Google's Solar Power Installation


Anthony Ravitz is talking about how Google installed 1.6MW of solar panels at their headquarters. He starts by talking about all of Google's green initiatives.

The solar project, with financial incentives from PG&E, has a payback of 7.5 years. Solar works best at the same times that peak power is needed.

Google's is the largest commercial installation of solar in the US. It uses 9212 Sharp 208 photovoltaic modules. The modules we put on standing metal seam roofs. On sloped roofs, they're mounted flat on the southface, but on the north face, they're kicked up. On flat roofs, they're kicked up to face south. Shading part of the panel dramatically drops power production, not just proportional to the portion shaded. Google built carports to increase the roof capacity so they could put more panels in.

The modules are strung together in a series of fourteen modules and then fed to an inverter. They have outdoor rated cable, so conduit is not required. The inverters look like they're mounted on the roofs outdoors. The installation is relatively straightforward.