Submitted by Charles Frost on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 09:05.


US National Archives & Records Administration Facility, Waltham, MA. Photo courtesy of Sika Sarnafil Roofing Systems, Inc.

US National Archives & Records Administration Facility,
Waltham, MA. Photo courtesy of Sika Sarnafil Roofing Systems, Inc.




Submitted by Jeff Buster on April 27, 2007 - 12:50pm.

Norm, notice all the warehouse roof photos are in SoCal.  Several reasons for that: 1.
Calif offers state economic incentives to offset more than 1/2 the cost of the installation.  2.  lots of  sun.  3. Lower latitude allows effective and cheaper flat placement of panels.


May 08, 2007 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SatCon Photovoltaic Inverters Installed at U.S. Government Facility

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SatCon Technology Corporation® (Nasdaq CM: SATC), a developer of power management and system architecture solutions for the alternative energy and distributed power markets today announced that its PowerGate® commercial grade inverters have been installed as an integral part of a 375 kW building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system at the Murphy National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. The
NARA facility demonstrates a completely integrated roof and solar system—the solar panels are the roof. The flexible, flat panel photovoltaic array is heat-welded into the roofing material and qualifies as a "Cool Roof" under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's EnergyStar program.

Solar Integrated Technologies, Inc. provided the building’s 143,000 square feet of integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing system. SatCon’s PowerGate® high-efficiency inverters are a critical component of the system, converting the sun’s energy produced by the photovoltaic panels into alternating current electricity that is used to power the facility. To date, SatCon has shipped more the 30 MW of its industry leading commercial grade inverters in
North America.

"SatCon is pleased to have been selected to supply the inverters for this PV installation at this
US government facility ”, said Clemens van Zeyl, President, SatCon Power Systems. "Our PowerGate® Inverter series, ranging from 30 kW to 500 kW, continues to gain acceptance as the power conditioning system of choice driven by market leading efficiencies, simplicity of design and ease of installation " added van Zeyl.

“As we provide and install BIPV roofing solutions for our
U.S. customers, it is essential that we source inverters that reflect our ‘no compromise’ approach”, stated R. Randall MacEwen, President & CEO of Solar Integrated. “We continue to be attracted to SatCon’s PowerGate® inverter and their partnership approach to business.”...


Photo source here!


An article from their local paper:



Norm - I don't know that we have anyone who would install this sort of system here in the Cleveland area, and you might note that these tend to be very large buildings, much larger than the Star/Hough Bakery facility.

Sorry to be a while in responding to this, I had some personal business that demanded my attention....




Hello Bill!     I am familiar with the US Government's Federal Records Center and will go by and inquire as to the results of this installation.  This is not a conventional rigid PV installation, but a roof membane hybrid PV system  You can see in your photo there is snow on the ground and you can see that the shadow angle in this middle of the day photo is about 45 degrees off the southern horizon.   Do the Trig.(math)  If the best daytime  angle of incidence is 45 degrees, that means it will take 1.41 times as much solar panel surface area to achieve the same output as panels which are oriented 90 degrees to the sun.   Your photo is a good example of your tax dollars working 1.41 times less than they should be.

I didn't say flat solar  couldn't be installed in the north,  but what neither you nor the installer nor the government addresses is the cost effectiveness of this installation.  There cannot be any question that a flat array cannot be as cost effective in Massachusetts as it would be in Florida.  Right?   Perhaps you can post an example of a substantial privately funded flat silicon panel installation in the northern latitudes?

Jeff,How do you measure the


How do you measure the "cost benefit analysis" of the mercury pollution from your "cheaper" coal burning plants into your economic analysis???  How do you factor in the economic impact of the CO2 that is also being spewed out by these sane plants.

How are you going to compute the inflationary impact of those pollutants being addressed by the electric power generating companies, with the resultant costs being passed along to us consumers.

I could be wrong, you could be right, but what I do know is that our children and grand children will be paying the piper because we sat on our hands and said "we couldn't change our polluting habits, because it appeared to be "too expensive" when we did the "cost benefit analysis""

I don't know about you, but I am tired of being "part of the problem".  I want to be "part of the solution", and I've put up my money and reputation to show that I am serious.

10-20 years from now might be a good time to "count your chips while you are sitting at the table", but the game(s) is/are only beginning....

I was not meaning my posting as an attack on you, just your choice of words.  Solar in Cleveland is not an oxymoron, no more than it is in Germany, where they are consuming the entire world's solar production....

If you want to see a working solar array that uses the same material and technology as the "federal money wasting array" in the east, you know where I live, and I would be most happy to give you a tour.




If mercury and atmospheric carbon dioxide are to be most effectively abated, don't you agree that with our limited federal economic resources we need to convert to clean energy in the most efficient way that we can?  Since taking mercury and CO out of the Florida sky by substituting PV for fossil fired electricity is more cost effective than taking mercury and CO out of the sky in Alaska with PV, why the heck would you spend tax dollars to intall PV in Alaska?  Or Massachusetts? 

When all the Government roofs in the southern states are covered with PV, and there is still money left over, that's when the northern roofs should be covered with PV.  Not before.

It just so happens that right across the street from the Federal Records Center is a substantial hill which is owned by the State of Massachusetts.  Before money was spent on flat solar for the Records Center, wouldn't it have made sense to see what the return on investement would be from a wind turbine on that hill vs the ROI of the flat panels?  Did anyone do that comparison?  That's the type of cost benefit analysis that is reasonable, don't you think?  Why spend twice the dollars per KWH produced by flat solar panels if your analysis showed that wind would produce the same KWH for 1/2 as much? 

And, if I remember your photos, your house panels aren't flat to the horizon.

And factor in socially conscious individuals

I think the big drivers for a wide range of advanced energy technologies will be individuals' desires to do what they may - even a little bit helps. So I'm building a car dealership, or design restaurant franchises or drud store chains, or just renovating an old building or putting an addition on a home - I will spend more to go green for good reasons like it is good PR or the preacher said to do it, and that is good. So I think the biggest market force ahead is consumer power production off the grids. A lot of that will and should be solar, even if other places are better for that.

As for federal spending - Bush will be out soon so now is the time to force candidates to outline specific programs they will enact and fund for advaqnced energy developments, including solar. All government buildings should be required to have full solar roofs - everywhere in the country, including retrofits, unless that is not possible or consistent with historic character of a building - that would drive increased investment in solar material R&D and production, leading to breakthroughs in efficiency and cost, improving the value for consumers.

Disrupt IT

can someone fix this page?

It is so wide, I lost the column to the right and have to use the scroll bar to read the comments. I think the issue is in the first post. Not critical, but just curious as to how the pages get this way... Derek? Jeff? Is it just me?

34 Flat Roof Solar Projects

Here are 34 flat roof solar projects, integrated into the Sarnafil membrane roofing: