12/28/2012

College Students Lead Carbon Neutrality Effort with Massive Solar Installation

Students at Southern Oregon University utilize a self-imposed fee for renewable energy generation

 

A goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 led students at Southern Oregon University (SOU) to push for a greater investment in renewable energy, using a self-imposed fee to support the university’s investments in renewable generation on campus.

Their efforts took a large step forward when the university purchased a 56 kW solar photovoltaic system that can produce more than 70,000 kWh per year, which was installed at its Higher Education Center.

The investment propelled the school toward LEED Platinum status and a commendation from the Department of Energy.

The three-story building is the result of a unique partnership between SOU and Rogue Community College, with both schools owning, operating, and occupying the facility. The two colleges lease the roof for the installation of the PV array, and the system is owned by Southern Oregon. Much of the cost of the system was covered by a grant from the Department of Education.

Designed to meet the solar system requirements developed by the Energy Trust of Oregon, the installation includes 319 crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules (each with 175W maximum power) and a 50 kW inverter. The equipment was installed in 29 strings of 11 modules at a 20-degree tilt on a rack system.

Installed as a retrofit, the system wasn’t anticipated in the education center’s design. New conduit pathways now stretch from the two roof levels to an electrical panel in the boiler room on the third floor, then to the electrical service room on the first floor, and finally to the electricity meter located in a walled outdoor enclosure south of the building. It required over 100 roof penetrations.

A solar monitoring package and weather station enable performance data to be displayed on an interactive touch-screen monitor in the building’s lobby. SOU also posts data online for educational purposes.

The building was highlighted as the fourth installment in the DOE’s “Clean Energy in Our Community” series.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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