Parking lots are usually asphalt wastelands, but thanks to one Texas-sized idea, they might become fertile energy farms.
The only thing worse than climbing into baking hot car is finding out that your now sizzling-hot electric vehicle has run out of juice. Thanks to the installation of a unique configuration of Solar Trees®, however, these aren't problems employees at Dell's Round Rock, Texas headquarters will have to worry about this summer.
The array, cleverly dubbed a "Solar Grove®," is part of a solar shaded parking lot project that's able to generate more than 130kW of clean electricity directly from the sun each year. The structure, which simultaneously shades 50 parking spaces from the hot Texas sun also incorporates two solar charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).
The design, created by Envision Solar, is part of the company's continued quest to make better use of the millions of unused acres of parking lots all over the United States. Similar "groves" have been planted in other parts of the country that many would assume to be too congested for renewable energy production.
Keocera, Centocor (a Johnson and Johnson company), and a Quick Service Restaurant (above) in Pacific Beach, California, are examples of other locations where solar arrays have been integrated seamlessly into a high density built environment.
Image Credits: Envision Solar International, Inc.