Dayton International Airport Photovoltaics
Dayton International Airport had the goal of reducing their electrical energy cost through various means. One of these means was through the use of alternative energy sources. Among various alternative energy sources available, an energy project using photovoltaic panels was commissioned. Photovoltaic panels provide electrical power by transforming the light energy from the sun directly into electrical power. This power can be used to supplement the electrical power delivered from the electrical utility. Rising costs for energy and the movement to migrate away from fossil fuels have increased the desirability of grid alternative energy sources in larger installations.
The Dayton International Airport Project was designed to generate 650-700 kW of power. This power capacity required approximately 3,344 PV panels.
The PV panels are not a steady source of power. Since they generate power from available sunlight, the power output varies according to the sunlight level available. The panels varies from 0 W (watts) to approximately 205 W, according to the level of sunlight exposure. Typically, the maximum sunlight power level in Dayton, Ohio, averages 850 w/m2. On a cloudy day the level is much lower and therefore the power generated is also lower. At night 0 watts of power is produced. Also affecting the power output is the ambient temperature. Dayton varies in air temperature from -25°C to 40°C. The lower the temperature the greater the output of the panels on a comparable sunny day.