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Clean Energy Fund Committee Approves Two New Projects

solar panels
With help from the Clean Energy Fund, these solar panels on the UVM Central Heating Plant will be ugraded, enhancing public access to the data via a dashboard system. (Photo: Sally McCay)

Two projects have been approved by the Clean Energy Fund Committee. Nearly $179,800 will be awarded to the selected projects, pulling from the $225,000 generated each year from the Clean Energy Fund. The Clean Energy Fund assesses UVM undergraduate and graduate students a $10 fee each semester to establish new clean energy education, research and installation projects on and around the UVM campus.

Awarded projects include the following:

Hybrid Street Lamp System with Helix Bamboo Wind Turbines and Solar Panels: A hybrid street lamp system using dynamic LED lights powered by a combination of helix bamboo wind turbines and solar panels will receive a $24,800 award. Energy harvested from wind and solar during the daytime is stored in a battery to ensure the lighting in the night through an integrated control system. By simulating microstructure features of natural bamboo, innovative carbon fiber composites will be used to fabricate a parallel system. Energy efficiencies of both the natural and artificial bamboo systems will be compared for further analysis. This project will be conducted in Fall 2013 by Professors Ting Tan and Tian Xia from the College of Engineering & Mathematics and by a senior student team from the Student Experience in Engineering Design (SEED) program.

UVM Central Heat Plant -- Solar Array Upgrade & Optimization Project: This two-phase project will receive $150,500. The first phase will upgrade the existing solar array panels, a 4.8-kW system installed in 2001, on the UVM Central Heating Plant. Inverters will be installed to existing panels, enhancing the public access to data via a dashboard system. The second phase will involve the installation of additional 29.9- kW solar panels with new technology on the UVM Central Heating Plant. The dashboard system for the upgrade and new installation will help compare two solar panel systems of differing ages.

To learn more about the Clean Energy Fund, visit: www.uvm.edu/sustain/cef.

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