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Uni High Gym Rooftop Solar PVs (Completed)


The University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Uni) received grant funding from Illinois Clean Energy Fund  (ICECF) through its K-12 Solar Schools Program, to install a 1 kwh dc soalr array on the gym roof.

The ICECF program states:

“Our K-12 Solar Schools program turns school buildings into hands-on science experiments, helping teachers to instruct students about science, math, technology, the environment and other important topics.

Grants support the installation of 1 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) systems throughout Illinois at institutions serving grades K-12. Although each system is relatively small, students see first-hand how sunlight is converted into electricity. Online monitoring of real-time electricity generation is included in the grant.”

School will use the solar array to:

Uni Plans to use the 1kW solar array to offset the energy consumption of two newly renovated “active learning” classrooms. They will label these spaces as “Zero Net Energy Classrooms”. They plan to purchase an electricity monitoring system, such as those available from The Energy Detective ( They will monitor total electricity consumption at Uni as well as the consumption in the renovated classrooms and at least one conventional classroom. The metered data will be available on our website along with the solar PV generation data. Their goal is to set up several energy conservation competitions such that the majority of their students and faculty can participate.

One competition will involve closely monitoring electricity consumption in the renovated classrooms and comparing this to the electricity generation from the new PV system. The goal is to undertake efficiency measures that will help us meet our zero-­‐net energy goal. Another competition will occur between the individual classes using these rooms. Since many different teachers and students will use the metered classrooms each day, we can “bin” the data in chunks that correlate to each class period, allowing them to be able to track and display the data for each class online.


February 2015 – Grant proposal submitted, Architectural Review Board process is initiated to ensure approval of installation sites by May.

April 2015 -­‐  Carbon footprint competition and Earth Day celebration with solar cookout

May 2015 -­‐ If grant is awarded, we will immediately select a company with NABCEP solar PV certification for solar system design and installation during the summer of 2015.

June -­‐ July 2015 – Solar installation is completed. New active learning classroom is completed (with LED lighting and motorized blinds). Electricity and steam monitoring systems are installed.

August 2015 – Students and faculty begin planning the September Solar Celebrations.

September 2015 – Uni community picnic to highlight the solar PV installation and announce energy conservation competitions and prizes. Uni students and faculty host booth at Urbana Farmers’ Market to spread awareness and exchange ideas with community members interested in clean energy.


Project update:

The Solar array was installed and is mounted on the Uni High Gym roof. See below for a link to view production and information about the array.

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