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PV system takes ASHRAE HQ to net-zero

USA: The installation of a 333kW photovoltaic system has allowed ASHRAE to achieve a net-zero-energy performance at its new headquarters in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

ASHRAE began a $20m renovation project on its new 66,770ft2 global headquarters building in January 2020.  Built in 1978 on 11 acres of land, it became a demonstration project intended to prove the economic viability of a net zero energy (NZE) building.

“An important part of getting to NZE is the low energy consumption of the building (low EUI of 21kBtu/sf/year) – while maintaining excellent ventilation and IAQ,” said Ginger Scoggins, ASHRAE treasurer and former chair of the ASHRAE headquarters building ad hoc committee. 

“The installation of the PV panel system is a great of example of how to reduce grid-energy consumption and greenhouse emissions in an older, existing building to create a sustainable and innovative environment,” she added.

The project comprises a combination of three sub-arrays: 187kW ballasted rooftop, 65kW ground-mount on a south facing hill adjacent to the building and 81kW ground-mount situated in an unused section of the car park.

The total system size had to be constrained within the maximum cap set by the local electric utility provider for customers wishing to interconnect through the monthly netting programme.

PV systems, such as those employed by ASHRAE, offer approximately 25 years of performance. The addition of power optimisers, which sit behind the panels and are paired to SolarEdge inverters, mitigate the effect of partial shading, increase safety, and allow ASHRAE to monitor performance down to each individual solar panel.

Related stories:

Work begins on ASHRAE HQ renovation10 January 2020
USA: ASHRAE today held a groundbreaking event to celebrate the start of construction on its new global headquarters renovation. Read more…

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