmental benefits of renewable energy sources are undeniable. With energy costs becoming increasingly volatile, it is more important than ever to find stable, cost effective alternatives.

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FLANDERS, N.J. – The environmental benefits of renewable energy sources are undeniable. With energy costs becoming increasingly volatile, it is more important than ever to find stable, cost effective alternatives. The good news is that there has never been a better time for companies to use solar electric solutions to achieve energy goals now and into the future. With the existing 30% government grant, SRECs (solar renewable energy credits) and power cost savings, solar energy now makes economic sense as well.

The production of solar panels, whether it is thin film or conventional crystalline silicon, require the use of several types of industrial lasers. Lasers in the manufacture of solar panels is a rapidly expanding business. Industrial lasers enable specific manufacturing procedures which produce faster and more efficient solar panels which in turn help bring down the price per panel while increasing panel efficiencies. Bringing down the price per panel is the key to the implementation of existing and future solar energy generation systems.

Haas Laser Technologies Inc., Flanders, N.J., being in the business of providing laser beam delivery systems for solar panel manufacturing, has always recognized the importance of alternative energy solutions and clean energy. “Solar energy generation has been a goal for several years.” said Gilbert Haas, president. “It’s simply the right thing to do.”

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Solar energy generation is simply the right thing to do. — Gilbert Haas

Thus, on September 1, 2011, Haas Laser Technologies completed the installation of a roof-top solar energy generation system.

With better efficiency than thin film solar panels, conventional crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels were selected for the system. Given the space limitations of a roof-top installation, the most efficient (20%) panels on the market from Sunpower in California were selected. Subsequently, this tried and true solar technology provides the best long-term return on investment. In addition Haas said; “I strongly feel that with federal government support of renewable energy projects, the only viable option should be with a supplier in the US.”

Given the 25 year warranty of the Sunpower panels, many additional preparations were required prior to the installation. First, and as the base for the solar panels, a new white membrane roof was installed. The membrane was installed over insulating board to provide additional insulating efficiencies. The roof system reflects the sun’s rays during the summer and helps insulate during the winter. Since the Sunpower solar panels are a self-ballasted design, there are no penetrations in the roof to compromise the 30-year roof system warranty.

The solar system installation is designed to return energy back to the grid. Thus, the system overproduces during the day, supplying energy back to the grid. During the night, energy is drawn back from the grid. In this way no battery energy storage systems are required. The system is monitored by the utility via net metering.

Since solar production is restricted by regulations, production is limited to not exceed the current usage. So, a 274,000 kWh/yr system was installed using 777 Sunpower T5 PV panels. The system is expected to reduce 209 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equal to planting 4,875 trees, or 21,237 gallons of gasoline. The solar production will supply 100% of Haas Laser Technologies’ current power requirements. For the project’s warranted 25 year system lifetime, a 2.6 year ROI is anticipated for the $1.5M total investment.

In this case, the most advanced, high energy producing USA-made solar panels were used. This yielded the company the solar production required to meet the current demand. Less efficient solar panels would require additional space or future upgrades to meet the demand.

By using clean, renewable energy, Haas Laser Technologies has set a corporate example that demonstrates its commitment and responsibility to the environment while supporting American manufacturing and the industrial laser industry.

For more information, contact Gilbert Haas (ghaas@haaslti.com).

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