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Title: MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Project

The initial goal of the MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Installation Project was for the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to gain experience using the integrated higher efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) single-ply membrane product, as it differs from the conventional, low efficiency, thin-film PV products, to determine the feasibility of success of larger deployment. As several of CCSF’s municipal rooftops are constrained with respect to weight restrictions, staff of the Energy Generation Group of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) proposed to install a solar PV system using single-ply membrane The installation of the 100 kW (DC-STC) lightweight photo voltaic (PV) system at the MUNI Ways and Structures Center (700 Pennsylvania Ave., San Francisco) is a continuation of the commitment of the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to increase the pace of municipal solar development, and serve its municipal facilities with clean renewable energy. The fourteen (14) solar photovoltaic systems that have already been installed at CCSF municipal facilities are assisting in the reduction of fossil-fuel use, and reduction of greenhouse gases from fossil combustion. The MUNI Ways & Structures Center roof has a relatively low weight-bearing capacity (3.25 pounds per squaremore » foot) and use of traditional crystalline panels was therefore rejected. Consequently it was decided to use the best available highest efficiency Building-Integrated PV (BIPV) technology, with consideration for reliability and experience of the manufacturer which can meet the low weight-bearing capacity criteria. The original goal of the project was to provide an opportunity to monitor the results of the BIPV technology and compare these results to other City and County of San Francisco installed PV systems. The MUNI Ways and Structures Center was acquired from the Cookson Doors Company, which had run the Center for many decades. The building was renovated in 1998, but the existing roof had not been designed to carry a large load. Due to this fact, a complete roofing and structural analysis had to be performed to match the available roof loading to the existing and/or new solar PV technology, and BIPV was considered an excellent solution for this structure with the roof weight limitations. The solar BIPV system on the large roof area was estimated to provide about 25% of the total facility load with an average of 52,560 kWh per month. In order to accomplish the goals of the project, the following steps were performed: 1. SFPUC and consultants evaluated the structural capability of the facility roof, with recommendations for improvements necessary to accommodate the solar PV system and determine the suitable size of the system in kilowatts. The electrical room and switchgear were evaluated for any improvements necessary and to identify any constraints that might impede the installation of necessary inverters, transformers or meters. 2. Development of a design-build Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify the specifications for the solar PV system, and to include SFPUC technical specifications, equipment warranties and performance warranties. Due to potential labor issues in the local solar industry, SFPUC adjusted the terms of the RFP to more clearly define scope of work between electricians, roofers and laborers. 3. Design phase of project included electrical design drawings, calculations and other construction documents to support three submittals: 50% (preliminary design), 90% (detailed design) and 100% (Department of Building Inspection permit approved). 4. Installation of solar photovoltaic panels, completion of conduit and wiring work, connection of inverters, isolation switches, meters and Data Acquisition System by Contractor (Department of Public Works). 5. Commissioning of system, including all necessary tests to make the PV system fully functional and operational at its rated capacity of 100 kW (DC-STC). Following completion of these steps, the solar PV system was installed and fully integrated by late October 2013. The interconnection with PG&E utility grid was completed and the system began generating power on November 21, 2013. The projected annual energy generation for the system is estimated at 127,120 kWh/year.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States