The 108 Solar Panels atop the Drill Hall are Solar Photovoltaic (PV) units from NuEvergy, a leading supplier of renewable energy products in Alberta. Energy generated will be used to power the Drill Hall, with excess energy being fed back into the grid.
Once installed and operational, the project will reduce 24.5 tonnes of Co2 Green House Gases per year. Based on the City construction cost of $31,000 and current energy costs, the annual life cycle savings would be $3,315 per year with a simple payback of 10.1 years and a Rate of Return of 13.5% per year. So, from both an environmental and financial perspective, we’re saving all kinds of green!
Click here to see real-time data from the Solar Panels!
What do Solar Panels do?
Solar panels turn energy from the sun’s rays
directly into useful energy. There are two main types: solar thermal and
photovoltaic, or PV. PV panels (which is what we’ve installed) use the
photovoltaic effect to turn the sun’s energy directly into electricity,
which can supplement or replace a building’s usual supply.
panel is made up of a semiconducting material, usually silicon-based,
sandwiched between two electrical contacts. To generate electricity, PV panels
need to spend as much time as possible in direct sunlight. A sloping,
south-facing roof is the ideal place to mount a solar panel. A sheet of
glass protects the semiconductor sandwich from hail, grit blown by the wind,
and wildlife. The semiconductor is also coated in an anti-reflective substance,
which makes sure that it absorbs the sunlight it needs instead of scattering it
uselessly away. When sunlight strikes the panel and is absorbed, it knocks
loose electrons from some of the atoms that make up the semiconductor. The
semiconductor is positively charged on one side and negatively charged on the
other side, which encourages all these loose electrons to travel in the same
direction, creating an electric current. The contacts capture this current in
an electrical circuit.
Benefits of Solar Power