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Projects Updates for Topic: Final Report

  1. Final Report submitted to SSC - Speech and Hearing Solar

     

    This project was originally proposed by Mechanical Engineering students for Abbott Power Plant in spring 2016.  At that time, the SSC members did not want to support solar on the co-generation power plant because it uses fossil fuels.  They asked if we could use it on a different campus roof, and we considered all the large or medium campus roofs.

     

    The SSC asked us to identify a building that could have solar added, so I reached out to Applied Health Sciences in 2016 for approval to use the Speech and Hearing Sciences Building.  Since that time, Kristine Chalifoux confirmed that the roof is strong enough for solar panels, due to a previous change in the insulation materials.  Brian Finet completed design drawings for installing solar on the full available roof, and the Architecture Review Committee confirmed the building is allowed to have solar added.  

     

    After the engineering design work, the remaining funds were about $35K.  This fall, we received a construction estimate from Jeff Holt for upgrading the electrical system to handle a 70 kW solar PV array.  It would cost about $42K if done in conjunction with your capital project, just to get the wiring up to the roof and ready to punch through and install panels later.  Rather than ask the SSC for additional funding and an extension, I am returning the remaining dollars and putting this project on indefinite hold. 

     

    The overall campus goals for on-campus solar generation are listed in the 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), which will be updated for 2020.  The current objective is to generate 25,000 MWh/year of on-campus solar, and we are currently at about 7,000 MWh/year.  Per the direction received from Chancellor Jones, we are working on a second large-scale solar farm to meet the goal, rather than several smaller-scale projects. 

     

    The second solar farm is planned to be about 12,000 kW in name-plate capacity, significantly more than the 70 kW rooftop array for Speech and Hearing.  Rooftop solar is still an option, and several departments continue to install them at the building scale. The design drawings are posted online through the iCAP Portal, at https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/speech-and-hearing-rooftop-solar-pvs, for future use.

     

  2. Final Report submitted to SSC - Illini Bikes

     

    The goal of this project was to support installation of high density bike parking in an area of campus with high needs for additional bike racks, and provide an amenity for campus cyclists with a unique shelter structure protecting parked bikes from the winter elements at the Main Library.  This funding purchased the bike shelter and high-density racks.  The shelter will be installed at the Main Library, after completion of the MCORE construction work on Wright Street and Armory Avenue.

     

  3. Final Report submitted to SSC - EcoConcept

    The target dates listed in the original application have become irrelevant as two years have passed since the application date. However, this year the team built a new carbon fiber chassis and body for the first time in multiple years which was one of the major goals listed in the original application. The car was named EV-1. Because many of the project leads graduated, the team went through drastic leadership changes and lost most of its knowledge about carbon fiber work. Tremendous efforts were made by the remaining members, which ultimately led to our team relearning how to work with carbon fiber. This allowed us to create our first new and completely customized carbon fiber chassis. This year’s chassis design allowed for a decrease in weight and higher structural strength compared to prior designs. The team also switched fuel categories to keep up with the growing focus on battery powered vehicles. Doing so entailed manufacturing a battery powerful enough to power the concept car as well as designing a safe battery management system. The battery successfully passed the official Shell Eco-Marathon safety inspection. Switching to the battery electric fuel category reduced the overall weight of the vehicle as there is no longer a bulky hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen cylinder in the car. The team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon 2018 competition on the Sonoma Raceway. EV-1 passed the technical and safety inspections which are a set of rigorous tests performed to ensure the safety of the driver and other participants. Many teams do not make it past these inspections. While last minute technical difficulties disabled the team from qualifying to compete, EV-1 was featured in the front row of Shell’s family portrait.

  4. Final Report submitted to SSC - E2E

     

    The project began in the start of spring 2018 semester and had four phases, each phase consisting of 2 months approximately. The first phase consisted of analyzing the feedstock sources from the dining hall for their energy content at laboratory scale in batch reactions and potential economical returns. In doing so, our team determined which food category had the greatest conceivable benefit to campus, based on quantifying the available waste and value recovery using HTL. The second phase of this project will consist of converting the oil phase of the laboratory HTL process into a refined product for the sustainability project. During this phase, the biooil was modified via chemical treatment to refine the petroleum alternative into a usable product that can substitute a campus cost. This portion of the work was essential to validating food waste HTL processing, as our projects can specifically improve UIUC sustainability. The following weeks focused on preparing a larger scale assessment for expanding the HTL scope of feedstocks for further energy recovery using waste at larger scale, as well as determining the potential impacts on campus with sizable amounts of food waste.

     

  5. Final Report submitted to SSC - Hand Sink

     

    The sink has been fully installed and is meeting all goals of the project. Water usage from hand washing is down as a direct result of this installation, along with providing awareness of the use of water in a processing facility.

     

  6. Final Report submitted to SSC - LED Upgrades 104 & 222

    Rooms 104 and 222 of the Illini Union are both utilized extensively throughout the day. Each room maintains a high level of foot traffic and visibility within the building. An assessment team concluded that transitioning the old lighting fixtures to LED would have an overwhelmingly positive impact on energy consumption and unnecessary waste. The overarching goal of this project is to promote sustainability from within the Illini Union. The smaller scope of this project is to reduce carbon emissions and save energy by utilizing LED lighting fixtures within rooms 104 and 222 in the Illini Union. The lighting levels generated by the new LED fixtures are more than adequate for the usage, and end users and staff have been very satisfied.