Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Solar Power System Expected to Bring Significant Savings to Naval Shipyard

From Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) completed installation of a $1.7 million photovoltaic (PV) system, June 1.

The new system is anticipated to reduce the facility's electric bill by $89,000 per year.

Nearly 1,300 solar panels were installed on the rooftop of Building 167, generating at least 250 kilowatts of power during peak daylight hours, or more than 455,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

"Hawaii depends on petroleum for nearly 90 percent of its energy requirements," said Shipyard Commander Capt. Brian Osgood. "This photovoltaic system uses the power of the sun as a long-term source of environmentally clean, renewable energy. It's another step toward making the shipyard and the Navy less dependent on oil."

PHNSY & IMF Other Procurement, Navy, Program/Project Manager Tiffany Nekota said the PV system has a life of more than 25 years and will maintain a minimum of 80 percent of its peak output even at the end of the system's lifespan.

Nekota said the new system is "grid-tied," meaning power generated by the system feeds into the building's existing electrical system. A weather station, DC-to-AC power conversion, monitoring, safety, interlock and shut-off capabilities are all part of the system.

About 20,000 square feet of rooftop are covered with solar panels, but pedestrians at ground level will barely notice the change.

"One of the considerations in the design was to preserve the historical nature of the building," Nekota said.

PHNSY & IMF Energy Conservation Manager Fred Nelson said the PV project helps the shipyard support secretary of the Navy's goal to have at least half of shore-based energy come from alternate sources; and helps meet federal regulations requiring agencies to reduce per-square-foot energy consumption in buildings by 3 percent per year.

PHNSY & IMF, one of four naval shipyards, is a full-service naval shipyard and regional maintenance center for the Navy's surface ships and submarines. It is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command that engineers, builds, buys and maintains naval ships, submarines and their combat systems. Strategically located in the mid-Pacific, PHNSY & IMF is about a week of steam time closer to potential major regional contingencies in East Asia than sites on the West Coast.

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