Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Douglas Hall PV System

On August 24, 2011, the new and improved Douglas Hall was introduced by the UIC family. Also known as the College of Business Administration's home base, the building has been drastically improved both in interior and exterior. Besides the many student exchange areas, classrooms, and other renovations, it is what has been done "underneath the hood" that stands out at Douglas Hall.


The building is on the path to being UIC's second LEED certified building, with an official announcement to be made by mid-2012. In addition to the light, water, and space conservation in the building, Douglas Hall has a unique Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system in place on the building rooftop. The PV array is unique because it uses microinverter technology to optimize the production of electricity from the panels.  Think of it like a string of modern holiday lights - if one bulb goes out, all the other lights don't.

Partially funded by a generous grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the PV system allows the solar panels on building to convert the solar radiation gathered into direct current electricity. Douglas Hall contains 261 solar panels mounted on ballasted racks. With a rated capacity of 54.81 kW, this PV system is expected to generate 67,000kWH of electricity annually, or approximately 8% of the building's needs.

As a student, I see as the PV system on Douglas Hall to be a trendsetter. I remember reading the Chicago Flame before renovations were complete about the upcoming renovations in Douglas Hall; however, I never actually understood the direct impact that this would have. As UIC begins to renovate other buildings around campus, the PV system will be looked on as innovative technology for the UIC community. In both the short and long run, the PV system allows energy to be made from natural sources - less and less harsh environmental impacts will be made by UIC. The PV system reaffirms to the world: UIC is a leading example of education and sustainability successfully joining forces.

To learn more about the additions in Douglas Hall, please go here.
For more information on PV systems, please go here.

Also, check out a video about Douglas Hall and the PV system:


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