FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Source data
Type Paper
Year 2023
Location London, ON, Canada

Open-source technological development is well-known for rapid innovation and providing opportunities to reduce costs and thus increase accessibility for a wide range of products. This is done through distributed manufacturing, in which products are produced close to end users. There is anecdotal evidence that these opportunities are heavily geographically dependent, with some locations unable to acquire components to build open hardware at accessible prices because of trade restrictions, tariffs, taxes, or market availability. Supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this and forced designers to pivot towards a la carte-style design frameworks for critical system components. To further develop this phenomenon, a case study of free and open-source solar photovoltaic (PV) racking systems is provided. Two similar open-source designs made from different materials are compared in terms of capital costs for their detailed bill of materials throughout ten locations in North, Central and South America. The differences in economic optimization showed that the costs of wood-based racks were superior in North America and in some South American countries, while metal was less costly in Central and South America. The results make it clear that open hardware designs would be best to allow for local optimization based on material availability in all designs.


DIY PV Rack Graphical Abstract.jpg

Keywords[edit | edit source]

Sustainable development; Open-source; Photovoltaic; Racking; racking; solar energy; biomaterials; wood; photovoltaic; mechanical design; balance of systems; renewable energy

See also[edit | edit source]

Open Source Photovoltaic Racking Approaches[edit source]


Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.