Solar Technology Reference Guide

By: Aaron Binkley

Release Date: January 2012

The Solar Technology Reference Guide enables commercial property owners to take an active role in deciding which solar panel products are best-suited to install on their buildings. The guide identifies the benefits and limitations of a range of photovoltaic modules (i.e. solar panels) on the market today, such as glass laminate modules, tubular modules, flexible roll thin film modules, fiberglass-backed modules, and concentrator modules. Typical applications and market penetration are reviewed.  

The guide examines the pros and cons of these solar panel products from the vantage point of a commercial property owner. Topics include construction and installation, as well as long-term operational impacts. These are evaluated according to the following characteristics: form factor (dimensions and weight), construction staging, roof protection, roofing types, mounting systems, weight, wind loads, operational life, roof maintenance access, roof wear, and breakage/environmental risks. The guide does not recommend any specific technology over another.