A New York-based company is building electric-vehicle charging stations that include solar panels in Brooklyn and says it has sold its first, in central Texas.

Pvilion, which was founded last year, says it has installed one of its stations, called the Solar Sail, in Pflugerville, TX, just outside of Austin. The company says Solar Sail's design allows the stations to be custom-built to a location's specifications because Pvilion uses lightweight materials such as solar panels that are just 1/8th of an inch thick. Pvilion CEO Colin Touhey says the stations cost about $85,000 and is promoting them as a way for companies and municipalities to promote their environmentally-friendly efforts.

Solar-powered EV stations are considered the ultimate in green transportation because they allow an electric vehicle to be recharged using renewable energy. Last summer, Mitsubishi Motors unveiled its publicly-accessible solar-powered charging station at its North American headquarters in California. That station, which was built with a system designed by Eaton and includes 96 175-watt photovoltaic modules, cost about $130,000 to build. SolarCity is another company working on this mission.

By 2017, about $4.3 billion will be spent globally on EV charging equipment, up from about $400 million in 2011, green-technology research firm Pike Research said late last year.
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Pvilion uses photovoltaics (PV) to create eco-friendly and innovative architectural structures through a proprietary patent pending technology, seamlessly integrating flexible solar modules and stainless steel. The goal is to incorporate modern materials and technology into architectural design, using thin film solar panels to provide the structure with renewable energy.

After decades of experience in the fabric architecture industry Todd Dalland, Robert Lerner and Colin Touhey started Pvilion in 2011 to create an all-encompassing design, engineering, and manufacturing operation in New York City. Based on the principles of Dalland's original company founded in 1977, Lerner's architecture experience, and Touhey's renewable energy engineering, Pvilion uses tensile structures as the basis for their designs, but to modernize, manufactures flexible PV materials, allowing the sun to generate power to for the structure. Pvilion uses materials that are lightweight and flexible, allowing the product to be manufactured and tested in a Brooklyn factory and transported to the structure's final location. Each design is completely customizable and dependent on the clients' wants and needs.

New York City-based Pvilion Inc. has completed a turnkey solar charging station for battery-powered cars in Pflugerville, Texas, a suburb of Austin, at its new, eco-friendly Renewable Energy Industrial Park. The Solar Sail's flexible, 1/8" thick solar panels are tensioned on flexible stainless steel sheets that provide electricity to the utility grid, even when cars are not charging. The founders of Pvilion, Todd Dalland, Robert Lerner and Colin Touhey designed and built the structure at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and installed it earlier this month. The Solar Sail is the first flexible PV panel charging station of its kind and serves to aide in the promotion of the City of Pflugerville and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation. Floyd Akers, Director of the PCDC said, "The Solar Sail acts as a sculptural, solar energy 'gateway' to our city, as well as our new industrial park." In the past decade, the founders of Pvilion have worked on perfecting their flexible PV panel design and construction technology by working with the most efficient, durable and lightweight new flexible PV cell technologies available, and integrating them with their renowned lightweight building design and manufacturing skills.

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