At the end of 2020, two ISIS facility buildings – R80 and R6 – were identified as ideal candidates for installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooftops. The roofs of these building have a large surface area and load-bearing capabilities, as well as good access for installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment. The radiological conditions at ISIS were also an important consideration. Roof-top dose rates, the panel materials and their potential for activation over the lifetime of the installation needed further investigation, in order to determine the impact on equipment maintenance and end-of-life disposal/recycling. After rigorous investigations by the ISIS engineers, RPAs and Health Physics team, the PV project got the green light! 1100 panels were installed on the roof of R6, and another 1900 panels on R80, together generating over 1.3 million kWh of energy every year. But ISIS didn't stop there…
After the initial success of the R80 and R6 installations, another 2900 panels have been installed on ISIS buildings R8, R40, R78, R105 and R106, a grand total of 5939 panels capturing solar energy and converting it into electrical energy. The entire set-up on the ISIS estate generates over 2.4 million kWh of energy each year (the amount of electricity consumed by approximately 750 UK homes), cutting ISIS's carbon emissions by over 550 tonnes.
The sustainability journey at ISIS continues with more of the facility's buildings being considered for PV panel installations. ISIS is also looking at ways of reducing energy and water consumption. Working with the RAL Estates Team, ISIS is expanding its remote monitoring systems, developing energy and resource usage dashboards, which allow for more accurate data collection and a better understanding of energy and water usage at ISIS, helping to identify where inefficiencies exist and reductions can be made.
“It's been really good collaborating with Estates to start the process of improving the green footprint of the ISIS facility. We're currently looking at other ISIS buildings for PV Panels and in the next few years we expect to see more being installed. This is just the start of ensuring the ISIS facility moves to a greener and more sustainable mode of operation and we're currently in the process of identifying these projects." Mike Glover, ISIS Facility Electrical Systems Division Head