A Clever Solar Solution for Tiny Urban Spaces

A collaboration between Brooklyn SolarWorks and SITU Studio, the Solar Canopy is a new concept in solar energy design that specifically maximizes rooftop solar power in dense urban environments such as New York City, while at the same time lowering energy bills and power requirements for city dwellers.

Taking on the challenges of bringing solar power into a crowded urban realm, the canopy addresses the difficulties of strict code regulations, rooftop obstructions and the load requirements of taller buildings and perhaps the biggest challenge of all in cites like New York, lack of rooftop space, particularly after you have accountant for equipment, plant, skylights and access hatches. “If you want to lay solar panels flat on the roof, you really don’t have a whole lot of usable space. You wind up with these really small solar systems, maybe 10 panels or something like that. explains T.R. Ludwig, co-founder of Brooklyn SolarWorks.

Their solution? Raising the solar panels, 10 feet or so above the roof level in the form of a canopy that rises above New York’s building codes while maximizing the area dedicated to solar panels.

The structure itself made up of PV solar panels affixed to a lightweight and adjustable aluminium frame. There are further plenty of opportunities to slant the roof canopy in order to maximize exposure to the sun.

Replicable while also customizable, each design is custom tailored to further include factors such as external structure, foliage, roof penetrations, roof access and maximum wind and now loads, all while using as little material as possible.

You can watch the installation of a Solar Canopy in Brooklyn here.

Brooklyn SolarWorks hopes to expand to other cities with older apartment buildings, from Boston to Chicago.