Institute of Oceanography

Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, Carmanah solar photovoltaic systemInstitute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, Carmanah solar photovoltaic systemInstitute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, Carmanah solar photovoltaic system
Client: 
Alumitech Bedford
Capacity (kW): 
2
Locations: 
Bedford, NS
Commercial Operation: 
2002

The Fisheries and Oceans Canada Bedford Institute of Oceanography, in Halifax, built a Cooling Plant designed to draw cool ocean water from the nearby Bedford Basin, providing virtually free air conditioning in the summer months. The plant is housed in a unique building, which contains Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) modules. The solar array, provided by Carmanah, is integrated into the south façade and provides power to drive the thermostatically controlled actuators on the clerestory awning windows, located on the north and south façades. The system consists of 24 custom 86 watt solar modules. Arranged in 6 parallel strings of 4 modules each, the total array output of 2,064 W @ 48 VDC feeds a Xantrex SunTie 2.5 kW grid tie inverter.


The ocean water passes through a large-scale heat exchanger, which cools the air conditioning lines from the campus. A chiller has been installed to provide back up in the event the ocean water temperature rises above 8 degrees Celsius. This system reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 480,000 kg/year.