In recent months, SunPower launched its Helix™ platform, the first fully-integrated commercial solar solution combining solar power production and energy management. This is a pre-engineered, modular solution designed to help facility managers scale their renewable energy programs quickly with minimal business disruption.
With standardized Helix components, SunPower focused on eliminating the inefficiencies and added costs of complex system design. This aims to enable facility managers to easily and intelligently manage their energy use and costs and maximize solar power production over the long-term. Features of the Helix system include:
SunPower solar panels: These efficient panels produce 60% more energy from the same space over the first 25 years than conventional panels. SunPower panels are the first and only solar panels in the world to receive the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver designation.
Mounting hardware that maximizes roof coverage
Plug-and-play power station — the only one available in the U.S. commercial solar market — eliminates the need to strip and land wires on site, reducing labor costs during installation and improving reliability (see more below). The Helix Roof system requires 67% fewer field connections compared to conventional commercial rooftop systems.
SunPower® EnergyLink™ is a comprehensive, powerful energy intelligence software (EIS) for solar, which, unlike other EIS products, quantifies real time demand charge savings, and identifies demand peaks and savings opportunities.
This week, the company announced that Helix can be installed at least two and a half times faster than competing commercial rooftop solar power systems currently available. As measured by DNV GL, a global independent energy expert and certification body, the SunPower Helix Roof ST product is installed at more than 33 panels per installer hour. Leading competitive commercial rooftop systems have publicly reported maximum install speeds of 12 to 13 panels per installer hour. DNV GL conducted a Mounting System Installation Efficiency Test in December 2015 on a 21.6-kilowatt (DC) rooftop system composed of 66 high efficiency SunPower solar panels. The 3-person team of solar installers had no previous experience installing a Helix system
Bed Bath & Beyond is one of SunPower’s first Helix customers, with construction beginning on eight stores during 2016. This retailer launched its solar program in 2006, and currently generates a total of 17.5 megawatts from SunPower systems on 26 facilities in four states. Robert Eckhardt, head of architecture and renewables development for Bed Bath & Beyond, commented, “The cost savings we expect to see with the new SunPower Helix systems, such as plug-and-play power stations that greatly reduce installation time, will enable Bed Bath & Beyond to grow our solar program more quickly, delivering operational savings at more of our facilities.”