Arizona High School Solar System Wins 2016 InterSolar "Outstanding Solar Project" Award


This project is confirmed as the most powerful solar cooling system in the world. The Austrian solar thermal company, S.O.L.I.D, partnered with San-Diego based, Adroit Energy Inc., to complete the system in 2015.

Situated in one of the hottest locations in the US, it provides 100% of the building’s cooling needs during the summer. In Desert Mountain High School’s arid desert climate, air conditioning systems typically produce 75% of the building’s electrical energy expenses.

These A/C systems distribute the air unevenly, making it less efficient. They also produce harmful allergens from dust and dirt circulating inside the building.

“This project shows the US that solar thermal technology does not only have to offset Natural gas, but electric loads as well. Unlike grid tied PV, solar thermal driven chillers can greatly reduce peak demand charges by switching the cooling load to a thermal load,” says Justin Weil, Adroit Energy Inc.’s President of Solar Thermal.

The 50,000 ft² of solar thermal collectors were mounted on the roof and carport structures. With a chiller cooling capacity of 1,750 kW/500 tons, the solar cooling system is helping now 2,600 students and school staff to stay cool during hot days. S.O.L.I.D predicts an annual solar energy yield of 3.9 GWh, or 800 kWh/m2 of collector area.

“Cooling a large facility using solar heat energy seems like magic, but a project like this demonstrates to the students and the community that it is a viable and clean alternative to traditional cooling systems,” says Weil. “We are humbled and honored to have been chosen as the best amongst all of the great solar projects in the world that were built last year in this amazing industry.”

Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and takes place in Munich, Germany. Since being founded 25 years ago, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry. A presentation about the project will be given next week at the InterSolar North America Convention and Expo in San Francisco.