Monday, May 7, 2007

Aerial View of Google’s Solar Installation

The Google solar installation is the largest corporate solar electric installation in the world generating about 1.6 MW which covers about 30% of our electrical need in the campus in Mountain View. The panels, 9212 of them or about 20 shipping containers, are installed on roofs and newly erected carports. The specs for the Sharp ND208U1F are here. They generate 208 W of power (max.) with an efficiency of 12.8% and these days sell retail for about $1150. Fourteen 208 Watt solar modules are wired in series in each circuit with the output DC voltage sent to one of 10 SatCon Power Inverters. The inverters, which are tied into Google’s power system and the state grid, convert the generated DC voltage into utility-grade AC with 96% efficiency. The system covers almost 20,000 square meters of flat roof space and parking lot shades, it will generate over 2.6 million kWH of energy per year saving almost $400,000 annually. At this rate, the system which has an expected lifetime of 30 years, will pay for itself in just 7.5 years.

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