SPC to soak up sunshine

This is a Creative Loafing repost.

St. Petersburg College will begin installing its first photovoltaic system on the Clearwater campus today.

The system, which will generate renewable power for the electrical grid, will be installed on the roof of the LEED Gold Natural Science, Mathematics and College of Education building, already one of Tampa bay’s most environmentally friendly buildings. Installation should take about a week.

“The 3.5 kilowatt thin-film solar blanket will be the first commercial installation of the new generation of solar collection systems installed in this area,” said Jason Green, SPC Sustainability Coordinator. “The installation demonstrates St Petersburg College’s dedication to finding solutions to the global warming issue.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our Student Chapter of The Florida Engineering Society,” said John Williams, Academic Chairman of SPC’s Natural Science Department.  “Students will be able to compare this system in this environment with data collected at an identical installation in Littleton, Colo.”

This system to be installed was selected because of its tolerance to hurricane force winds, harsh environments, better performance in lower light conditions and flexibility.

“One of the benefits of a thin-film system is that it is basically a peel-and-stick system that sits directly on top of the existing roof membrane and doesn’t require a great deal of additional structure,” said James Pedicone, SPC Project Coordinator.  “Also, the company which originally installed the roof manufactured and will install the solar collection system, so we are able to maintain the original roof warranty.”

Utilizing free solar energy through the solar thin film application showcases SPC’s commitment to greening the environment and maximizing internal efficiency.

“The research data retrieved from this project will be utilized to determine the most energy efficient solar applications as we continue to expand our sustainability efforts as well as decrease our energy consumption,” said Diana Wright, SPC Energy Coordinator.


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