Princeton’s Ivy Halls To Be Powered By Solar Energy

Sunpower Solar Panels

Sunpower Solar Panels

Princeton University will soon be home to the largest solar field on a U.S. college campus. Scheduled for completion by summer 2012, the 5.3 megawatt system will be comprised of 16,500 photovoltaic solar panels, estimated to generate 5.5 % of electrical power to reduce campus energy costs by 8 %. The solar field will cover 27 acres on the university’s land. The panels will be designed and built by Sunpower, a leader in advanced solar energy systems. To maximize efficiency, 80% of the system will contain Sunpower Trackers that use a global positioning system to capture the sun at the highest intensity, while the remaining solar panels will be fixed at a 25 degree angle.

Atrium in Princeton's Frick Chemistry Laboratory Building

Atrium in Princeton's Frick Chemistry Laboratory Building

As part of a sustainability plan to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2020 to the level it had in 1990, Princeton has also installed solar panels on the roofs of two campus buildings, including the stunning atrium located in the Frick Chemistry Laboratory. Partly funded by New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program as well as environmental incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Princeton is leading the way for renewable energy systems to be economically accessible.

Princeton University Halls

Princeton University Halls

Their dedication to solar energy will also provide unique research and learning opportunities for both students and faculty. Perhaps the most important aspect of the project is the awareness it will generate about solar energy. As chemical and biological engineering professor, Ilhan Aksay says, “The fact that Princeton University took a lead in this sends out a signal that Princeton is serious about this. I expect that more students will now be interested in pursuing related research, and this will affect the faculty as well”.

Via: Daily Princetonian

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