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Projects Updates for Topic: solar


  1. Project status update

    Associated Project(s): 

    ECE rooftop solar project update:

    1) The original PO bought approximately 500 panels for $240,925.  This was funded with $100K from the DCEO grant, and $140,925 from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) funding. 

    2) The original funding plan was for a total project cost of $900,000.  It was made up of $225K from the SSC, $250K from DCEO, $100 from the Grainger Center for Engineering, and $325K from the department and college.  When DCEO cut the grant funding with the state budget crisis, the project stalled with just the initial purchase of panels completed.

    3) Current campus project implementation methodology requires this project to go through the Capital Programs process for installation of the panels.  ECE is seeking project funding and approval for the full installation.

    4) ECE has initiated a PO for the remaining 421 panels from a sole source vendor, at a discounted rate. 

  2. Process comment from F&S

    Associated Project(s): 

    Kristine Chalifoux provided this process information to Ava Heap: "The first step is to get approval from the Architectural Review Committee (ARC).  Without their approval, you will not be able to proceed with the project.  If you have any drawings or documentation of what you all want, please forward it to me.  If you do not, I can take a picture of the shed and put together a sketch to submit to them

    Once we have their approval, you can move forward with getting proposals.  All contractors who work on campus must be an approved vendor.  If installers you are talking to are not, they will have to partner with a contractor who is.  Most likely, this will be an electrical contractor, of which there are many locally.

    After you have proposals, you will need to submit them to us to review for conformance to University Standards.  We will review and comment on them."

  3. news mention

    Associated Project(s): 

    Nice Solar Farm reference in this article about Ohio University….

    “We can learn from and be inspired by these models. Meanwhile, other schools also developing significant solar energy projects, such as University of Maryland (2 MW), Rochester Institute of Technology (2 MW), Elon University (3 MW), University of Illinois (5.87 MW), and Pennsylvania State University (the class of 2015 is holding a solar-array design contest to determine its gift to PSU).”

  4. vertical solar idea

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Architecture Review Committee (ARC) got an inquiry about the possiblity of mounting solar vertically on south-facing walls (without windows).  This could be a sheer flush-mounted solar PV array immediately against the wall.  The PVs would not produce as much energy as a roof-top array, but there could be fewer issues with rooftop penetrations, etc.  The ARC noted that there is not a specific policy about this idea yet, and they would willing to work with the idea on installation on a case by case, building by building basis, at least until there is a comprehensive policy in place.

    For a given capacity of PV modules, a vertical wall will harvest 78% of the energy that a flat roof would, and 67% of the energy that could be harvested at a 40 degree tilt. While this is not ideal, the costs may be lower and the maintenance and roof loading concerns would not pertain.  Two possible candidates are the south wall of NSRC (which has no windows in the "central" part) and the south facade of the Tryon Festival Theater in Krannert, which is actually somewhat tilted

  5. Rooftop Solar Student Project

    Brendan McDonnell is working with F&S to identify the best buildings on campus for rooftop solar.  Brendan is a MechSE graduate student working toward an MS in ME with a certificate in Energy Systems Engineering, and this is his summer capstone project.  Professor Elif Ertekin is his advisor for the project, and Morgan Johnston is his supervisor at F&S.   The files Brendan is collecting are stored in the iSEE Solar box folder at

  6. MTD solar array article

    Associated Project(s): 

    "This summer, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) maintenance facility got something cool to go on top of its roof — a big photovoltaic system — 1,212 panels.

    According to Jane Sullivan, whose title at CUMTD is grant manager and sustainability planner (and who is a 2012 graduate of the UI School of Earth, Society, and Environment, where I teach), it's the biggest solar array operating in central Illinois.

    It generates 350,000-kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of the year, which translates to one quarter of the electricity used there. (The maintenance facility is a busy place, operating 24/7 when the UI is in session and providing full service maintenance for the district's 102-bus fleet.)

    Sullivan said the investment in solar is in keeping with the broader environmental mission of the district. "We're interested in finding as many ways as we can to reduce our environmental impact, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of that."" - Rob Kanter,