The solar industry has been somewhat impacted by the tariffs placed on steel imports, but that doesn’t mean the industry is dead. Quite the opposite, in fact—there continue to be brand new innovations in the field, and there are many more people and businesses that are looking to implement solar power on their properties.
As we enter a brand-new year, let’s take a look at what structural steel fabricators in Indiana and beyond can expect to be some of the biggest solar trends that will influence the energy industry in the year to come.
Solar-powered businesses, schools and organizations
Schools are a natural fit for solar power solutions, because the sun is out the entire time schools are in session. There is a growing number of schools throughout the nation that are implementing solar energy systems, allowing them to save a significant amount of money on their monthly electric bills. These schools are also able to benefit from special solar grants for schools, increasing their savings potential.
For corporations, these savings are also highly beneficial, and they too have the potential to benefit from some tax credits and federal grants. Currently, the top 25 corporate solar users in the United States (including major companies such as Target, Walmart and Apple) have already implemented more than a gigawatt (GW) of solar power in their facilities, which is enough electricity to power more than 193,000 homes. This is just the beginning when it comes to the use of solar power in corporate locations.
Solar trackers are becoming more popular as well. These pieces of equipment help solar installations maximize the amount of energy they can collect from direct sunlight, as they “track” the path of the sun throughout the day. Some studies indicate that trackers, depending on where they’re geographically located, can increase exposure to direct sunlight by as much as 10 to 25 percent.
There are both single-axis and dual-axis solar trackers, the former of which rotate on a single axis and move horizontally, vertically or in polar aligned or tilted directions, whereas the latter of which move horizontally and vertically to always face the sun.
These trackers also help to maximize (or roof) usage, because while they take up the same amount of space as a fixed system, they still create more energy because they track the path of the sun.
Off-grid solar products are also exploding in demand, both in residential and commercial applications. This field of products generated more than $1 billion in revenue in 2017, and they’re only becoming more popular. These types of products typically are used to power appliances in smaller properties, such as cabins or mobile homes.
For more information about some of the biggest trends in the solar power industry and how you can expect solar energy to evolve in the coming year, we encourage you to contact the metal fabricators in Indiana at Benchmark Fabricated Steel with any questions you have for our team. We look forward to working with you soon!
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