Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., has completed a 16.56 kW grid-connected PV system on the T.K. Davis Justice Center. The university says that this is the first public building in the state to be outfitted with such a system.
The SunPower T-10 roof-mounted and pole-mounted system utilizes 72 solar panels, with eight of the panels mounted to a pole on the ground and the rest of the panels mounted on the center's roof, the university says. The system can withstand hurricane force winds up to 110 mph and is certified for use on rubber roofs.
Henry Brandhorst, director of Auburn's Space Research Institute, and his team used models based on 30 to 40 years of weather data for the east Alabama area to predict the system's performance. With the installation now up and running, the institute's researchers are now collecting information from the site, including wind speed, temperature and the sun's strength.
‘This gives us a way to make better models and to show people what a cost benefit solar power is,’ Brandhorst says. ‘We can do modeling for residences and show people the amount of power they have to generate until the power becomes free.’
The public can view the building's solar power output in real time at http://sri.auburn.edu/solardata.htm.
SOURCE: Auburn University