A Solar Innovation Could Turn Rooftops Into Moneymakers

There are certain things you’d expect to hinder solar panels’ ability to generate electricity, such as cloudy days. But for serial technology entrepreneur Bill Gross, wind is the main adversary.

“Wind is the enemy of solar,” said Gross, noting it can blow lightweight but expensive solar panels right off the roof.

That’s not an issue when photovoltaic panels are deployed on big solar farms, as they’re anchored to the ground with heavy-duty steel and concrete. Such a solution is too heavy for residential and commercial rooftops, however, and solar panels must be either installed nearly flush to avoid catching wind or anchored at a slight angle—a design that severely limits the amount of energy the panels can capture from the sun as it moves across the sky.

Motors allow ground-mounted solar panels to track the sun, and now Gross’ California-based start-up, Edisun Microgrids, has developed technology to allow panels installed on rooftops to do the same. The result: a 30 percent boost in rooftop electricity production, the company claims. If so, that could be a game changer, accelerating the switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels.

Read the entire article at takepart.com