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Projects Updates for Solar PVs at Idea Garden

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  1. Capacity of Solar PVs for shed roof

    Associated Project(s): 

    The solar PV design for the rooftop of the Idea Garden shed is 12 panels with 340 Watts each, which is a total of 4.08 kWdc. The construction estimate is in progress at F&S, then an interconnect agreement will be needed from Ameren.

  2. capacity question for rooftop solar

    Associated Project(s): 

    The annual usage of electricity at the Idea Garden shed is much lower than the proposed solar array will provide.  Because this building is currently powered by Ameren and not connected to the campus electrical grid, there will be a loss of any kilowatt-hours not used during the course of one year. 

  3. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Master Gardeners are interested in adding rooftop solar PVs to the garden shed to the east of the Idea Garden in the Arboretum. The Idea Garden is a community garden planned, managed and maintained by the Champaign County Master Gardener volunteers.

    The accompanying map shows the layout of the garden, The solar panels would be installed at shed (A) and provide power to building. The power grid would be extended to the garden to power light fixtures and outlets at sites B1-B4, C and D. Remodeling of the Idea Garden to provide access for people with disabilities is scheduled to begin in 2016, so this would be an opportune time to install underground cables. A small parking lot is also to be built at D. Funding for the proposed installation is not available from the grant supporting the remodel.

  4. discussion to add solar PVs at Idea Garden Shed

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Idea Garden committee, with the UI Extension, continues discussions about adding rooftop solar to the Arboretum Garden Shed hear the Idea Garden.  Last year, Idea Garden representatives worked with Masters of Energy Systems students to consider potential design plans.  The final scope of the desired solar PV project is still to be determined. One likely option is to use solar to power the light in the shed, and use the existing campus electrical grid to provide other power needs, such as winter heating.

  5. Inquiry for how to request SSC funding

    Associated Project(s): 

    Ava Heap and Andrew Stumpf requested assistance from Morgan Johnston on an SSC project proposal for the Idea Garden rooftop solar.  Kristine provided a summary of the open issues to be addressed:

    • Survey of all electric loads to be placed on the system, 
    • if heating the shed is necessary and to be included,
    • where batteries would be stored, and
    • if the shed can support the panels (although that did not appear to be a problem).

    Morgan will work with Ava to clarify the needs of this project.

  6. Architecture Review Committee approval

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Architecture Review Committee (ARC) approved the concept for rooftop solar on the Idea Garden shed, per this description from F&S Engineer Kristine Chalifoux: "Engineering Design has been approached by the Illinois Extension about designing solar panels for the roof of the shed at the arboretum.  They would like to cover the room with panels and use batteries in the shed to store the power.  They would like to have a light on site, ability to use power tools, and possibly some heat during the winter.

    The panels would be approximately (depending on manufacturer) 3’x5’ and cover the entire south facing portion of the roof.  The roof has two slopes with a shallower slope at the front.  Both would be covered."

    ARC approved the request and concept of installing the solar panels on the roof of the shed providing that the integrity of the shed could support the installation. 

  7. 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."