Schneider Electric fires up 60 kW PV array on cold winter day

Schneider Electric launches 60 kW dc photovoltaic (PV) power array at company's North American headquarters in Palatine, Ill. News and photos!



Schneider Electric launched its 60 kW dc PV array on Dec. 10 at its Palatine, Ill., headquarters building. The outdoor air temperature was 5 F and winds were blowing at 10 mph. Skies were blue, however, and the panel was generating about 40 kW dc of power. Overall, the the array will reduce electric usage at its North America headquarters facility by an estimated 2% to 3% annually, company officials said, as they powered up the installation.

The array is a configuration of 29 "sunflowers;" a single sunflower has eight PV panels mounted on a pole. Schneider's installation is the largest of its kind in Illinois. The 60 kW dc array provides about 50 kW ac power due to line and inverter losses.

While the project would cost others about $750,000, Schneider Electric's cost was about $550,000 (with company discount on switchgear, inverter, and related equipment). With local and federal incentives, payback is estimated at 10 years. There were no utility rebates offered by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd).

Here's the full story by Mark Hoske , editor-in-chief, Control Engineering . Photos by Hoske and Michael Ivanovich, editor-ion-chief, Consulting-Specifying Engineer are included.

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