Feb 7, 2015

National Academy of Sciences Solar Skylight

Location: 2101 Constitution Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20418, USA
National_Academy_of_Science_Polich_SolarThis one is a beauty.

During lunch on Friday, I was given a nice tour by National Academy of Sciences (NAS) staff. This 1924 building sits on the National Mall at (2101 Constitution Ave) with the big statue of Einstein in front.

It's got two courtyards with skylights and if you look up, you will notice that the skylights have a special look. That's because there are photovoltaic cells integrated into the windows--INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAICS! Big deal in Europe, getting bigger in the U.S.

Here are some quick stats:
  • The system came online on October 11, 2012. Since then it's produced 44,360 kwh or enough to power 4 American homes for a year
  • There are 96 solar skylights and each produces 250 watts
  • Advanced Solar Technologies made the solar skylights and it's in Centreville, MD or just 60 miles outside of DC
  • There are 2 data collectors, which send information real-time to screens (bottom left)
The building has also been refitted with energy efficient lighting--light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescents (CFLs). In the top right photo, the acorn lights are CFL and the track light under the arched window are LEDs. Did you know that LEDs use less than 1/4 of the watts of your standard incandescent bulb (Bulb America)? LEDs + solar = more lumens for less.

On a final note, I would highly recommend the NAS cafeteria.