Air Force

June 8, 2012

Solar energy upgrade boosts efficiency

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Senior Airman Jack Sanders
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Mike Dietrich, a Bombard Electric Wireman Apprentice, installs a mount for solar panels June 6, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The solar panels are scheduled to be completed within the next two weeks.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 99th Air Base Wing headquarters building is adding solar panels in an effort to make the building more energy efficient.

Nellis is in the process of starting and completing eight separate projects to make Nellis, Creech and the Nevada Test and Training Range more energy efficient.

Beginning in 2003, Nellis was required to reduce its energy consumption by three percent annually to meet Air Force policy targets. If the base continues its trend of meeting this requirement, they will reach the ultimate goal of cumulatively reducing energy use by 30 percent as of fiscal year 2015.

“We’re given a requirement by the Air Force to put a solar panel system on the roof of a building,” said John Sowell, J.C. Palomar project manager.  “They have a concept of what they want to do and we’ll take that concept and put it into reality by doing a design of how many watts of power we can produce for the resources we have.“

The system installation should take approximately three weeks, after which the energy collected through them will be redirected into the building.

“We just installed the inverters, which changes the energy harnessed from the panels into useable energy and feeds that energy into the building,” Sowell said. “We’ll start actually putting up the panels after that.”

Once the system is operational it will begin feeding up to 17 kilowatts of energy into the building.

“The energy from the panels on the headquarters building will not only be able to power most, if not all of that building’s energy needs, but on days  where power requirements for the building may be lower than what the solar  panels put out, that energy will be redirected to other locations where it  will be used,” Sowell said. “So, this project could potentially add power to  this building, and others as well.”

The solar panel project completion will set the way for the other eight energy efficient tasks to be completed, Sowell said.




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