Solar energy on campus
SunSense Schools Program
Solar panel energy production
Solar panel energy savings
Members of the Florida Engineering Society SPC Student Chapter helped choose the best solar installation for the Clearwater Campus' newest building, the Ethics and Social Sciences Building, which opened in spring, 2013. The winner: a 17.3 kW Copper Indium Gallium (di)Selenide (CIGS) flexible thin film solar array.
This marked the second solar energy installation at SPC, which will soon host two more projects thanks to a recent grant from Duke Energy. The 2013 SunSense Schools Post Secondary School Award will fund the college's proposal for a 100 kW photovoltaic array project to be split between the Clearwater and Seminole campuses.
SPC's original solar project is a $25,000 3.46-kilowatt flexible thin-film amorphous silicon photovoltaic installation atop the LEED Gold certified Natural Science and Mathematics building on the Clearwater Campus. It was the first commercial installation of the new generation of solar collection systems installed in this area. Students keep tabs on the installations to measure the energy produced and report their findings at the annual Honors College Research Conference.
So far, students have found that latitude plays a larger role than elevation in successfully collecting solar energy. The original Clearwater Campus array, which sits at sea level and 28 degrees latitude, outperformed by nearly 30 percent an identical array in Littleton, Colo., located one mile above sea level at 40 degrees latitude.
The Duke Energy SunSense Schools Program awarded SPC new solar panel systems providing 100 kilowatts (kW; solar photovoltaic) for our Seminole and Clearwater campuses. We were selected based on our student population, main campus energy consumption and plans to use solar arrays as educational and research tools.
Each year, Duke Energy selects up to 11 schools to receive fully installed solar photovoltaic systems. The SunSense Schools Program helps schools in the Duke Energy Florida service territory to manage energy costs while promoting energy education. SunSense schools support renewable energy education, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship by providing teachers and students with interactive learning experiences and training materials. This partnership will help promote and initiate student research, education and outreach on solar technology.
Our first solar panel was installed on the Natural Science and Mathematics building of our Clearwater campus in 2010. This installation was a $25,000, 5% efficient 3.46kW flexible thin-film amorphous silicon array.
The Ethics and Social Sciences Building on Clearwater Campus, which opened in spring of 2013, will be the home to a 17.3 kW Copper Indium Gallium (di) Selenide (CIGS) flexible thin film solar array coming in 2014.
The Clearwater campus houses an array of 50.49kW Monocrystalline hard panels. These ground mounted panels cover three walkways spanning from the Ethics & Social Science building to the Natural Science & Mathematics building with an axial tilt of 7 degrees to the south.
The projected yearly output and savings for this array are 78,400kWh and $9,410 at $0.12/kWh (includes a 4.61% adjustment using NREL projections for array tilts to the south and the 3.46kW system 2 year average production).
9.18kW on a Solectria 14TL208 VAC Inverter60ft long x 11.5ft wide4 strings of 9 modules laid out in 2 rows of 18 columns36 total modules
19.89kW on a Solectria 20TL480 VAC Inverter130ft long x 11.5ft wide6 strings of 13 modules laid out in 2 rows of 39 columns78 total modules
21.42kW on a Solectria 20TL480 VAC Inverter140ft long x 11.5ft wide7 strings of 12 modules laid out in 2 rows of 42 columns84 total modules
Seminole campus houses an array of 49.88kW CIGS Thin Film hard panels with tempered glass. These ground mounted panels have a footprint of 38ft x 103ft covering 3,914 sq.ft., and an axial tilt of 15 degrees to the south. 344 PV Modules are laid out 19 Column E/W and 18 Rows N/S + 2 additional.
The projected yearly output and savings for the 49.88 array at Seminole are 80,100kWh and $9,620 at $0.12/kWh (includes a 8.19% adjustment using NREL projections for array tilts to the south and the 3.46kW system 2 year average production).
24.36kW on a Solectria PVI 20TL 480 VAC Inverter21 strings of 8 modules168 total modules
25.52kW on a Solectria PVI 20TL 480 VAC Inverter22 strings of 8 modules176 total modules
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