Category 5 hurricanes are becoming more and more frequent and the damage is debilitating for cities and their infrastructure.  Quest Renewables, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), has successfully created a high-wind ground mount to lessen the devastating results and speed up recovery time during these unfortunate weather events. This innovative system, known as Windmaster, is currently rated to withstand 183 mph winds—meaning the system will continue to produce power immediately after the storm passes in the event of a Category 5 hurricane (156 mph+). This gives the community the ability to start restoration efforts much sooner than is typical by today’s standards.

How did we get here?

Quest Renewables designs and develops solar racking systems which enable commercial and utility EPCs and Developers to sell higher-density power producing systems to financiers and site owners.  Our high-density systems increase the rate of return on the investment in a way that is easier, safer, and less disruptive to install.  Our flagship product[LT1] , the QuadPod™ Canopy, has been available on the market since 2014.  The QuadPod is a solar PV canopy (often referred to as a solar carport) which elevates solar panels above-grade and allows for various activities to take place beneath the power production.  The canopy is an ideal secondary source of revenue for utilities or site owners of parking lots, parking decks, park overhangs, dealerships, bus stations, or gas stations.

The Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve affordability, performance, and the value of solar technologies on the grid.  With this mission in mind, The Department of Energy engaged with Quest Renewables to develop Quest’s emerging product, the Windmaster.  The Windmaster utilizes the technology that allows the QuadPod to be so lightweight and durable, yet optimizes its design for the wind-resilient ground mount market.  The Windmaster is capable of withstanding 183+ mph hurricane force winds (Category 5) and producing power immediately after the storm passes.

What’s next?

The Windmaster has undergone extensive development and rigorous testing to achieve its hurricane-strength status. The next phase is to conduct 1-2 projects to bring the Windmaster to life. Quest Renewables is searching for the right pilot partner to help with this mission. The goal is to find a community-focused customer who recognizes resilient solar as a grid-boosting game-changer in areas which are prone to hurricanes, such as Florida and Puerto Rico. Not only will the community benefit from the Windmaster providing more consistent power grid production, but they will also have the ability to start recovery and rebuild efforts even faster, following the event of a hurricane. The Windmaster will become a symbol of strength and resilience to communities that are forward-thinking enough to utilize it. Quest Renewables looks forward to forging new partnerships to make way for an even brighter future.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Small Business Innovation Research program under Award Number DE-SC-00020038.

About the Solar Energy Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, performance, and value of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.

About Quest Renewables

Quest Renewables is passionate about making the world cleaner and more sustainable and is an industry leader in designing, engineering, and fabricating commercial and industrial (C&I) solar canopies. The company’s purpose-built racking solutions enable EPC customers to maximize project performance, eliminate waste and enter new markets. For more information, please visit: https://questrenewables.com/