RetroSolar

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Lincoln Hall – photo: educationdesignshowcase.com

First Name: Eboni
Last Name: Hawkins
Net ID: ehawki3

Project Title: RetroSolar

Project Timeline:

As a university-wide collaboration, RetroSolar would take several years to complete. Two concrete steps in its execution would be raising public awareness and support for the retrofits and the installation of solar powered charging stations as an example of student amenities once at least one retrofit was completed.

Project Description:

UIC is poised to be a leader among universities in the generation of solar power. The successful completion of Lincoln Hall as a solar-powered addition to the campus establishes visible and viable inspiration for the retrofit of existing campus buildings. Locating additional renewable energy sources can also:

  • Increase the University’s STARS rating in Operations, its worst performing area and fulfill one of its recommended improvements
  • Incorporate the research of two UIC-related projects, a solar cell and a solar panel film.

One approach to advancing a pro-solar campaign would be to establish models of solar activity through campus such as charging stations for phones, tablets, and laptops. This is a passive engagement activity that could also act as an educational supplement for courses in Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

Preliminary Project Budget:

Estimated cost for a small public relations campaign to increase university-wide support for the overall RetroSolar plan would cost approximately $1,000 for printing and promotional event related costs. Solar Charging Stations can range from $3,000 (for stand alone products like the Soofa) or up to $60,000 for integrated systems like those available at UT-Austin.

Additional funding for a university-wide implementation of solar can come from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation which offers three different programs for which UIC could be eligible: Net Zero Energy Building, Advancing Renewable Energy, and Solar Thermal.  The City of Chicago also offers an expedited permitting and zoning process for solar projects which could result in thousands of dollars in savings for each retrofit.

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2 thoughts on “RetroSolar

  1. I think this is an excellent idea . They promote renewable energy. Thiis would promote Pay for it self many times over. Using the solar panels on just a few buildings could possibly provide energy for a large portion of the campus.

    Like

  2. This idea is well-thought out, as I can see it has been well-researched. What I like most about this proposal is that no one has to “reinvent the wheel”. These technologies already exist on campus to some extent. I think that pairing this with the already existing research done in GIS about where our micro-climates are (I lost this link on the Sustainability website, sorry!!) would assist in the installation of these solar recharge stations. Not surprisingly, a common concern would be the potential cost.

    Like

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