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The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has partnered with BISEM Inc., a provider of photovoltaic curtain wall systems, to install what the companies say is the U.S.' first building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) curtain wall retrofit.

The 392 square-foot wall at SMUD's LEED Platinum-certified customer service center will provide 100% of the DC power to run the cooling of SMUD's technology demonstration area and serve as a working model for medium- to large-scale commercial building retrofits.

BISEM's completed installation at SMUD includes 49 cadmium-telluride thin-film modules. The panels produce DC electricity that will be used to power swamp coolers to reduce heat build-up in the technology demonstration area of the SMUD facility.

The additional power generated will leverage BISEM's proprietary multi-trade technology, which includes a monitoring system and inverters that transform all additional power produced to AC electricity. This AC power will flow back into the SMUD power grid and be constantly monitored for performance.



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