The IIT projects provide regular challenges for the project team, starting with the cutting-edge technological integration, and continuing to include the building architecture, structural design, shading, obstructions, equipment location, and short schedule timelines. The Azimuth team has risen to the occasion and delivered multiple projects on time and budget with Azimuth’s trademark characteristics of safety, performance, and aesthetics.
For the most recent 220 kW solar-PV installation, we had to come up with a unique solution for placement of power electronics. There was no practical space inside the building to house the inverters. But there was an unused sauna room in the men’s locker room. The sauna was converted to an inverter equipment room, painted, ventilated, and lighted to support the solar equipment.
The future plans for the Keating Building were to develop an energy nanogrid for the premise, retrofitting parts of the solar-PV architecture to suit these plans. This modular replacement scheme drove the decision to use a mix of grounded and ungrounded inverters, oversized distribution components, and a point of common coupling as a bus tap on the main distribution switchboard.
The buildings on campus are architecturally significant, so the PV arrays had to be invisible from the ground. This required review and approval from the Chicago Planning and Zoning Commission. Further, all conduit runs had to be hidden, disguised, or blended into the surroundings.