We were honored to be selected to plan and build the solar pavilion at The Crown restaurant in Brasstown, NC.
Not only does it keep diners shaded, dry, and enjoying amazing views, but it is one of only several hundred water-shedding "bi-facial" solar awnings in the country.
This is a truly unique solar pavilion, custom-built to the location and intended to support The Crown's mission of community and sustainability.
The panels on The Crown's system are dual-glass, meaning there is a plate of clear glass on top of and below the dark solar cells (like a solar cell “sandwich”).
These unusual solar panels absorb the sun from both sides.
This means they capture sunlight from the front of the panel as well as any diffused light that hits the back of the solar cells.
A Unique Project
Bifacial solar awnings/pergolas have appeared as showpieces at the Superbowl and other prestigious events. However, water-shedding-bifacial pergola/awning installations remain rare.
The solar awning at The Crown is one of only several hundred like it in the country today.
Sunny yet Shaded
Although prefabricated solar structure kits exist, The Crown’s system was custom created to match the aesthetic and needs of the location.
The pavilion was designed to take advantage of The Crown's sunny south-west facing location. The solar roof is angled to capture sunlight and maximize energy production at The Crown's latitude.
This allows dappled sunlight to enhance the dining experience while also providing cooling shade midday.
To maximize the open span of the dining area, the 33' x 27' wood structure was designed so that support poles are not required.
The metal racking supporting the panels (on top of the pergola) was also engineered specifically for The Crown project.
Additionally, around one-quarter mile of gasketing runs alongside every panel surface to help diners stay dry during light rains.
The restaurant has an additional solar array on two sections of the south-eastern roof of the restaurant building.
During daylight hours, the solar panel arrays can power the entire restaurant operation, saving money and natural resources.
The Solar Pavilion/Awning System is comprised of 40 x 365-watt/417-watt bifacial solar panels.
The Rootop Solar System is comprised of two subarrays, using a total of 24 x 310-watt monofacial solar panels.
The combined system size is 23.2 kW.