The North Carolina Solar Center has expanded yet again. The prominent solar research and development facility on North Carolina State University's campus in Raleigh has added a 1.98 kW photovoltaic array powered with Kaneka's new hybrid modules that are up to 30% more efficient. Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management (SEM) designed and installed the system, which was donated by Kaneka.
Mounted on three poles behind N.C. State University's demonstration Solar House (a program of the N.C. Solar Center), the array is designed to be a demonstration installation allowing researchers to study the efficiency of the Kaneka thin film panels. A monitoring system is being added to give real-time updates on the system's output. SEM finished installing the modules in April.
"We are grateful for every donation and resource that expands our research and demonstration program," said Steve Kalland, executive director of the N.C. Solar Center. "Having this new thin film system allows us to provide Kaneka and the rest of the solar industry with valuable real world performance data."
This is the second time Southern Energy Management and Kaneka have teamed up for a project at the N.C. Solar Center, and this represents SEM's third installation at the site.
"Having a close relationship with the N.C. Solar Center has always been important to us," said David Boynton, SEM's director of product development and training. "They help the entire clean energy industry continue to grow, and the impact of their efforts to educate the public and prepare future solar professionals cannot be overstated."
With this latest installation, the N.C. Solar Center now has six photovoltaic systems capable of generating over 14 kilowatts on site, to go along with two demonstration wind turbines and a solar thermal system producing hot water for the Solar House.
About the North Carolina Solar Center
Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), works closely with state and local government and the renewable energy industry. It manages and maintains the NCSU Solar House and serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through research and demonstration, technical assistance, education, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies.
About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management (southern-energy.com) is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. A certified B Corp, SEM's mission is to have a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and to build a sustainable triple-bottom-line company. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and now employs a team of about 100 sustainable energy professionals. SEM is consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally, and is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011). SEM also received the City of Raleigh 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All.