AIR's photovoltaic work is centered in the development and implementation of cost-effective, reliable photovoltaic energy systems. A.I.R. teams with industry and academia to accelerate development and acceptance of this technology. The photovoltaic department provides the technical lead for systems integration and manufacturing technologies and provides technical support to photovoltaic systems for federal agencies, utilities, commercial interests and other users. A.I.R.'s photovoltaic systems department assists industry and users by providing technical assistance, accurate performance measurements,component development and improvement, and system evaluation. A major thrust of the department is to evaluate and improve the performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness of systems and components. We are collaboratively working with the U.S. photovoltaic industry, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, other government agencies, commercial interests and international organizations to increase the world-wide use of photovoltaic power systems by reducing cost, improving reliability, increasing performance, removing barriers, and growing markets.
Energy which involves the heating of water through solar collectors, can be used to supplement the energy efficiency of a building's existing HVAC system, or as part of a new hybrid geothermal/solar system. Separate from AIR's capabilities in photovoltaics, which convert solar energy directly into electricity, our solar thermal projects make better use of the heat that the sun freely supplies to buildings. AIR finances, designs, builds, operates and maintains solar thermal systems as part of a broader energy management approach that is focused on cost savings through energy efficiency. Solar thermal collectors, installed on-site and often placed on the roofs or walls of commercial buildings, collect solar heat that is used for heating, cooling and hot water. When solar thermal is used to supplement geothermal as a hybrid system, organizations can often cover 100% of these HVAC functions with clean, renewable energy.