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Solar Hot Water System Installed at Shelby Campus

A new solar water-heating system on Shelby Campus

When KPPC moved to Burhans Hall on UofL's Shelby Campus in January 2009, a decision was made to "Green" the Center wherever possible and to make UofL and the Shelby Campus more environmentally sustainable.  Part of the Greening strategy included the idea of using solar energy as part of the building's energy infrastructure. Thanks to the vision and support of Larry Owsley, Vice President for Business Affairs at UofL, and Larry Detherage, Associate Vice President for Facilities, Burhans Hall now has a new addition to its roof top - a pair of solar panels that will supply hot water to the entire building. The system was made possible with funding from the Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development (KIESD) and with the support of its director Russell Barnett. KIESD funded 50% of the total cost through a Federal Sustainable Building Appropriation. 


Solar Hot Water Installation 1

Installers prepare the site for installation.  A crane was used       
to lift the panels to the roof
Solar hot water installation 2

A special mounting rail was installed to avoid drilling into the roof.


Each roof top panel measures 4 by 10 feet and is connected to a 120 gallon hot water storage tank in the basement of Burhans Hall. The solar water-heating system is a closed loop type that uses a recirculating pump and a special food grade working fluid that allows for heat exchange in the storage tank. The system can generate up to 30,000 Btus of heat and can reduce current natural gas usage for water heating  by as much as 50%.  Earthwell Energy Management, Inc., a company based in Louisville, installed the solar unit. The cost of the  equipment and installation was approximately $14,000 and the system has a working life of 30 to 40 years. KPPC and UofL are committed to investing in a sustainable future. The new solar system at Shelby Campus is a working example of this commitment.


Solar hot water installation 4

The panels are mounted at 38 degrees, Louisville's latitude, for maximum sunlight exposure.

Solar hot water installation final

The pair of solar panels in place on the roof of Burhans Hall. The system can produce up to 30,000 Btus of heat, reducing current natural gas usage by up to 50%.




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