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Projects Updates for Solar Energy on Campus

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  1. EGen SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    The Energy Generation, Purchasing, & Distribution SWATeam met for the first time of the FY2017 on September 21. They revised their focus topics for the year and reviewed progress on current projects, such as on the rooftop solars on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, the Speech and Hearing Building, and the Business and Instruction Facility. Finally, EGen also discussed the possibility of building a second solar farm in order to further meet iCap goals. 

    Attached Files: 
  2. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (4.13.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held another bi-weekly meeting. Topics covered include:

    • Ximing Cai's [in attendance] vision for iSEE and SWATeams
    • Developing a recommendation to expand UIUC solar farm.
    • Developing a recommendation for another clean energy PPA
    • Cost savings for geothermal systems and opportunities for implementation at solar farm and new building sites
  3. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (3.30.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held another bi-weekly meeting. Topics covered include:

    • Performing preliminary assessment for clean energy PPA
    • Fact sheet using solar farm as basis to estimate land needs and costs of additional solar farm to meet iCAP goal
    • Update on biomass boiler at energy farm
    • Identifying opportunities to purseu implementation of ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology on campus.
  4. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (3.10.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held another bi-weekly meeting. Topics covered include:

    • Associate Director for Campus Sustainability Ximing Cai and his vision for iSEE
    • Biomass boiler at Energy Farm
    • Opportunities for Geothermal on campus
  5. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (2.3.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam a meeting for the Spring 2017 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Determining Team Chair
    • Final Review of rooftop solar recommendation and Petascale offsets recommendation.
    • What constitutes clean energy usage? (REC count vs. RECs don't count)
    Attached Files: 
  6. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (1.20.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held their first meeting for the Spring 2017 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Review draft recommendations for 1) on-campus solar and 2) petascale offsets
    • An update from Morgan Johnston on the Associate Director of Campus Sustainability position
    • Updating iCAP portal project pages for EGEN objectives
    • Clean Energy PPA
    • Potential for future solar farm
    • Asking for feedback from EGEN team members regarding recommendation proces
  7. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (12.2.16)

    The EGEN SWATeam held their final meeting for the Fall 2016 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Guest presentation by Niharika Kishore regarding rooftop solar on campus
    • Potential recommendations to Working Group
    • Potential solar: greenspace vs. rooftop vs. parking lot cover
  8. Urban Legend - debunked

    "As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign considers installing more solar photovoltaic modules on the roofs of buildings, the discussion turns to the type of mounting systems to consider. This discussion often elicits the tale of the modules that were originally installed on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility (BIF) using a ballast-mounted system, that is, a mounting system held down using heavy weights such as concrete blocks. The story goes that a few of the PV modules blew off the roof of the building, and this subsequently led to the modules being installed with a racking system attached to the roof of the building.

    This story is an urban legend..."

    Read file for more information and photos.

     

    Attached Files: 
  9. 2015 iCAP solar objective and strategies

    Associated Project(s): 

    The 2015 iCAP, chapter 3, objective 2 is "Expand on-campus solar energy production.  By FY20, produce at least 12,500 MWh/year, and by FY25 at least 25,000 MWh/year, from solar installations on campus property."

    The 2015 iCAP also described the following potential strategies for achieving this objective:

    "2. Expand On-Campus Solar Energy Production

    The campus has a 33 kW photovoltaic array on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility (with an annual production of 44 MWh/yr) and a 14.7 kW ground-mounted array at the Building Research Lab (20 MWh/yr).  During FY15, we began installation of a 300 kW array on the roof of the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (402 MWh/yr), and the 5.87 MW Solar Farm on the south campus (7,860 MWh/yr). There is also a solar thermal array on the roof of the Activities and Recreation Center.  There are many other buildings, parcels of land, and parking lots that are well positioned to host sizeable photovoltaic and/or solar thermal arrays.  Although each array in itself would make a small contribution to campus energy generation, taken together the contribution could be significant.

    Identify best solar locations and implement solar projects

    The solar consultation group is identifying the best places to install the next round of photovoltaic projects, and planning to move forward on several projects simultaneously.  Solar thermal may make sense in some situations, as well.  Student design teams could be organized through classes and volunteer groups to assist with the planning and prioritizing of on-campus solar installations.

    Require solar PV on rooftops for new construction and major renovations

    The best time to plan for the installation of photovoltaics on a building is during the design phase.  The campus could implement standards requiring that all new construction and additions include solar photovoltaics on the roof.   In some cases it may also be effective to install photovoltaics on the exterior walls of the buildings."

  10. EGEN SWATeam Meeting Notes (9.28.16)

    The EGEN SWATeam held their second meeting for the Fall 2016 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Review progress toward 2015 iCAP objectives
    • Review/Finalize poster for Campus Sustainability Celebration.
    • Identify 2nd faculty member for EGEN SWATeam
    • Exploring ideas for clean energy on campus.
  11. Campus Solar Deployment Roadmap presentation

    AASHE Conference, October 11, 2017 presentation

    Using Campus Solar Deployment Roadmaps to Guide University Investment: The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Second Nature, and TurningPoint Energy have developed an approach with four Midwest universities to define opportunities for on- and off-campus solar investment through a Campus PV Deployment Roadmap. In this panel, participants will hear presentations about the roadmapping process in general, specific incentives to universities and students, financial modeling and assistance offerings, and first-hand experience from one of our pilot universities.

  12. 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

  13. Allerton Park Solar Array-Phase II

    Allerton Park already has a solar array located near its Visitors’ Center. The second phase of the Allerton Park Solar Array project involves working with a Learning In Community (LINC) class to construct a second ground-mounted solar recharge array. This second phase builds on the success of the existing array with the adjacent construction of an additional 60 panels. The design of the Phase 2 array utilizes an innovative floating foundation system that allows for portability of the array if necessary. The total array provides 14.7kW of peak power, which translates to a projected annual output of 14,653 kWh(about 15-20% of total apCAP solar goals). Power at the panel and array level can be monitored remotely and be publicly viewable via an online dashboard which displays the impact of the solar power contribution in terms of energy equivalents: gallons of gasoline, light bills, tons of coal, barrels of crude oil, and planted trees.

  14. Information about solar films

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S Engineers provide input on solar film technology: "We experienced delamination with these in the past; about 25 years ago.  I’d be curious if the adhesives have gotten any better." - John Prince

    "Films have come a long way.  Like John, I have seen several versions of solar films and have not been impressed with their durability.  The newer films and coatings are much better but the effectiveness is still dependent to the quality of installation.  The films may have some applications on campus but must be evaluated in terms of cost.  The solar transmittance is low enough for me to question whether IHPA would have a problem with our historic buildings.  We would also want to avoid a checker board appearance if the product were applied randomly to a building windows.  I don’t want to dismiss the product but it does need more investigation." - Fred Hahn

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