University Centre Roof-top Solar Array
Did you know there are 70 individual solar panels on the roof of the University Centre rooftop?
The array went into production (producing electricity for us) in late November of 2018. The total energy produced as of April 27, 2022, is 95.2 MWh or the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb burning for 109 years.
The array produces approximately less than 1% of Lakehead's power needs.
Why use solar panels? Climate science tells us we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Clean electricity is one of the solutions to our transition away from fossil fuels. Solar power systems create clean energy from the sun and are one solution to climate change.
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On the sunniest days in the summer, these panels have generated 179 kWh in a single day. On a cloudy day in mid-December the number drops to 10 kWh in a day. This power is directed into the University Center's power distribution and off-sets power consumption for things like the electric kitchen appliances and the lighting for the cafeterias. The software used to monitor the panels is produced by Enphase and it provides us with 24/7 coverage and monitoring of production.
The maintenance on the panels is fairly minimal and includles a wet cleaning once per year and snow removal after heavy snowfalls -- some winters more than others. Lighter snowfalls will be blown clear by the wind.
Enphase likes to use everyday comparisons to put the power generation in a real world view. For example, a peak production day is 179 kWh. In that one-day of production a mobile phone can be charged for 5.6 years, or a refrigerator can be run for 40 days. In 2020, the panels produced 31673 kWh, producing enough to charge a phone for 991 years, or run a fridge for 19 years.