Adelphi University has been a leader in the community in the effort toward energy conservation and a greener environment. In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the University, we have installed geothermal systems, energy efficient fixtures, and conserved resources whenever possible. We have also purchased 100% green power for the campus.
The next logical step was the purchase of a solar energy system. Solar panels were placed on the roof of Swirbul Library to provide maximum exposure to solar energy while remaining conscious of the aesthetic requirements of the Village of Garden City. The 180 solar panels provide a 50 KW solar energy system. The estimated yearly output is 57,000 KWH. The total project cost was offset by rebates from LIPA. It is an investment into new technology and with the rebates from LIPA, will be cost efficient.
Adelphi University Energy System Status
The SolrenView website shows Adelphi’s model, current system status, energy generated on this day, lifetime energy generated, lifetime carbon footprint (carbon dioxide) offset, the system AC power at the current time, and AC power for the past seven days. It is also possible to view a graph of the AC energy, AC power, AC voltage, AC current and DC voltage.
Photovoltaic solar energy is virtually a silent system. The photovoltaic cells are made of semiconductor grade silicon, which is silicon with other additives that increase conductivity to produce impurity-rich, performance-enhanced multi-crystalline silicon. The combining of elements produces a positive charge. The photons, which are particles of energy from the sun, excite the electrons causing them to break off and flow, generating direct current electricity proportional to the amount of sunlight or photons. An electric field acts as a diode to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction, but not in the reverse direction. This flow of electrons is a current. With the use of a converter, the direct current is changed to alternating current and fed into our electrical grid. The angle of the solar panels to the sun is an essential element of the efficiency of the panels. A slight change in the angle can increase or decrease efficiency by as much as 50 percent.
Due to the fact that solar panels produce only a small amount of electricity compared to their size, it is imperative that they are placed in a position in which the optimum level of exposure to photons is achieved. The photovoltaic solar systems have no moving parts and require little maintenance.