Did you know, the number of electric cars on the roads today in the US is closing in on half a million? More and more drivers around the country have bought in on clean energy and have switched to plug-in vehicles. When this industry began, the only place to charge electric cars was at the owner’s house with specialized outlets. However, with the advances in technology over the last few years, these charging stations have become more efficient and now have expanded outside of the home. Recently there has been a surge of requests for aesthetically pleasing curved solar canopies for use at home or in public venues.
Solar companies are diving into the plug-in-car industry, trying to supply a wide variety of styles of solar carports where these cars can charge. These solar companies have been building structures at malls, gas stations and coffee shops around the country. Many of these structures are being made with curved tubing or curved pipe to give the structure a look that is both practical and pleasing to the eye.
When curved structural shapes support these solar panels, instead of straight pieces, they cut down the assembly time because there is a reduced need to weld or bolt pieces together compared to using straight sections. Advanced bender roller companies have the ability to bend large tubes and pipes with even multiple radii to make the structure assembly in as few pieces as possible.
One of the first Projects Chicago Metal worked on for this industry was the Solar Plug. This project involved 4 rolled pipes to multiple radii to hold a solar panel on top. This project won the 2013 IDEAS2 Merit Award Winner, and is currently in use at Chicago’s Northerly Island. Since then the demand for solar structures has grown at an incredible rate. Chicago Metal has worked with solar companies to create unique structures to fit in homes, as well as for commercial use.
With the continued growth of the electric car industry, the need for solar charging stations is quickly expanding. The best way to find out what is possible when creating a curved solar canopy is to contact a rolling company and speak to an engineer or estimator.