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.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Eyes on You

      Court says Memphis’ police surveillance violated consent decree.
    • ‘Goodbye to the Past’

      Greenspace clears out more Confederate artifacts from Memphis Park.

Blogs

Music Blog

Jose Feliciano Plays Unannounced Memphis Gig

Hungry Memphis

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Alpha

Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square

News Blog

MATA Looks to Hire More Trolley Operators

Music Blog

Listen Up: Cruelty of the Heavens

News Blog

VIDEO: SUV Driver Swerves Into Cyclists

Intermission Impossible

Ostranders to Honor Memphis Performers Who Died During 2017-18 Season

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Greg Akers

Readers also liked…

  • Bought the Farm

    Tennessee farmers are cashing in on the local food movement.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Behind Closed Doors

    The Memphis City Council has ways of keeping the public in the dark.
    • Mar 22, 2018
  • The Past for the Future

    With a new leader, the Lynching Sites Project will commemorate a silenced death.
    • Jan 12, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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