National Institute of Standards and Technology
Campus-Wide Solar Panels
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a physical sciences laboratory that promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic activity. NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies to the largest and most complex of human-made creations.
As outlined in its master plan, NIST committed to installing new photovoltaic solar panels across the campus to supplement its existing 28kW system. They needed feasible, cost-effective options that conformed to requirements set forth by relevant energy legislation along with life cycle cost analyses.
Our team evaluated array configurations and orientations to help NIST determine the best option. Utilizing the PVSYST photovoltaic design software, we were able to model multiple tilt and ground cover ratios, while the NIST-developed Building Life-Cycle Cost computer program was used to perform the life cycle cost analyses.
We designed several arrays throughout the campus including Buildings 101, 301, 227 and 216, representing a mix of rooftop and ground-based installations that yielded a total of about 4,600 kWh/kWp in their first year.