The solar array system was installed on the roof of the Sports Turf Maintenance Building during the summer of 2013, which marked the first photovoltaic panels at UNCG. They aren’t just heating water, as some solar panels do. This building’s panels produce, at their sunniest peak, about 3 kilowatts of power.
On the day they were being placed on the south-facing roof in June, the building was using about 2 kilowatts at any given moment, noted Johnny Watterson, who managed the project. He is UNCG’s electrical engineer in Facilities Design and Construction. Light energy from the sun is converted into DC electricity, Watterson explained, which runs to an inverter in the building. There it is changed to AC – an alternating current – which is fed into the main electrical panel for the building. And any additional power becomes part of the university’s grid, for use beyond the building. That’s a little less energy UNCG will need from Duke Power, he said. Plus it serves an educational purpose for our campus.
Jorge Quintal, associate vice chancellor for facilities, was a driving force in bringing it to fruition. Southern Energy Management installed the system. Trey McDonald, UNCG’s sustainability coordinator, served as a liaison between different groups involved.
Click to view the live online dashboard, which displays realtime data on the power being used (red lines) and generated (green lines)