PV Installation Course

PV Group

PV Installation Course

Spring 2019-Energy + Education

Project Overview

With the installation of a new solar system, UCCS Sustainability Demonstration House, SDH, is one step closer to a goal of being net zero energy, using less energy than the solar produces. For 6 days between August 5-10 of 2019, 15 students participated in a Photovoltaic 101 course on solar design and installation on campus with the final project an installation of a 3.5kW system on the SDH roof. The Green Action Fund awarded money for both the installation as well as 8 scholarships for UCCS students, which reduced their cost from $1800 to just $50. Seven of the students also took the course for credit through either Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering or Geography and Environmental Studies, so UCCS also received tuition dollars. Solar panels were donated by Sunshare, a solar firm that established the first community solar gardens in Colorado Springs, which also hosts some of UCCS’ arrays.

Students were very positive about the deep dive into solar and especially the hands-on piece. In addition to a strong theoretical foundation, students learned to bend conduit, connect solar panels, and attach racks to the roof. On the final day, each of the students got up on the roof to install one of the 15 panels and signed their individual panel. In December of 2019, the final data lines and the PV monitoring system was be installed so that we can better track the energy production of the panels and determine when we can add the remaining panels. All of the approved $14,400 was expended for the 8 scholarship for UCCS students.