SolarWind USA™ Helps Stevenson High School Earn LEED Gold Certificate, Becoming the First Public High School to Receive Environmental Honor
Helped Deploy Hybrid Solar Thermal/Solar Photovoltaic Power Generating System
CHICAGO – A solar power installation at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, that was engineered with the assistance of SolarWind USA has helped Stevenson become the first U.S. public high school to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-level certification for existing buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification signifies the school's efficient use of resources.
SolarWind USA was called upon to design and manufacture a custom mounting solution for a hybrid solar thermal/solar photovoltaics power generating system. As a further challenge to SolarWind USA this first of its kind solution had to be designed produced and installed within a The hybrid system had to be completed and installed on within a tight 60-day window. The 60-tube solar thermal system and the six-panel solar photovoltaics system provide a portion of the school's hot water and electricity needs while also serving as a learning lab for students involved in sustainable studies.
The first-of-its-kind mounting system is designed to fit the limited real estate on the school roof. Key features include:
A single vertically stacked configuration that holds the solar thermal collectors above and behind the solar photovoltaic panels to save space as well as maximize solar collection by eliminating ‘shadowing' that blocks a portion of the available sunlight.
A tilt mechanism enabling the orientation of the photovoltaic panels to be adjusted seasonally to maximize electricity generation. The panels can be easily snapped into place at a 27-, 42- or 57-degree angle to accommodate changes in the position of the sun, increasing the amount of solar energy that can be captured at different times.
A 120 mph wind rating achieved despite the fact that the mount could not be bolted to the school roof to hold the structure in place on windy days. SolarWind USA's solution is able to withstand high winds without increasing the ballast beyond roof load limits.
As part of its solution, SolarWind USA also pre-assembled all components to reduce on-site installation time and expense.
"This project showcases our ability to create simpler, less labor-intensive mounting solutions for green energy initiatives," said Don Wolfson, Vice President and General Manager, SolarWind USA, LLC.
"It is a model project for other organizations interested in sustainability."
The LEED gold certification received by Stevenson is the second highest level in the four-tiered LEED ratings system. The LEED certification program is the national benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings with certifications based on water and energy use and conservation; indoor air quality; management of waste and recyclable materials; the use of environmentally preferred products and practices for cleaning and alterations; and sustainable purchasing policies.
Other factors contributing to Stevenson's LEED certification included increased recycling that diverted 25 tons of waste from landfills to recycling centers in 2009-10; adjustments to lighting, heating and air conditioning during non-school hours producing a 6.9% reduction in electricity use alone between 2008-09 and 2009-10; and a 5.3% decline in paper used at the school's copying center over a three-year period.
About SolarWind USA, LLC
SolarWind USA, LLC designs, manufactures and distributes innovative, efficient and cost-effective, made in the USA, solar photovoltaic and thermal mounting solutions for the renewable energy market Additionally, Solarwind USA is growing as a full service provider of alternative energy solutions that include Solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind products utilized in residential through industrial installations. For more information, visit www.solarwindusa.com
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. For more information, visit http://www.usgbc.org/LEED.