Skyline Solar Arizona Test Site

~2.2 kW (kiloWatt) system at the Tucson Electric Power Solar Test Field.

From Skyline Solar Arizona Test Site, Photo Credit: Barker Morrissey Contracting

When I heard Skyline Solar, Inc. mentioned an Arizona test site during their presentation at Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations Fall 2009, I was all over it. Later, I found BARKER MORRISSEY Contracting had installed a Skyline Solar High Gain Solar (HGS) Array at the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) Solar Test Field on East Irvington Road in Tucson, Arizona USA.

View Larger Map

As noted in Skyline Solar Test Site:

The project included the detailed installation of Skyline’s single axis tracker. This tracker consists of highly reflective metal sheets on top of reflective racks that direct light to Skyline’s High Gain Solar Panels.

I understand the HGS Array was installed in mid to late July and turned over to TEP around August 2009. It was supposed to have taken two days to excavate and pour the tracker footings and less than a day to install the HGS trackers.

In “The Power of Partnerships” by Lew Serviss for The University of Arizona’s Arizona Engineering Online, the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE) partnered with Tucson Electric Power, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE:UNS), “on a program to monitor the efficiency of solar panels at TEP’s test yard.

Per the above photo and my calculations from In Search of Skyline Solar – Part 3, I estimate the system capacity is 2.2 kW assuming the same module rating of 71 Wp (Watt-peak). While I heard from TEP Public Relations the Skyline Solar HGS installation had a system capacity of 22 kW, the information was contradicted by the BARKER MORRISSEY photo and AzRISE sources.

In the spirit of partnership, TEP decided to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the Skyline Solar HGS solution, and Skyline Solar was interested in independent third party testing conducted by AzRISE. AzRISE will monitor the HGS Array and analyze and compare the output to single sun silicon solar modules.

At a second test yard, TEP will evaluate other single and dual axis tracking photovoltaic systems. Larger project plans include “TEP Unveils Plans for Giant Photovoltaic Array and New Solar Power Plant” for a 25 MW (MegaWatt) photovoltaic (PV) array as well as a 5 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant slated for completion by January 2012 and “TEP Seeks Federal Stimulus Funding for “Bright Tucson” Solar Project” for “energy storage systems and a “demand response” program to optimize the output of a new 1.6-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) array.

Skyline Solar chose not to acknowledge or respond to my questions about the test site. While curious, I was not surprised. Despite (4) four dedicated posts about Skyline Solar, the Blog does not even get a Skyline Solar In The News reference implying GUNTHER Portfolio must be =the= place for analytic Skyline Solar coverage.

Please don’t forget to vote in the new sidebar PV POLL: Will Skyline Solar’s High Gain Solar (HGS) approach succeed?

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.