Extending the Reach of Clean, Renewable Solar Energy with SOLIDWORKS


Solar Infra, Inc.

The Company 

The sun rises daily, bathing the earth in clean, dependable energy. Yet, harnessing this renewable resource presents challenges, especially when some of the sunniest regions have environmental conditions that preclude traditional solar modules. Standard solar arrays can usually only be installed 25 miles inland from the coast because of wind, humidity, and salinity exposure. Deep mountain snows and searing desert temperatures also limit solar module placement.

Solar Infra, Inc., a leading manufacturer of solar modules, sought to overcome these limitations and extend the reach of solar power, which is projected to become a $70 billion market by 2013. Working with Sandia National Laboratories and a DC-to-AC inverter manufacturer, the California company embarked on an effort to revolutionize the solar industry through the development of the Solar Infra AC-Enabled (ACE) solar module, a rugged module system with internal DC-to-AC inversion.

The Challenge

Develop rugged solar modules for electricity generation that can withstand extreme environments, last longer due to improved DC-to-AC inversion technology, and extend solar power into previously prohibitive areas.

The Solution

Utilize SOLIDWORKS 3D design and simulation tools to develop an innovative solar module frame that can handle higher temperatures and structural loads without increasing weight.

The Result 

  • Doubled strength of solar module frames
  • Reduced manufacturing costs by 25 percent
  • Saved $100,000 in prototype development costs
  • Extended reach of clean, renewable solar power

"I have used every analysis package during the course of my work. When i want the fastest path to an answer, SOLIDWORKS simulation is my top choice."

Jason Strauch
Engineering Analyst, Sandia National Laboratories