Everybody Solar adds unique side-mounted solar array to Eugene Science Center
After encountering several challenges with the roof structure and therefore design of the system, Everybody Solar, with the support of numerous agencies — O’Brien Construction, Energy Design, Woodchuck Engineering, Jerry’s Home Improvement, EWEB, JinkoSolar and All Points North Foundation — is bringing a 30.2-kW solar array (in two phases, with the first phase completed this month) to the Eugene Science Center (ESC).
While the re-designs led to delays in installation, one of the benefits is that the solar array will now be side mounted to the South-facing side of the ESC’s building, allowing for the public to have more immediate contact with the system. In this first phase of the installation, the Eugene Science Center is receiving 18.9 kW of photovoltaics, which is expected to save the site approximately $1,875 in electricity annually. Once complete, the solar array will save ESC about $2,500 per year on utility costs. In addition to the solar array, the facility is also creating a new solar exhibit which will not only communicate real and historic data on the amount of solar energy the ESC’s photovoltaic array is generating, but also represent, in a simple fashion, the inner workings of a PV cell. Specifically, the exhibit will allow the user to ‘see’ how photons from sunlight interact with electrons within the solar panel to produce sustainable energy.
“We hope that reducing ESCs energy costs will enable them to keep that money focused on community programming that not only benefits their visitors onsite, but also engages them in the conversation of the value and importance of renewable energy in our modern world”, said Myriam Scally, director of operations and development at Everybody Solar.