A Convenient Truth 

Local plant is the largest U.S. manufacturer of solar panels.

Memphis has a reputation for its weather: hot and humid for more of the year than we'd like.

The folks at Sharp Manufacturing Company of America don't think that's bad at all. That's because they manufacture photovoltaic modules — solar panels that thrive on the sunniest of days.

Sharp's Memphis plant's output is tens of thousands of modules per month, making it the largest manufacturer of photovoltaic modules in the United States. What's more, with earth-friendly technology prices coming down and efficiency going up, going green is hotter than ever.

"We can't make enough of them [to keep up with demand]," says Randy Johnson, Sharp's senior director of solar engineering.

The modules — made up of dozens of individual silicon cells — are mounted together to form a solar array, which converts sunlight to DC electricity, which can then be inverted to AC for use in a residential or commercial building or by a utility.

"It's elegantly simple," Johnson says. "There are no moving parts, and it's easy to hook up." A typical solar array can produce about 3,000 watts in peak sun, creating enough power to generate one- to two-thirds of the electrical needs of a moderately sized house.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Fun Money

      Locals, tourists invest in good times here.
    • Creative Process

      Memphis Brooks Museum of Art leader talks about the decision to consider leaving Overton Park.

Blogs

News Blog

Suit Targets 'Destructive' Drivers License Policy

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

News Blog

Task Force Considers Medical Cannabis

News Blog

Trolleys Return to the Tracks for Testing

Music Blog

Jessi Zazu: In Memoriam

Beyond the Arc

Deflections: The Roster, TV Angst, and The Buy/Sell Clause

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

The Vietnam War

We Saw You

Cooper-Young Fest, Big Bugs, Art of Caring

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Greg Akers

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation