SunPower introduces "kit" commercial rooftop system

The fast growing commercial rooftop market continues to present opportunities and SunPower has released its Helix platform to cater to the space. Helix combines SunPower’s high efficiency modules, dual tilt racking that modules can be clipped into, factory installed connectors, bespoke cable management system and SunPower’s EnergyLink monitoring software. SunPower offers its 25-year power and product warranty with the Helix system.

Long-time SunPower customer Bed Bath & Beyond will deploy the Helix package on eight stores in early 2016. The U.S. homeware retailer has already installed 17.5 MW of SunPower modules across 26 of its buildings.

"The cost savings we expect to see with the new SunPower Helix systems, such as plug-and-play power stations that greatly reduce installation time, will enable Bed Bath & Beyond to grow our solar program more quickly, delivering operational savings at more of our facilities," said Robert Eckhardt, head of architecture and renewables development for Bed Bath & Beyond, in a statement from SunPower.

"With standardized Helix components, we have eliminated the inefficiencies and added costs of complex system design," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "Helix makes the complex simple, allowing our commercial and public agency customers to easily and intelligently manage their energy use and costs and maximize solar power production over the long-term."

SunPower reports that it has already sold 20 MW of Helix systems, with shipments to begin in 2016. SunPower claims that the Helix system is the first “full-integrated commercial solar solution combining solar power production and energy management.”

Commercial PV kits are not, however, entirely new to the market with Japanese thin film producer Solar Frontier offering its PowerSet Industrial systems, that are available in either 21 kWp or 33 kWp blocks. Solar Frontier offers its PowerSet kits with 10 years of free monitoring over its platform.

Germany’s SolarWorld has also offered its Kit Easy systems since 2013. Offered with either Kostal or SMA inverters, the Kit Easy is offered in 12, 16, 20 or 24-module configurations, up to a capacity of 6 kW.