The last two weeks have seen the conclusion of my time working with CHA on the feasibility study. Although most of my time was spent on report edits and finalizations, I was still able to review some new material regarding the outputs of our solar thermal proposals. Additionally, the construction of the physical installation on the equine center has been completed. Unfortunately I was unable to be a part of the interview process with the installation team and was therefore unable to elaborate on my research on the requirements for NABCEP certification.
One of the main deliverables the university asked of CHA for the feasibility study was a comprehensive site map of campus highlighting the areas best suitable for each renewable technology investigated in the study. Though I did not see the draft of the map last week while it was under work, I was able to contribute by submitting a number of solar thermal photos for inclusion in the final product. These photos consisted of overviews of buildings on campus, which had been identified as suitable for solar thermal, accompanied by an overlaid outline of the roof area for the proposed installation along with a brief description of the system sizing. An example of one of these photos can be seen above, showing a possible installation on Simpson Hall.
Last week Heliodyne, a reputable distributor of solar hot water systems, responded to our inquiries about the pricing of our proposed systems and included a summary of how one of their systems would perform for a given building size. I found the information in the reports very interesting and highly useful, as I was able to use them as I finalized the solar thermal reports for the study. One of the provided charts I thought was a good visualization of the effect of an implemented solar system showed the percentage of the total hot water used by a given facility offset by the solar system on a monthly basis (shown below). The figure clearly shows the fluctuations in hot water demand over the course of the year and the effect it has on the efficiency of the solar system.
Austin Hall Solar Offset (Source: Nicole Cusick, Heliodyne Inc.)
It is hard to believe that the internship is drawing to a close, as the summer has flown by. I am very happy not only with the amount of work we were able to accomplish over the course of both the equine center installation and the feasibility study respectively, but also with the experience I have gained. The skills I have practiced over the last few months are not only applicable to requirements of any professional environment; they are directly related to the career path in renewable energy that I am personally interested in and for that I am truly grateful for the experience provided by the internship. I am positive that my time spent this summer will be valuable in the coming months as I enter the professional world.