Renewable Energy Project - Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach, VA

Tidewater Community College has received a grant from the Virginia Department of Mines and Minerals and Energy to install Photovoltaic solar systems on the roof of the George Pass Building at the Chesapeake Campus. The Installation will be utilized to provide academic course work and hands on Photovoltaic installation training in conjunction with required jobs in Virginia’s growing solar industry.

This project consisted of Photovoltaic systems that would generate 50kw of energy, half of the panels provided will be monocrystalline PV Panels which are the most common type of PV panel used today. The other half of the installation will use newer lightweight thin-film “Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide“ PV Panels which offer the benefit of lighter weight and easier installation.

Pond provided necessary engineering services for design of the project in conjunction with preparation of working drawings, submittals to BCOM and presentations to the Virginia Arts and Architectural Review Board.  Pond provided assistance with bidding of the project and will provide construction administration services and observation during the construction phase of the project.

Design evaluation for other Photovoltaic materials were considered in addition to monocrystalline and the Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide silicon, included: polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide/sulfide and Dye Sensitized solar cells for the proposed Photovoltaic system.  Also included was the evaluation of the structural capacity of the existing roofing system to support the flat panel and horizontal cylindrical tube panels, pedestrian loads and associated wind loadings.

Pond developed preliminary estimates of cost that included state and federal tax credits, to determine net system costs based upon depreciation value accelerated to present worth. The approximate system installed cost is $8.00 per watt. The life cycle payback on these systems occurs at 5.8 years.

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