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A Two-Sided Solar Panel Is Better Than A One-Sided One

Encore Renewable Energy announced today that Vermont’s largest solar canopy to date, built by a public-private partnership for the Science Museum on the Burlington waterfront, has commenced generation of electricity.

The 156kWp solar carport at the ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain employs innovative two-sided panels that capture reflected light as well as the direct rays of the sun, increasing its output.

The solar canopy project required complex engineering. Encore had to design for varying lakefront water levels, high winds, specific truck and bus traffic patterns at the Science Museum, and existing underground infrastructure. Due to ECHO’s location in Burlington’s previously industrialized waterfront, soil and water quality were continuously monitored throughout construction, in strict adherence to the State of Vermont’s regulatory process for environmentally contaminated property.

The project design called for innovative bifacial, or two-sided, solar panels to increase the electricity generated by capturing albedo light, the short-wave solar radiation reflected from the parking lot, parked vehicles and nearby lake surface. This higher output will increase the overall savings for the Science Museum.

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