Photovoltaic panels

SolarPVParkingIn 2010, a new photovoltaic (PV) project, located on the Sunport parking structure 4th level canopies was completed. The project was largely funded by a federal Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) grant. This PV system has added an additional 440 kW and 2,016 panels to the existing 146 kW 480 panel system covering the eight western-most canopies of the parking structure. The PV system provides electric power to the structure during daylight hours, significantly reducing electric consumption and billing costs. The excess power is used in the terminal building.

The airport also has a 24-panel 10kW ground-mounted concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) tracking system. At the east end of the long-term parking lot are two 12-panel 5kW tracking modules that follow the sun throughout the day maximizing solar collection. CPVs work by concentrating light with lenses, similar to a magnifying glass, onto a solar cell receiver to maximize its efficiency. The CPV system’s primary function is to provide power for recharging the Parking Division’s electric vehicle. However, it also supplies the Landside Operations (Parking) office with electricity helping reduce energy costs and consumption.

Maintenance technicians have also completed the Photovoltaic Academy offered by CNM Workforce Training Center. Electricians will now be able to obtain a NABCEP licensee (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) a nationally recognized standard. This training complements our solar array & solar chiller installations.

The Sunport was awarded another VALE grant and has a third PV project added an additional 411 kW PV system on the 5 remaining canopies of the Parking Structure. There are 2 solar collectors installed on a canopy at the Rental Car Facility for use in the chiller and boiler system. These high power mirrors track the sun and heat water in the piping system in front of the mirrors. The heated water is fed into a newly installed chiller for cooling in the summer and supplements the existing boiler for heating in the winter.