Project Examples

Design of a Photovoltaic System for a Rooftop on Campus

Course: 22.527 Solar Systems Engineering
Semester: Spring 2009
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: UMass Lowell

Students chose the optimal location and orientation on campus for a planned research building near Smith Hall, M2D2 research and bio-plastic research facilities, and south campus in order to optimize solar collection and then estimate incident solar irradiation for possible thermal collectors, PV, daylighting windows, etc. Using an instrument called “the Solar Pathfinder” On the location where the proposed building, the incident solar irradiation was calculated at this exact location. The goal here was to take full advantage of where the building is or will be located and the utilization of the Sun for the purpose of solar energy. It was then determined where the flat solar panels will be located for optimum energy utilization. A matching grid-interface inverter was specified and diagrams of the system’s wiring were sketched.

The report was passed on to the facilities department at UML. It appears that coincidentally ARRA funding is available and UML has been chosen to receive a large photovoltaic array on one of its rooftops.