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Projects Updates for Solar Power on Campus

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  1. Solar Sites Open House

    UIUC SOLAR SITES OPEN HOUSE - October 15, 1:00-2:30 pm

    Ever wonder how far the university has come in solar energy use? Come out to the UIUC Solar Sites Open House hosted on Topia, an interactive online platform, to learn about different buildings and areas across campus that are producing solar energy! During the Open House, Morgan White will provide a guided tour to virtually visit ten locations on campus. Learn more about the amazing solar installations on campus!

    This event will take place online from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021, at https://topia.io/uiuc-solar-sites.*

    *Chrome browser on desktop or laptop required.

  2. June Tour at Allerton Park & Retreat Center

    For June, CCNet has arranged and sponsored a tour at Allerton Park & Retreat Center. This tour will take place on Friday, June 25th at 3:00 PM CDT. As mentioned in their monthly newsletter: 

     

    Tour at Allerton & Food at 3 Ravens

    Date: Friday, June 25th at 3:00 PM CDT
    Location:
    Allerton Park & Retreat Center (515 Old Timber Road, Monticello, IL 61856) &
    3 Ravens (108 South Charter, Monticello, IL 61856)

    Join us on a tour of Allerton!

    We will be meeting near the outside patio of Greenhouse Cafe at Allerton Park & Retreat Center. During this tour, Derek Peterson, the Director of Allerton, will show us clean energy installations at the center and we will visit the compost toilet funded by the Student Sustainability Committee. The Clivus Multrum compost toilet system is installed at the park’s Schroth Trailhead, providing park volunteers, trail-hikers, and other visitors the ability to use the restroom in an environmentally sustainable and convenient manner without needing to travel all the way to the Visitor Center to do so.

    Afterward, all are more than welcome to continue your visit to Allerton or join us for a quick bite at 3 Ravens in Monticello, IL!

    Please note that coordinated transportation will not be provided for this event. If you would like to drive to the event, parking is available at multiple locations around the park.

    Learn More About Planning Your Visit (Parking & Accessibility)

  3. suggestion for servicing solar arrays

    Associated Project(s): 

    Perhaps there should be a standard developed for solar on buildings with monitoring and connectivity requirements. trouble shooting issues could go to a service contract to handle or there could be a work order for the F&S electricians. We should certainly train the campus electricians on everything that needs to happen for maintaining solar systems, or get a standing service contract.

  4. Welcome Note for Earth Day Solar Open House

    Happy Earth Day, 2021!!! 

    Welcome to the UIUC Solar Sites Open House!

    • Nine campus solar power installations are available to visit at this virtual open house.
    • Contact people for each site are standing on the yellow stars by their facility, on Earth Day from 9-10:30 AM.
    • There are also links for further information about each solar site.

    Hints for Using Topia

    • Zoom out on your browser to see more of the campus at once.
    • Click on a destination to move your avatar to that site, or use the arrow keys to navigate
    • Send messages in Topia to people you meet here, with the mailbox icons.

    ***MAKE SURE TO USE GOOGLE CHROME AS YOUR BROWSER*** 

    Invitation - Open to All

    Ever wonder how far the university has come in solar energy use? Come out to the UIUC Solar Sites Open House hosted on Topia, an interactive online platform, to learn about different buildings and areas across campus that are producing solar energy! During the Open House, contacts for each location will be available to answer questions about the solar installations at nine locations. Learn more about the amazing solar installations on campus!

    This event will take place online from 9-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day!), at https://topia.io/uiuc-solar-sites.*

    ***MAKE SURE TO USE GOOGLE CHROME AS YOUR BROWSER*** 

    Attached Files: 
  5. News-Gazette mailbag note about MEB solar

    Associated Project(s): 

    South facade at Lu building  "At the new Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building at the northwest corner of Green and Goodwin, Urbana, the south façade has an intriguing glass — perhaps with embedded solar panels or something like that? What is the product, and what is it's purpose?"

    Your answer comes from engineer Damon McFall, director of facilities and operations in Mechanical Science & Enegineering.

    "The embedded solar panels are referred to as building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels. This approach utilized on a larger scale can help contribute to the societal goal of achieving net-positive facilities or buildings that produce more energy than they consume," said McFall. "The use of BIPV panels on the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building will serve as an educational tool for students and faculty to understand the benefits and challenges of integrating solar into the façade of a facility.

    "A core imperative for the building was to be a leader in innovation. Thus, the idea to include BIPV was supported by Mechanical Science and Engineering Professor Ty Newell. The project is a first on campus and possibly the only installation of its kind nationally. The state-of-the-art panels have already provided research opportunities to designers, builders, and others.

    "The goal is for students, community members, and guests to learn more about BIPV in campus, commercial, and government facilities and pursue building design and construction that meets the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building and Community Challenges (Living-Future.org). Once the facility opens this summer, tours will be offered where the public can learn more about the technology."

    https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-feb-12-2021/artic...

  6. Local Solar projects shared at CCNet brownbag

    CCNet hosted several local solar panelists in January 2021. This Zoom meeting was also shared via Facebook Live:

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=429039901765435&ref=watch_permalink

    Join the CCNet mailing list to gain access to the Zoom and stay connected. http://eepurl.com/g8IM

    (video link corrected on 2-2-2021)

  7. Andrew Li will be getting an update for the small scale solar projects

    Associated Project(s): 

    Andrew Li, Halie Collins, and Morgan White met today to launch a student-led project to get an update for all the small scale solar projects on campus.  Andrew will be reaching out to the project contacts over the next few months to get a status update and associated photos, links, etc. for each project.  He will then update the iCAP Portal accordingly.

  8. Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

    According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S. and this growth will continue to rise. At the moment, only a few states have adopted solar PV end-of-life handling policies. Thus, a lot of modules may end up in landfills. The panel discussion will be on barriers, policies, and sustainable opportunities for end-of-life PV modules.

    Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

    October 22, 9:30–11 am

    Jennifer Martin • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    baseline_wifi_black_18dp.png This opportunity is available online.

  9. eweek announcement

    Associated Project(s): 

    Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

    According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S. and this growth will continue to rise. At the moment, only a few states have adopted solar PV end-of-life handling policies. Thus, a lot of modules may end up in landfills. The panel discussion will be on barriers, policies, and sustainable opportunities for end-of-life PV modules.

    October 22, 9:30–11 am

    Jennifer Martin • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

  10. Mailbag solar article: Suggestion for UI solar panels

    "Why doesn't the company installing the solar panels at U of I put them over the parking lot? I would provide shade for the cars underneath and would eliminate having to kill whatever would be underneath them in the fields."

    The best option for building solar panels is ground-mounted, said Morgan White, the associate director for sustainability at the University of Illinois.

    "As part of our Climate Leadership Commitments the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a goal of producing at least 25,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year from on-campus solar," she said. "When we evaluated options for meeting this goal, rooftop solar, solar over parking areas, and ground-mounted solar were all considered. The most cost-effective option is ground-mounted solar, and it also allows for larger-scale installations.

    "For a sense of the scale, the two solar farms will be a total of 75 acres, while the largest parking lot on campus is less than 15 acres.

    "When installing solar panels over parking areas, there are additional infrastructure and labor costs to raise the solar panels above the ground level. Although we do not currently have any solar over parking areas, Facilities & Services is working with the Parking Department to evaluate potential locations for a pilot installation. We are also continuing to install rooftop solar on individual buildings."

    Solar panels are on the following five Urbana campus buildings:

    — Business Instructional Facility

    — the Activities & Recreation Center

    — Wassaja Residence Hall

    — University High School Gymnasium

    — Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building.

    "I'd also like to emphasize that the ground-mounted solar panels do not harm the plants under them. After building the first Solar Farm, we learned that there was an excellent opportunity for growing useful plants under and around the panels," said White. "This is a great opportunity for creating a multi-functional ecosystem, with pollinator supportive plants and protected areas for small animals and insects."

    https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-june-26-2020/article_65ef2976-09b9-526a-848d-1419c905b0ec.html

     

  11. solar on parking estimated costs

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good morning Morgan,

     

    I have gathered the numbers that correspond to an acre of solar cover. 

     

    The estimate is that an acre of solar canopy could generate 760,536 kWh annually (this estimate takes into account the weather patterns of our location and possible shading/system inefficiencies).  

     

    I remember you saying that right now the University pays $0.05 per kWh.  Our solar farms are charged $0.045 per kWh that they generate.  This means that $0.005 is saved for every kWh generated.  That can be used to estimate that an acre of solar canopy would save roughly $3,800 per year.  

     

    I thought that I would also include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s estimate for what a solar retailer would charge per kWh of electricity in our area: $0.036.  This would mean that $0.014 could be saved per kWh on a solar canopy system, or roughly $10,650 per acre.  

     

    Let me know what else I can find,

     

    Ryan Day

  12. Final project reports for Fall 2017

    The CEE 398 Project Based Learning and the Sustainability Minor's ENVS 492 Capstone students completed their nine fall 2017 reports.

    There were five projects completed for capstone partners:

    1. Energy Dashboards for Accenture
    2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Johnson Controls
    3. Food Hub Study for The Land Connection
    4. Sensors and Green Buildings for CERL
    5. Biomass Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for Chip Energy

    There were four other projects completed by CEE students:

    1. Rain Garden Design
    2. Solar and Green Roofs Analysis
    3. Food Waste to Energy
    4. ADA Sidewalk Repair Cost Analysis

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