ABSOLUTE STEEL fabricates a variety of steel frame carport systems that accommodate photovoltaic arrays (solar panels). Their carport frame systems are in use by some of the largest names in the solar industry. As well, the company offers smaller scaled homeowner systems that handle as little as two cars at a time.
Parking lot shade canopies in urban areas are a natural location for situating solar power panels. The panels can easily be oriented to the sun, optimizing power production when it’s needed most.
Solar panels have found a promising new home on canopies above the parking lots commonly adjacent to commercial and industrial buildings. And there, they not only produce needed clean energy, they also provide shade for parked cars and inhibit much of the nighttime “burn-off” caused by heat-retaining asphalt and thermal heat islands around our urban areas.
Most municipal zoning ordinances already require a minimum number of parking spaces in relation to the square footage of the building the lot is to service. They regulate the size of the parking spaces, the quantity of them, and the surrounding landscape.
From a municipal point of view there’s an even more compelling reason to require solar powered parking lots and that’s because they provide a decentralized source of backup electricity in the event of a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Adding a solar requirement for all new commercial parking structures is the right thing to do in any city and should be done. It gives us clean, renewable energy and less dependence on foreign oil.