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SFU solar panels

We have solar power

November 13, 2008

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SFU is experimenting with a solar photovoltaic array that uses panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Facilities Services has mounted 54 solar panels on the south face of its building on the Burnaby campus. When the sun shines, the panels can create up to 10 kilowatts of power, fed directly into the building’s circuits to assist the utility power. The panels create enough power to run about 180 PCs and monitors, according to Dana Sundmark, SFU’s electrical superintendent.

"It’s a demonstration project to gather data on how much sun we get and how effectively it can be harvested," explains Sundmark. The entire installed system cost $81,000. Since May 2008, it has produced 5,100 kWh of electricity—enough to power a typical house in that time. It has reduced CO2 emissions by more than 3,500 kg. "The return on investment is long, due to low Hydro rates, but in California it is very competitive," says Sundmark. "It’s for experience. We want to lead the way."

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