SPG Solar is working to advance the possibility of solar energy for more companies through its products and training facility.
The company recently opened its Technology and Training Center at Depot Park in Sacramento, Calif., which provides training opportunities for construction crews, engineers and designers
Visitors to the facility are given the opportunity to assemble and install SPG Solar’s SunSeeker single-axis tracker.
The SunSeeker tracker, first used in 2006, was originally designed for use only within SPG’s construction services, according to Bill Elwell, vice president of product sales.
It helps increase the amount of energy output from a solar operation by rotating the panels east to west to keep them directly pointed at the sun.
“It can generate 25% more power by doing this, which helps improve the return on investment,” said Elwell.
The increase depends on some variables, such as location, Ewell said.
“The closer to the equator a system is, the higher the number will go,” he said.
Last summer, the company relaunched the tracker product, making it available to anyone to buy for use with their solar systems.
“It’s been about 50/50 since last year,” Elwell said of the number of outside sales versus inside uses of the product.
The SunSeeker costs more to install than a traditional systems.
It costs about 8% more, Elwell said, but with the additional energy output, the return is still significant.
The company’s training facility is designed to help teach clients how to install and maintain the system.
“Some of my clients want to understand how long it takes to install, and the other clients who will operate it themselves might want to come and learn about long-term maintenance,” Elwell said.
There are five rows of the single axis tracker built at the training facility, and clients can come and take down and reinstall the system for practice.
There are also 3.5 megawatts of the SunSeeker tracker in operation at the location.
So far, Elwell is pleased with the success of the facility.
“It’s been a really good site, we’ve had 20 or 30 different clients there in the last month it has been open,” he said.
In the future, SPG looks to continue to improve its products and expand, according to Elwell.
“We have a wealth of experience and I see us growing our construction business to work with clients, but also possibly pushing other products out of the house,” he said.
The company is working on improvements to help bring down the cost of solar energy options to be more competitive with other energy sources.
Beyond that, they are working on plans to develop additional products.