The town of Swampscott, MA has incorporated rooftop solar electric generation into their middle and high schools in order to offset on-site electricity usage and provide a means of educating their students about renewable energy. With access to real-time energy production and weather data, students, faculty, and parents have the opportunity to learn about how the photovoltaic systems work to supply their schools with electricity.
The rooftop mounted systems on each school allow for a productive use of otherwise unused space. In addition, close proximity to the building allows the generated electricity to be tied directly into the electrical distribution of each school. With the benefit of utility net metering in Massachusetts, the schools obtain credit for the electricity they produce all year, even though the systems will produce the most energy while school is out of session for the summer.
Solar Design Associates has just completed full system commissioning of both Swampscott rooftop PV systems. As part of standard procedure, SDA’s commissioning technicians performed I-V curve tracing on each DC source circuit. Curve tracing is the industry’s most complete and reliable method of recording performance of the system at the string level. This information is useful to the system owner and stakeholders because it can provide information about installation errors or anomalous PV modules, thereby ensuring that potential problems get fixed right away. I-V curve traces also provide a means of locating the potential sources PV array performance degradation and serve as a benchmark for comparison of system performance through the lifetime of the array.
[learn_more caption=”Learn More About PV Systems for Schools and Universities”] Solar Design Associates designs and engineers custom solar energy solutions for school and universities all over the country. Learn more by exploring Redding School of the Arts and North Shore Community College. [/learn_more]