The new 150-kilowatt array of solar panels to be installed atop Torresen Marine�s facility in Muskegon, Mich., starting the last week of April will be the highest-output solar system installed to date in Michigan.
Chart House Energy, Chicago, is the project’s general contractor.
Inovateus Solar of South Bend, Ind., is supplying the solar panels, which are made by Scheuten Solar USA, whose parent company is headquartered in the Netherlands. This is the first installation of Scheuten solar panels in the U.S.
The array of 750 panels, each about 2.5 ft wide by 4 ft tall and weighing about 30 lb, will take 17 workers about one and a half weeks to install on the 28,000-sq-ft roof of Torresen Marine’s sailboat storage facility near the Lake Michigan shoreline in Muskegon.
The $740,000 project will provide 30% of Torrensen Marine’s electricity or the equivalent of the power needed for 20 average homes.
Producing that amount of electricity by solar power will eliminate as much CO2 each year as taking 25 cars off the road, says Inovateus Director of Engineering Tim Polega. Polega says the system should pay for itself in eight to 10 years.
The panels are designed to withstand the rugged Upper Midwest weather that includes snow, ice and wind. They will withstand 110 psf loadings and use 4 mm-thick glass that’s 25% thicker than the 3.2 mm industry standard. The panels and mounts are designed to withstand the region’s gusty winds and the panels will be mounted at an angle that maximizes exposure to the sun and sloughs off snow build-up.
The system immediately will alert Inovateus by e-mail if the array’s output decreases for any reason, says J.P. Von Rahl, Inovateus’ director of project management. Maintenance will consist of a cleaning and electrical test once a year.
“Torresen was one of the first marinas in Michgan to achieve a certified clean business standard,” says Robert Rafson, president of Chart House Energy. “They recycle waste from the engines, all of their aluminum and stainless-steel waste, and the way in which they operate their business is very eco-friendly, making them a perfect candidate for solar power.”