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Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. Goes Ivy League

(Milford, CT) Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. has just installed the largest photovoltaic system in the Ivy League. Mounted atop Fisher Hall, a dormitory within Yale’s Divinity School, the 40-kW grid-tied, flat-roof system is estimated to provide approximately two thirds of the building’s peak electricity demand.

Sunlight Solar Energy (SSE), Inc., which operates out of both Milford, CT and Bend, OR, installed the system consisting of 262 Schüco polycrystalline 158-SP photovoltaic modules. A row of solar panels along the roof’s edge contributes both a structurally integrated awning and passive solar component for the dorm’s top floor. Each PV module is capable of producing 158 watts of peak power.

The modules were custom mounted with Schüco’s SolarEZ mounting system to place the panels at a 15-degree pitch. The mounting system did not penetrate the roof at all. Rather, Sunlight Solar combined the system into a uniform grid by utilizing easy-to-install pre-mounted flat roof brackets, mounted on base rails.

In addition, there are four SolarOne streetlights that line the sidewalk in front of Fisher Hall. Each is equipped with its own Sharp 80-watt polycrystalline solar panel and a battery to run the lights at night even if there is no sunshine for 3-5 days. The LED streetlamps are holistically energy efficient and help to reduce light pollution on campus.

This project in response to the Climate Change Action Plan 2005, a Connecticut state initiative modeled after the Kyoto Protocol. The initiative’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the  year 2010 with an additional 10% decrease by 2020. Fisher Hall will serve as the original model of Yale’s commitment to innovative green building design on university campuses nationwide.

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