Envision Solar has expanded its product line of photovoltaic shade structures to include two "flat-pack" easy to install modular shade structures, each with eight solar panels providing 1.4 kilowatt of clean energy.
The LifeTree™ is a single post steel structure with a cantilevered canopy, and the LifeShade™ is a four-post structure made of Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sustainable wood. Both are an attractive and functional application of solar power that provides recreational shade, without a requirement for a complex and invasive rooftop installation. The structures are shipped in easy to assemble components and include solar power modules, micro-inverters, and access to an online real-time tracking system to monitor production of clean energy. The structures are anchored in post-holes by concrete, in much the same way that basketball hoops or flagpoles are installed, and a local electrician can connect the AC wiring from the structure to the house meter.
Micro-inverters convert the energy from the sun into usable alternating current at each module, eliminating the need for a bulky inverter on the side of the building at the meter and making connection to the meter a less costly undertaking.