After more than two years of collaboration, 3M Renewable Energy and tenKsolar are celebrating a number of milestones in increasing energy generation from commercial rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays. In 2011, the two companies first combined the tenKsolar RAIS® commercial solar array with 3M™ Cool Mirror Film 330. This system is able to generate up to 45 percent more annual energy per square foot of rooftop than a typical installation with a conventional solar array, while at the same time reducing PV energy costs and providing net energy savings to buildings by reducing rooftop temperatures.
3M and tenKsolar provide productive commercial rooftop system using 3M Cool Mirror Film and tenKsolar photovoltaics. (Photo: tenKsolar)
Today, tenKsolar and 3M are pleased to report that more than 200 installations have been installed at locations across the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., the company has enjoyed easy access to its neighbors at 3M, and has also installed a grid-tied tenKsolar RAIS® solar PV (photovoltaic) array at the 3M facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. A key aspect of tenK’s ability to offer a substantial gain in power and energy generation is a result of the close collaboration between 3M and tenKsolar engineers. Through that collaboration, 3M designed the Cool Mirror Film 330, an all-polymeric mirror film, to offer a low photopic reflectance with minimal heat reflection. The use of the Cool Mirror Film 330, in combination with tenK’s shade tolerant PV modules, allow tenKsolar PV systems to accept non-uniform reflection and as a result provide energy at a lower cost than solar PV system that use only conventional PV modules. Representatives from both 3M and tenKsolar will be available for joint interviews at the Solar Power International show, October 21-24 in Chicago, Ill.