Moxa's Parking Lot, Roof Go Solar

Everyone knows how hot parking lots get in the summer. All of our sweltering cars and burnt feet on the way to the beach are proof of it. However, as people rush from their cars to air-conditioned buildings, many of them might not think about how the sun also produces a great deal of energy that could be captured and put to use.

One exception is Moxa, which recently installed 1,133 solar panels in a 35,000 ft2 installation over the company's parking lot and roof of its testing lab, training center and warehouse in sunny Brea, Calif. The company bought and renovated the 1980s-era building for its new headquarters, and the solar project was part of the reconstruction.

The banks of 4x2 ft panels from Suntech produce more than 311 kW. Once converted from dc to ac, this solar power is expected to cover all of the electrical needs for Moxa's facility, and save about $6,000 per month. And, besides providing some much-needed shade for cars in the lot, the panels are also powering four car-charging stations for several electric vehicles.

Moxa's Solar Panel Retrofit
Moxa's new solar panel covered parking lot. Brea, California.

The electrical inverter performing the panels' dc-to-ac conversion process is monitored by Moxa's MGate MB3170 Modbus serial-to-Modbus Ethernet data inverter that converts serial data to Ethernet, and displays and aggregates it to help improve performance. Moxa's EDS-405A managed Ethernet switches also acquire data from the car chargers and video cameras that provide surveillance for the panels.

About half of the $1 million bill for the panels was paid by California's Solar Initiative rebate program and by federal tax credits. The project is expected to pay for itself in less than five years. "On cloudy days and at night, we'll still buy some power from the grid. However, overall, these panels will generate revenue for us," said Jim Toepper, Moxa's marketing manager for industrial networking and video solutions. "A lot of people still believe that solar isn't real, but there's no excuse not to use it in California."

In addition to the solar power system, Moxa has implemented other resource conservation efforts, such as low-flow aerators, rain sensors for irrigation, and motion sensors for lighting. The company is also considering retrofitting parking lights to LEDs, and other conservation solutions.

More News:

  • China Adopts EtherCAT as a National Technology Standard

    Chinese company representatives shared experiences about their numerous EtherCAT systems and applications with the audience and explained the benefits realized through implementation.

  • HART-Fieldbus Foundation Marriage Complete

    The final step in constructing a single organization to lead process automation communications and integration technologies was completed at the end of August when the members of both the HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation approved the merger proposed by their respective boards.

  • Use of BYOD Spreads, But Holdouts Remain

    Manufacturing workers are jumping on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) bandwagon,

  • ISA100 Wireless Standard Gains Final IEC Approval

    ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications," has been unanimously approved by the IEC as an international standard

  • Mergers, Acquisitions & Alliances: Danfoss Makes Offer, Hardinge Acquires Assets, and Fanuc and Rockwell Collaborate

    Danfoss made a public tender offer for all shares of the Finnish ac drives company Vacon. Hardinge, international provider of advanced metal-cutting solutions, agreed to acquire the assets of the Voumard internal diameter (ID) grinding business from Peter Wolters GmbH in Rendsburg, Germany. Maverick Technologies, acquired CQS Innovation, a system integrator specializing in control and information systems for life sciences, chemical and metals industries.

  • Belden Advocates Ethernet, Security and Wireless

    The Internet of Things (IoT) and the industrial IoT will use increasingly intelligent network infrastructures, but this will create more risk and increase the need to protect those critical infrastructures and their data. That's why we're investing both organically and through acquisition in Ethernet, security and wireless—so we can help transform this interconnected world.

  • The Future Is Forged at IMTS 2014

    Front and center was large-scale additive manufacturing in the form of the world's first 3D-printed car, which was printed and assembled on-site at the show. The project was a cooperative effort by Local Motors, Cincinnati Inc.; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the University of Tennessee; and IMTS' Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

  • Big Manufacturing Trade-Shows Dominate November Calendar

    There Will be More than 100 Exhibits Featuring Products and Services from Rockwell Automation and its Network of more than 100 Partners.

  • Honeywell OneWireless Takes the Prize for Best Wireless Solution

    The OneWireless Network is designed to enhance efficiency, safety and reliability in business processes. The OneWireless Network offers flexibility and scalability, wire-like performance with wireless security and best-in-class data availability with a low cost of ownership.

  • The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power Hosts International Conference on Workforce Skills Transforming the Fluid Power Industry

    A panel session, featuring Vanderbilt University's Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and Dean of Engineering Philippe Fauchet, will focus on the future of public-private partnerships in innovation, high-technology workforce skills, and ways to accelerate the transition of research to the marketplace.

All news »

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments