Lightweight, weatherable and non-conductive properties make polyurethane composites ideal choice for frame of photovoltaic mobile electric generator
Philadelphia, November 19, 2013 — When a strong storm, natural disaster or even man-made event strikes, homes and businesses often lose electricity. While restoring power is always a top priority, the length of a power outage sometimes extends beyond just a few hours to days or even weeks. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Day & Night Solar’s (DNS) Sun Commander® Series 8000, a solar photovoltaic (PV) mobile electric generator with on-grid and off-grid capabilities, can provide power before, during and after an outage.
The frame of this innovative solar solution is formed from polyurethane composites via pultrusion, a continuous, cost-efficient process, utilizing a Bayer MaterialScience LLC polyurethane system that features renewable raw materials. Utilizing the pultruded polyurethane composite enabled DNS to slash the weight of the Sun Commander Series 8000 by ½ ton, according to DNS.
Furthermore, unlike other traditional materials, strong, yet lightweight polyurethane composites will not rot, rust or corrode. Polyurethane composites are non-conductive, which was especially important for this application. As such, using the composite material, combined with all-glass panels, eliminates the need for grounding. It also allows for the use of ballistic glass, which is currently being assessed for panels in security applications.
In the event of a disaster or need for power at a remote location, the Sun Commander Series 8000 can be deployed in under an hour, pulled behind a standard ¾-ton pick-up truck to the site. The solar array consists of 36 x 240 watt all-glass panels, creating a total DC system size of 8.64 kilowatts. When not in off-grid use, the versatile Sun Commander can be plugged into an existing electrical system, helping to cut power usage by reducing demand or pumping power back into the grid.
DNS is a member of Bayer’s EcoCommercial Building (ECB) Network, which is dedicated to bringing together varied disciplines in the pursuit of high-performance buildings. The Collinsville, Ill.-based company is the sole owner of the Sun Commander’s design and has an exclusive relationship with Elite Trailers LLC, the trailer manufacturer; Lifeline Energy, which produces the customized solar panels; and other Bayer collaborators, which pultruded and assembled the polyurethane composite framing components.
The Sun Commander Series 8000, named a 2013 Showstopper at the National Electrical Contractor Association’s (NECA) 2013 convention and trade show last month, is available through NECA contractors. Customers range from homeowners and small businesses to utilities and first responders, such as fire and police departments.
“There is clearly a market for this,” said Bob Eaton, DNS managing partner. “In addition to disaster recovery, contractors who bid on LEED projects can use the Sun Commander to power the job site. This gives them a real advantage over their competitors.”
DNS expects to roll out a tractor-trailer version of the Sun Commander next year, according to Eaton. Longer term, the company plans to open up new opportunities for integrated building products, such as curtain walls, using polyurethane composites. “We see this as part of a special collaboration with Bayer to introduce polyurethane composites into the electrical market,” he explained.
“As a leader in polyurethane chemistry, Bayer is adept at working closely with our customers to provide them with polyurethane raw materials and systems formulated to best meet their needs,” said Paul Platte, manager, Polyurethane Composites, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “The success of this project is a good illustration of how our technical expertise and materials can come together, resulting in the introduction of innovative, new products to the market.”
Attendees at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo can visit Bayer’s booth (#2407) to learn more about the benefits of pultruded polyurethane composites for sustainable construction. As a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced materials for industry, Bayer demonstrates leadership through advancement of health, safety and environmental awareness initiatives, and through development and adoption of best practices for the transportation, storage, handling and disposal of these materials.
About Day & Night Solar:
Day & Night Solar (DNS) is a turn-key solar integrator of high-quality solar technologies to ensure maximum energy production and efficiency. DNS is focused on the supply and delivery of optimized electrical systems that promote the concepts of conservation and rational use of energy through the implementation of the principles of efficiency, sustainability and reliability.
About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,500 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2012 sales of 11.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, security, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, social responsibility and respect for the environment.
For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s polyurethanes, call 412-777-7454 or visit www.bmsnafta.com.
For more information about Day & Night Solar visit www.dayandnightsolar.com/.
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Name: Thomas Erdner