Award-winning solar design

Dr. Steve Tomlinson and his wife,
Eva, made a decision to incorporating alternative energy into the design of
their new home, looking for a sound design which incorporated their aesthetic

“Like so many others, I have become
increasingly environmentally conscious as planet Earth signals us to do so or
perish,” Dr. Tomlinson said.

“With this mindset I naturally
looked at various forms of alternative energy as Eva and I planned our new
house in Spotts. Arch Solar provided the answers we needed and we chose to
invest in a photovoltaic system,” he said.

“Their professionals were extremely
helpful and we are extremely pleased with the final structure which they
designed. It not only provides enough solar energy for at least half of our
needs but also acts as a protective covering over our pool deck. It is so
aesthetically pleasing that most people don’t realise that it is actually a PV

The Tomlinsons were one of the
first to enjoy the benefits of what is now known as an ‘Arch Solar Trellis,’ a
design that has won awards and has the industry buzzing.

“We take great care to custom
design solar systems that are both state-of-the-art and aesthetically pleasing
for our clients,” Dana Arch, vice president of Arch Solar explained.

“Our vision was to create a unique,
architectural photovoltaic system for Dr. Tomlinson and Ms Eva that would
enhance their beautiful home.”

The 11.9kW system uses 64 Sanyo HIT
Double bifacial solar panels, which capture additional ambient or scattered
light to produce more power.

“We first met with Dr. Tomlinson
shortly after launching our company in the fall of 2008,” said Ms Arch.

“As opposed to the typical
rectangular trellis, Arch Solar staff created a semi-circle design to mirror
the curvature of the pool and fit naturally within the patio and landscaping
plans. The trellis was customised to encase each solar panel exactly to be
weather tight and also incorporated an internal wire chase to allow for a
clean, sleek finish.  The trellis columns
were designed to match the columns on the home for uniformity. The entire
structure is rated to 150 mph [wind speed].”

The Arch Solar Trellis is featured
on the cover of Sanyo’s new global solar brochure.

“Sanyo is pleased to see our
products installed in such an aesthetically pleasing manner, and that our
panels were chosen for this project by Arch Solar,” said Charles Hanasaki, president
of the Solar Division of Sanyo Energy (USA) Corporation.

“With Sanyo’s HIT double solar
panels, our customers are able to generate up to 30 per cent more than our
standard HIT panels, and they can be used in a variety of installation scenarios.”

The Arch Solar Trellis was also
honoured as a design award winner in the category of solar design by Florian
Solar Products, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of custom solar framing
systems. As such, Arch Solar is featured on Florian’s website and in the
company’s upcoming international catalogue.

“We at Florian are very impressed
with this installation,” confirmed Ross Kuenzle, manager of the Solar Division
of Florian Solar Products LLC.

“This is one of the most impressive
installs we have seen so far. This is one of the finest to date throughout the
entire solar industry as far as beauty, efficiency, and multi-use solar structures
are concerned,” he said.

“I’ve personally heard that echoed
throughout most of the solar industry from some of the biggest names. We are
also amazed as to the success of Arch Solar’s installation as it is so complicated,”
he continued.

“Their problem free and timely
completion proved that they are more than a qualified installer. We are pleased
to have Arch Solar representing our products throughout most of the Caribbean
and we here at Florian look forward to seeing them top this marvel. Together we
can help to push the solar world to a new level where solar panels are
attractively installed with multi functions and purposes.”

Arch and Godfrey, the general
contractor for the project, implemented additional energy efficient measures
within the Tomlinson home, including Icynene insulation, a state-of-the-art
foam insulation that improves both energy efficiency and indoor air quality;
Dryvit outsulation, one of the most cost effective and energy efficient
exterior cladding systems; and insulated windows. Home automation and load
management control systems were provided by House Smart Technologies.

Arch Solar also designed and
installed a Heliodyne solar pool heating system, inconspicuously located above
the cabana, to provide extra warmth for the pool.

“If going green feels so good, we
invite others to join the Save the Planet initiative,” Dr. Tomlinson said.
“Arch Solar certainly has the quality workmanship and we are so glad we went to
them in the first place.”

Garth Arch, director of Arch Solar
said: “We have partnered with manufacturers that provide the most efficient and
attractive renewable energy systems that meet our clientele’s desire for
superior performance and innovative design.”


Award winning Arch solar trellis.
Photo: submitted