[The Delta uses] not only a solar racking system on the roof but a solar skin (they look like windows, but really, they’re a solar skin), which means that ambient light is enough…to power the building. Even without southern exposure, which is generally essential for traditional solar capture, this thing powers itself.
ET: It sounds like what you’re saying here is that in a dense, urban environment with unique challenges, the solution is to use unique technology. On that note: at what point were the partners brought in on this project? What role do/did they play in developing it?
Sharp, Samsung and others were approached early in the process, as their technical ingenuity helped lay the groundwork for this first-of-its-kind development. Sharp, for example, has been a major player in the solar market, having famously developed the first pocket calculator to run on solar power. Urban Green Energy
supplied the vertical axis wind turbine; they work with GE, BMW and others to generate power for electric cars, businesses and homes.
The Delta’s Rooftop Solar Racking System was provided by Schletter; its Solar Skin was provided by Tianwei; its Solar Thermal Panels (on the exterior of the building) were provided by SunMaxx; and its combiner boxes, sub-array combiners (re-combiners), disconnects, cables and PV system performance monitoring solutions came courtesy of Solar BOS. The building also makes use of Tilt Turn Windows from Solar Innovations, which are integral to its sound-dampening and heat-preserving qualities.
The Delta was inspired by Mayor Bloomberg’s effort, released in 2007, to “prepare the city for one million more residents, strengthen [NYC's] economy, combat climate change, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.” [You can view the full PDF of PlaNYC here
.] This is truly the first NYC development in the private sector to entirely power itself.