EI Associates was retained by First Solar to perform an Energy Usage Analysis and recommendations for proposed HVAC systems to cool a photovoltaic system inverter building. The inverters take the DC power provided by the solar panels and convert it into AC power. The installation comprises a 2MW array located outside of Boulder City, Nevada. Temperature swings are extreme at this location and provided a unique challenge.
Our analysis covered solutions to the air conditioning of the inverter building utilizing as little energy as possible to minimize the parasitic load on the output of the inverters. Based on manufacture information provided by First Solar the waste heat rejected into the inverter building is 60,000 MBTUH per each inverter.
EI Associates designed a robust air conditioning system, powered as a parasitic load to the solar installation. Extensive air filtration was provided so that operations will not be interrupted during desert dust storms.