Dillon was retained by Saint Mary’s University as part of a team put forward by DSRA Architecture Inc. to provide electrical and mechanical engineering design services for the recladding of the Loyola Tower Residence with Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).
During the initial phase of the project, Dillon was involved in developing a feasibility analysis to present the findings of using the 23 story south facing façade for BIPV paneling system in place of traditional building materials in order to generate electricity. This study detailed integration options, probable construction costs, a representative calibrated energy model detailing solar radiation potential, AC-DC conversion losses, soiling, shading, and lifecycle of the system. This was all done in collaboration with Saint Mary’s Universities Office of Sustainability.
The second phase of the project included the detailed design of the BIPV system and associated infrastructure to support deployment. Our team was responsible for the design of the backbone electrical infrastructure both on the AC integration to existing building systems, but also on the AC-DC conversion equipment, and the DC wiring and arraying of the panels up the exterior façade of the building.
It is important to consider the environment in which the conductors and equipment will be installed, as this can impact their performance and longevity. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to chemicals or other hazards should were all considered when selecting exterior mounted electrical equipment.
Dillon worked in a holistic and collaborative partnership with DSRA Architecture to develop the specifications for the BIPV paneling system that resulted in proper solar gain while providing the aesthetic appeal the architectural team sought. This involved selecting PV materials with similar textures, colors, and patterns to the building's exterior materials, while allowing silicon modules to appear in the added windows in the stairwell to allow students to see the aspects of a photovoltaic system.