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Georgia Tech Student Center Now Powered By Solar

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2011 at 9:43 pm by Solar Energy USA


Georgia Tech’s newest facility, the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, features 360 Suniva solar panels and 30 AET solar hot water collectors. The installation of the 86-kilowatt array will not only help to power the four-story center, but will serve to educate the students at the Institute about solar energy.

The Clough Commons photovoltaic system was designed using high-efficiency solar modules manufactured by Georgia-based Suniva. “In 1992, Georgia Tech’s photovoltaic research center was founded to advance the science and lower the cost of solar power,” said Ajeet Rohatgi, founding director of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP) at Georgia Tech and founder of Suniva. “This is a great moment for Georgia Tech, and for me personally, as the past 25 years of UCEP’s solar research is integrated into Clough Commons to create a sustainable, energy efficient student center powered by the sun.”

The system is expected to produce approximately 120,000 kWh per year, offsetting over 80 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The photovoltaic system also features SMA inverters and monitoring, giving the Institute and the community the ability to track solar power production in real-time via a dedicated web portal.

”This is also a great story about solar innovation happening right here on the Georgia Tech campus,” says Porges, “The solar cell technology in the Suniva modules used on this project was developed on campus about 100 yards from the Clough Center. Solar has come a long way since the solar array was installed at Georgia Tech’s Natatorium in 1995. We expect the Clough Center will be the beginning of a mainstream solar trend on the Georgia Tech campus.”

Alongside the photovoltaic panels, a series of 30 AET solar hot water collectors will provide over 50% of the new facility’s hot water, heated by the thermal energy of the sun.

Article source: Neighbor Newspapers