YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East and Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) have installed the largest building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system in the U.S. Navy, which became operational, July 19.
According to CFAY Public Works Department Yokosuka Energy Manager Tom Bawden, more than 1,500 250-watt solar modules were installed which will cumulatively generate up to 396 kilowatts of peak output direct current solar energy on the roof of CFAY's Commissary and Navy Exchange.
"This solar energy feeds directly into CFAY's electric grid," said Bawden. "The modules are copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) technology and are made into flexible solar panels - 'thin film' - that were attached to our, otherwise, unusable curved roof. The adhesive used for the CIGS modules adds a layer of insulation to the building that further reduces heating and cooling energy loss through the roof, providing additional energy savings.
"Also, since it's a multi-layered, waterproof system placed on top of the existing roof, it will extend the useful life of the roof," Bawden continued. "CFAY is proud to be taking such a large leap forward for energy conservation and establishing sustainable infrastructure."
Construction of the BIPV system began in October 2011 and was completed in July 2012. It began producing energy for CFAY July 19.
Bawden explained that the system will produce its maximum kilowatt electricity output during the middle of hot sunny days, which is highly advantageous since CFAY's peak demand typically occurs at the same time.
"To put the energy savings into perspective, the system will generate enough power annually to provide approximately 20 million mobile phone minutes, or power approximately 80 average U.S. homes in California," Bawden added. "When the system is operating at full capacity, it can provide roughly 1 percent of CFAY's energy requirement.
"The project not only moves CFAY towards satisfying the Federal renewable energy mandates and Navy goals, but installing a larger BIPV system takes advantage of economies of scale to produce greater electricity output per unit cost," explained Bawden. "For a base with limited space, utilizing the unused rooftop spaces of some larger facilities for BIPV projects allows CFAY to capture this additional energy-generating opportunity without negatively impacting the mission of the tenant commands or the installation."
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals in October 2009 to improve the Department of the Navy's (DoN) energy security and efficiency, increase its energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy. This initiative assists in achieving DoN's energy goal of increasing alternative energy afloat and ashore by 2020, producing at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources and having 50 percent of DoN installations achieve net-zero energy status - meaning that they have zero net energy consumption and produce zero carbon emissions annually.
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