Friday, June 04, 2010

NYMTA energy saver: Solar-assisted railcar cleaning

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The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York Power Authority on Friday unveiled the latest in a series of 86 energy projects expected to yield savings of nearly $5.7 million a year and annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of more than 34,000 tons.

Project No. 86 is described as  "an advanced rooftop-mounted solar thermal array that heats hot water used to wash subway cars at New York City Transit's Coney Island Overhaul Shop and Maintenance Facility. By lessening New York City Transit's need for electricity, the array will lower the agency's power bill by $94,000 and avoid 86 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year."

The $550,000 cost of the solar thermal array was financed by NYPA with the help of a $150,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). "NYSERDA is pleased to partner with NYPA and the MTA on a system that is notable both for reducing energy use, protecting the environment and reducing costs. We commend the leadership of these two authorities for developing an innovative solar thermal project that we hope will serve as a model for other significant energy users," said Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA president and CEO.

MTA described these other energy-saving initiatives:

—New subway signal lighting using light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures that are more efficient and brighter than the bulbs they replaced.

—A 200-kilowatt fuel cell at NYC Transit's New Corona Car Maintenance Facility in Queens, providing a continuous source of non-polluting, on-site power and residual heat for the shop's domestic hot water system.

—A 300-kilowatt roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the Gun Hill Bus Depot in the Bronx.

—LED necklace lighting at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, replacing less-efficient conventional lights.

—Wireless equipment for the remote control of electric resistance heaters on the third-rail systems that provide power to the subways. The remote-control feature contributes to minimizing electricity use when the weather conditions don't warrant heater use.