Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, today announced its modules are powering Georgia Tech’s Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility will be used for the research of energy-efficient technologies and carbon sequestration.
“The research conducted within the walls of this new Georgia Institute of Technology lab will provide students the opportunity to have a first-hand role in advancing the field of sustainability for the good of the school, the environment and future generations.”
.The building’s strategic design will use approximately 90% less energy than a comparable building by incorporating cutting edge building science and high-efficiency solar photovoltaics. The project goal is to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green-building rating system.
“This is a pioneering facility for the Institute that will pave the way for advancing the design and construction of sustainable buildings across campus while positioning Georgia Tech as a leader in campus sustainability,” said Howard S. Wertheimer, FAIA, LEED AP, Georgia Tech’s director of capital planning and space management. “The building will be an excellent environment for research experimentation while allowing the opportunity for students to learn about sustainability and net-zero energy-use.”
Approximately 1,200 of Suniva’s modules were installed by Inman Solar to power the project. In addition to the main building, the project includes a walkway canopy and two parking structures. The unique front-of-building solar façade is the largest in Georgia.
“Incorporating solar modules prominently into the façade is unique to projects in the Southeast if not beyond, and produces an amazing aesthetic. We’re proud to have had the opportunity to work on such an interesting project,” said Steve Chiariello, principal at Inman Solar. “The innovative design of the facility is truly awe-inspiring and will provide a great place for sustainable research for generations of students.”
The $22.4 million project was partially funded by an $11.6 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Suniva’s cost effective and highly efficient crystalline PV technology fit the demands set by the project developers. In addition, Suniva’s modules fulfilled a “Buy American” clause of the stimulus funds.
“We are thrilled to showcase our products at the institution that gave Suniva its start,” said Ajeet Rohatgi, founder and CTO of Suniva. “The research conducted within the walls of this new Georgia Institute of Technology lab will provide students the opportunity to have a first-hand role in advancing the field of sustainability for the good of the school, the environment and future generations.”