U. of Hawaii Students Install Rooftop Solar Panels as Coursework

U. of Hawaii Students Install Rooftop Solar Panels as Coursework

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solar-roof-hawaii-students.jpg80 students enrolled in sustainable technology classes at the University of Hawaii installed a new 15 kilowatt photovoltaic system Monday that provides power to part of the Maui campus using the rays of the sun.

The PV array is already saving money and helping to reduce the college’s demand on the Maui Electric grid, with an average daily production of 71.5 kilowatt hours—reducing UHMC’s CO2 footprint by about 177 pounds of carbon dioxide per day.

“Our students receive the benefits of hands-on training in construction technology as well as a technical education experience in electrical systems that will prepare them for job opportunities created by renewable energy developments in the community,” said program coordinator Stuart Zinner.

The program initiated in Fall 2008 provided a curriculum in which students learned the basics of construction technology for working on a rooftop, followed by practical experience in installing PV systems and associated inverters to provide connection to the electrical grid.

The solar energy program included coursework in which students were focused on theory, site evaluations and design of photovoltaic systems. Then, the Spring 2010 class of 15 students set up and put into operation 84 175-watt Polycrystalline Silicon PV panels atop a section of roof over the Sustainable Construction Technology building.

Future classes will incorporate theoretical and practical elements for students, while continuing to add to the UHMC campus PV generating systems.

Gregory Davis, who enrolled in two semesters of the Sustainable Technology project, said he felt the classes covered key aspects needed by workers in sustainable industries, adding, “I feel I can plan to go as far as I want to go.”

The Office of Naval Research, which has asked for data on power production of the array.

Thanks to Amy Hutchings for sending the press release!

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