On the Center for Excellence building, Falcon Engineering designed a PV system with multiple components to meet the school’s needs. The College started a renewable energy course and wanted to have solar photovoltaics for energy production, but also as an educational tool. In order to meet these requirements, two arrays were installed.
On the gymnasium a large array was installed purely to maximize energy production. The building had a slightly lower section of roof above the learning block, which has exterior stair access and was classified as an outdoor learning space. On this roof, we installed 4 rows of panel: 3 rows at different tilt angles, and the fourth that had the ability to rotate its orientation (azimuth). Each row is separately metered and with the power optimizers on each panel, students are able to see in real time the affects each installation has on the production of energy. The system consists of 29.7 kW of photovoltaic panels. Since its installation in July of 2018, the system has generated over 82 MWh of energy and has saved more than 32 Tons in CO2 emissions.
The main floor of the building has an Energy Lab, where the solar inverters are installed, and outputs of the arrays are displayed in real time on a large monitor. Included in the learning roof system is a weather station, which records temperature, wind and humidity. This all allows students in the renewable energy program to analyze and monitor the efficiency of the arrays in various weathers and configurations. For students not in the renewable energy program, an energy dashboard is displayed on monitors throughout the building, outlining the daily/monthly/annual generation and provides interesting comparable statistics. The learning resource, as well as the reduction in utility costs, has made the installation of photovoltaics a great success.