As a founding sponsor of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, American Honda has providing Honda solar cell technology in order to help power the Aquarium's new June Keyes Penguin Habitat.
The 11kW system will provide a reliable supply of clean energy that should reduce the Aquarium's reliance on conventional electricity by more than 14000kWhr each year, representing a substantial saving for the nonprofit organization.
The new June Keyes Penguin Habitat was opened to the public on May 17, 2012.
It’s a permanent exhibit that houses Magellanic penguins typically found near the southern tip of South America. Environmental issues are threatening their survival in the wild, so this habitat includes educational exhibit panels and interactive touchscreens where visitors can learn about penguins and why 75% of them are endangered or threatened.
"Some of our penguins were rescued, and by telling their story we hope people will help penguins in the wild by decreasing their carbon emissions, choosing sustainable seafood, reducing pollution, and protecting areas where these penguins breed and forage," said Dr Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president.
The exhibit is the first public demonstration of Honda solar panels in the US.
Honda has thin film solar panels installed in 22 of its facilities worldwide – including the company's motorsports engineering facility in Santa Clarita, CA, and a manufacturing plant in Indiana.
The CIGS thin-film solar panels use a film compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) that require less raw material, energy and related CO2 emissions to manufacture than conventional crystal silicon solar cells.
CIGS panels are substantially thinner than traditional solar panels and enable stable power generation even when in the shade.