Green technology: Renovation of this property included a new roof which provided the opportunity for Alternative Energy Systems to incorporate in to the roof structure photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and so avoid  the usual practice of installing the on roof mounts. *Photo supplied
Green technology: Renovation of this property included a new roof which provided the opportunity for Alternative Energy Systems to incorporate in to the roof structure photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and so avoid  the usual practice of installing the on roof mounts. *Photo supplied
In the January 2011 issue of Bermudian Business magazine, Alternative Energy Systems (AES) was named as the ‘one to Watch’ for innovation and forward thinking in the solar energy market. It is now only April, but AES has given Bermuda something to look at.

When Stewart Minors and his wife, Minister of Business Development and Tourism Patrice K. Minors, decided to renovate their home, it presented the perfect opportunity to integrate some of the newest green technologies.

Since the renovation included adding a second storey to the house, a new roof would have to be constructed, making it a convenient time to incorporate solar energy into the home.

In the early planning stages, my company, Alternative Energy Systems, was enlisted to design, engineer and implement a renewable energy system with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof.

We enthusiastically took on the job and set about drafting new ideas for adapting solar panels to Bermuda’s unique architecture. The end result: AES has completed Bermuda’s first-ever installation in which the solar panels are actually built into the roof structure.

Traditionally, solar panels are installed to sit a few inches above and parallel to the roof surface to catch the sun’s rays.

The direct current (DC) energy produced by the panels is then sent through an inverter that changes it into alternating current (AC) electricity that can power any appliance within the home.

With this latest installation, AES has now invented and engineered a method whereby the solar panels can be integrated into the roof and sit flush with the surface, and therefore be part of the roof structure.

Worldwide, solar energy is a fast paced industry, and AES makes it a priority to lead the market in Bermuda with products and services that are cutting edge and innovative.

By using the world’s most powerful and efficient solar panels and then developing a method for integrating them into a beautiful Bermuda roof, AES has been able to combine power and elegance into its engineering portfolio.

For some, this new way of mounting solar panels into the roof may be more aesthetically pleasing, however, this method has been engineered to consider all aspects and concerns so as to provide peace of mind for the client.

The roof is structurally sound and leak proof and there is no noise from rain falling onto the panels. In addition, integrating the panels to sit flush with the surface greatly increases their wind resistance.

The efficiency of the panels has not been compromised because AES has engineered a solar cooling system that has been integrated seamlessly into the design and installation of the solar array.

AES is a certified and authorized SunPower dealer. SunPower manufactures the highest efficiency and most powerful solar panels available in the world.

In fact, SunPower’s state-of-the-art panel design employs their patented MAXEON technology to provide up to 50 per cent more energy than conventional panels, such as GE, Sharp, and Sanyo, to name a few.

For this installation, AES used the all-black SunPower 225 watt e-19 panels for their contrasting aesthetic appeal.

Working on a project like this in which we’re able to push the envelope of technology is why I got into this business.

That, and the goal of helping Bermuda to reduce its carbon footprint, is what fuel my passion to be an advocate for environmental change. To date, AES has installed 75 kW of residential SunPower solar systems and has a further 120 kW under contract.

From the perspective of AES, Bermuda has a bright future with solar.