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Industrial Art in Motion - Energy Producing Sculptures Bring Jobs to New Jersey

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image The Power Arbor™ system located at Runnells Specialized Hospital in Berkeley Heights, NJ. The solar tracker bases of the solar installation were designed and manufactured by Sigma Design Company Middlesex, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of WattLots LLC

Giant solar parking canopies are springing up all over NJ. While designed to capture solar power, they also succeed in overpowering their surroundings.  These large, angular structures installed in parking areas typically block the stores and municipal buildings that they service. 

When the team at Sigma Design first saw the rough sketches for the PowerArbor™ they immediately saw that this would be different. Working closely with their client WattLots LLC, the Sigma team developed the detail design and manufacturing package for the PowerArbor™ including the solar trackers whose challenge is to maximize the annual capture of energy. Sigma succeeded in developing the unique rotational capabilities of these trackers, which allow the PowerArbor™ to capture 25% more energy than from traditional stationary canopies. It is amazing to watch the LITEBeam™ PV panels rotating with the arbors following the sun’s path.

The PowerArbor™ parking lot canopy system is designed to harness clean, abundant solar energy, but is also an inspiring blend of industrial art and technology. The structure has grace, fluidity, and curves in all the right places. It is an aesthetic addition to any landscape. Each arbor is on its own pedestal, removing the ‘parking deck’ appearance that is seen in most other installations. 

Besides good looks and performance, Sigma had to make sure that it was structurally safe and sound.  A variety of tests were done to determine its ability to withstand hurricane winds. Then Hurricane Sandy happened. The installation was half installed when it hit—and as expected the system passed the most critical test of all with no damage at all.

The first installation of the PowerArbor™ system can be seen at Runnells Specialized Hospital in Berkeley Heights, NJ. It is estimated that this project will save the hospital $1.7 million dollars over the next three decades. The design, manufacture and installation of this MADE IN NEW JERSEY system was conceived by WattLots, LLC and installation by EMSA Solar. Not only did Sigma Design Company develop the manufactured design they are also the manufacturers of the proprietary solar tracker in Middlesex, NJ. 

For more information about the WattLots PowerArbor™ system, visit:

About Sigma Design Company, LLC - Turning Smart Ideas Into Product Solutions Located in central New Jersey, Sigma Design Company, LLC designs, optimizes and manufactures novel new products in the USA. Sigma’s professional team offers design engineering consulting, failure analysis, human factors design, and rapid prototyping services, as well as new product development, marketing and business development services. The company also offers manufacturing cells that are fully staffed and tooled - from 500 to 10,000 square feet.

The company started in 1962 and was acquired by its current owner in 1999. In October 2011, Sigma Design Company relocated, expanded and opened its “Technology Commercialization and New Product Manufacturing Center" in Middlesex, New Jersey.

CONTACT: Christina Mazza

Marketing Communications

(732) 629-7555  

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