Clean Power

Published on February 25th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


SolarPod Crown Solves Multiple Rooftop Solar Issues At Once

February 25th, 2014 by  

Mouli Vaidyanathan of SolarPod recently contacted me to let me know about a new development from his Minnesota-based solar panel company. Mouli, PhD & PE, has over 20 years of engineering experience in “state of the art semiconductor yield engineering, failure analysis, and product design.” But he also brought in two PhD scientists & an engineer from an independent company for his latest solar technology improvements.

Before getting to the new development, let me share the challenge that triggered it:

A homeowner in Sunnyvale, California—a retired Intel engineer who had worked in the semiconductor industry for 35 years—“challenged us to place solar on his roof with the criteria: (1) the home was over 60 years old and needed a new roof in a few years, (2) wanted a modular solar system design to expand for later and (3) least penetrations so he can easily remove and place the solar system,” Mouli said. And the SolarPod team apparently did so.

solarpod crown

“Until now placing solar panels on the gable roof came with endless worries. Would the roof leak due to penetrations? Would it cost too much? Would I end up having to replace the roof? Not anymore. Mouli Engineering is introducing the SolarPodTM Crown. No longer do you need to make penetrations on the gable roof. A very smartly designed (patent pending) solar panel assembly on the gable roof that minimizes wind uplift through smart aerodynamics and state of the art load transfer makes the SolarPodTM Crown unique. The lower installation time, significant cost savings in installation labor, and drastically reduced insurance costs along with colored solar panels and framing to match the roof are some of the added benefits and features of this new design.”

I’m not an engineer and don’t often cover the engineering side of things, but this looks like another nice advancement from SolarPod. Chime in below if you have more involvement in this arena and feel compelled to do so. And if you have some specific (and reasonable) questions for Mouli, I’m sure he’ll answer them for you.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • SolarPod

    This is a system that has no penetrations.

  • SolarPod

    Key advantages are:
    1. Without penetrations, the roof integrity is preserved.
    2. Lower installed cost.
    3. Lower insurance. Hail damage in other parts (north facing roof without panels) means the entire roof may need replacement. The removal and re-installation is lower cost therefor lower insurance.

  • Matt

    Going to replace the roof in two years? Surely his total cost would have been better to replace roof then install panels. Even if he used this “new” approach.

    • jeffhre

      If it truly is a plug and power unit (snap in fittings) with lift in place no drilling installation – perhaps not. A few to half dozen years of paid up power before replacing the roof may just be worth it. I could imagine a lot of folks saying: I want solar but I need to replace the roof first. And the roof still has a few more serviceable years left, but not nearly enough to match a 20 year warranty on solar panels. So I’ll wait.

  • Pat

    Excellent! I’ll have to follow up on this as it addresses some of my DIY concerns.

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