Grid Tied PV School Power Naturally

The photos below are of the NYSERDA “School Power Naturally” program that provided 50 systems to 50 schools throughout New York State. Not to worry, your tax dollars were not used for these systems. However, wouldn’t that have been a great use of our tax dollars for a change. The systems were paid for by the “service benefits charge” (SBC) found on your utility bill. Today it is also known as Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As a business man, family man and a father, what a great opportunity to educate our children about not only solar electricity but also renewable energy. To date we have installed systems at the following area schools to include Armstrong Middle School (Ontario Center), Canandaigua High School, Newark High School, Pavilion High School, Wayland-Cohocton High School and Wayne Technical & Career Center.

The systems consist of two thousand watts (2Kw) of solar panels. An inverter then converts the DC electricity provided by the panels into AC power that is fed back into the schools electrical system. Please keep in mind that this is only about enough to power two class rooms. The system includes a Data Acquisition System (DAS) which will provide the educators and students with an idea just how much electricity the panels will produce as well as temperature, wind speed and light intensity to name a few. This data will then be used in the class room as part of the science and math curriculum.
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The system above is what we in the industry call a ballast pan mount. It consists of aluminum pans that are than weighted down with cement blocks. The advantage to this is no penetrations are required to secure the PV array to the roof. Below you will see an awning mount system. Although the weight of 17 lbs/sqft was required for the ballast pan system, not all roofs are capable of holding the extra weight. Below you can also see a pole mounted design. This is the most common PV for our residential clients. Since this picture was taken a beautiful landscape has been added and it looks as if the PV array has always been there.

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