As part of ongoing energy efficiency and solar research being conducted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), six solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays totaling 15 kW in capacity were recently installed in Hawaiʻi. Emerging and innovative technologies are being evaluated and compared against traditional and well-established products in the solar industry.
Three net zero energy buildings created by California-based Project Frog Inc. are the most recent experimental platforms used for PV performance research being conducted by HNEI. The state-of-the-art structures have been located at Hawaiʻi schools—one at Ilima Intermediate School on Oʻahu and two at Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School on Kauaʻi. Students will now have the unique opportunity to learn in new classrooms that are truly research and learning platforms in and of themselves.
An important aspect of these experimental buildings is the sophisticated instrumentation and monitoring being conducted to compare the performance of virtually identical buildings between the Kauaʻi location and the Oʻahu location. Small differences in microclimate may have a significant impact on building performance. The structures are outfitted with high-tech energy monitoring instruments providing valuable research data on the performance of design and material components.
“These installations are part of a larger HNEI research endeavor to evaluate and compare the performance of traditional and emerging PV materials and inverter technologies,” said HNEI Director Richard Rocheleau.
Read the UH Mānoa news release for more on the project.