Solar Industry News

Caravan Beads Solarizes Rooftop of Retail Business and Warehouse

Our crews braved some of the worst weather this winter has had to wrap up installation of an expansion for solar at Caravan Beads , a wholesale supplier and retail shop for Miyuki seed beads, delica beads, and C-lon beading thread and cord. The business has been growing since it started as a home-based business in 1991. We installed solar in two phases, first in the fall of 2014 at their 905 Forest Ave location, and most recently at their expanded location 915 Forest Ave.

At a combined 77.6 kilowatts, the two arrays are among the largest rooftop installations currently in Portland, Maine. The somewhat unusual design you see in the photo above is the racking of solar modules to face east/west. On a flat roof, this design allows us to fit more solar panels on the roof. While there is obviously some loss by having the solar panels face off true south, the economics of having more solar panels, even at a slight loss, are more favorable than a smaller array all perfectly oriented. That we would even consider this kind of design is a demonstration of how much the cost of solar panels has dropped in the last five years! A much higher % fraction of a solar project cost is embedded in fixed costs than the actual solar panels these days.

While the system will make a major contribution in reducing electricity bills at Caravan Beads, owner Barry Kahn said it wasn't for himself that he installed the array.

"We installed solar for our gorgeous granddaughter. Faye, this solar array is for you and all the other youngsters who deserve a temperate climate," Kahn said.

Caravan Beads