Eastern Washington University - Tracker
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In May 2012, Cheney Power and Light worked with BEF to install two pole-mounted 2.76-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) systems on the Eastern Washington University (EWU) campus. One set of panels (highlighted within this project profile) used a fixed pole structure; the other set was mounted on a two-dimensional solar tracker system. These two installations were the first part of a new Alternative Energy Center designed by EWU.
Built to "Living Building Challenge" standards, the Alternative Energy Center contains two classrooms that host community organization activities, university classes, and up to twelve school groups at a time participating in field trips. It's "Living Lab" allows engineering students and others to study comparative construction practices. The Center also contains a modest research facility for students, faculty and corporations.
Energy monitoring services and equipment provided to CWU has connected the real-time performance data from their tracker PV system to the Energy Exploration Center at Solar4RSchools.org. Students and educators nationwide can now chart, graph and analyze the system's performance data for educational purposes. Consider checking out a related project to compare this PV system's production (with a tracker) with another project at the university, which was installed on a fixed pole: Eastern Washington University - Fixed Pole.
At the time of the project, a touchscreen kiosk located within the Center further builds on the "Living Lab" concept by engaging visiting students, faculty, and community members the ability to interact with the system's live system performance data while learning about the science and benefits of renewable energy.