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Shedd Aquarium Taps Into Solar
April 8, 2014 - Power & Communication
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Ill., has an aggressive plan to cut energy consumption at the aquarium in half by 2020. As a key component of the first phase of the organization’s Master Energy Roadmap, the aquarium installed a 265-kilowatt solar installation on the roof of the Shedd's Oceanarium. It was the largest solar installation of any Illinois cultural institution as of October 2013.
The installation employs Schneider Electric’s end-to-end solar solution, including photovoltaic inverters, combiner boxes and Klaud solar monitoring, which will provide real-time monitoring and statistics and key performance indicator (KPI) measurements on the solar system's operations. The 913 individual solar panels help power life-support equipment to the aquarium’s Great Lakes Gallery and enhance the 83-year-old building’s energy reserve. The installation will also eventually be part of the larger energy management system at the facility, intended to help Shedd meet its long-term goal of saving 10 million kilowatts annually.
Shedd’s Master Energy Roadmap was announced in January 2013 and put forth a “smart building” prototype that includes a mix of technologies and solutions that would help make the aquarium the first smart-powered cultural institution in the country. With more than 32,000 animal residents in their care requiring a diverse number of regulated environments, these types of initiatives are serious business, says Bob Wengel, the Shedd's vice president of facilities.
Schneider Electric is the Shedd's official energy management partner. They have previously collaborated on other sustainability projects, including applying Schneider Electric’s code engineering expertise to the Aquarium’s environmental control system, resulting in cost savings through reduced energy and water use.
The partnership will continue to focus on employing Schneider Electric solutions to enhance Shedd’s efficiency. Future projects include continued building automation, advanced lighting controls, building analytics, demand response programs and predictive monitoring.
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