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SUD Renovables Pilots Vertical Solar Panels on Warehouse Rooftop in Barcelona

SUD Renovables, a Spanish company, is conducting a novel experiment by installing vertical solar panels on the roof of its Avinyó warehouse in Barcelona, Spain. The system, featuring two 500W P6 panels from SunPower and two IQ8P microinverters from Enphase Energy, aims to validate the performance of this unconventional setup.


Manel Romero, associate director of Sud Renovables, explains that the mounting structures were specifically designed to accommodate the wind characteristics of the region, using stainless steel materials. One panel faces east and the other west, each equipped with its own Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system to operate independently.


Romero notes that while vertical panels may seem unusual, they are exploring their potential, particularly in applications like agrivoltaic systems, arrays on acoustic barriers along highways, fences, or building facades. Despite acknowledging that vertical panels may not be ideal in low latitude regions like Spain, the company aims to test and validate their performance for potential future applications.


Vertical panel installations pose challenges such as wind exposure, but Sud Renovables emphasizes the importance of appropriate mounting structures to ensure durability and performance. Romero suggests that the use of smaller panels and careful installation without obstructive objects behind them can mitigate these challenges.


The unique production curve of vertical panels, with morning and afternoon peaks instead of a midday peak, offers advantages such as maximum power output during cooler temperatures and reduced cleaning costs due to less accumulation of dirt. Additionally, the two peaks align with higher electricity prices during peak periods, making them advantageous for self-consumption setups.


Sud Renovables’ innovative experiment with vertical solar panels showcases the company’s commitment to exploring new possibilities in renewable energy. While facing challenges, such as wind exposure, the potential benefits, including optimized energy production and cost savings, make vertical panel installations an intriguing avenue for further research and application.

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