School Overview:

This project was for our School of Sustainable Design Engineering and Sustainable energy stream. Team Mumford and Suns worked on Sustainable solutions for our new building, like collecting wind energy on the roof, Integrating Solar panels into the building, and Creating energy efficient utilities inside the building for students to charge electronics and view where their charge is in the process.

Problem Statement/Scope of design

The Mumford and Suns team, Andrew Simmons and Mason Boertien needed to design a

  1. Solar array with 12 x roof-mounted solar panels with adjustable mounting
  2. Weather station Installed and calibrated in the building
  3. Calibrated phone charging station with display
  4. Data integration station where all elements must integrate into a central hub.

Design Requirements

The Solar Array that the School of Sustainable Design Engineering was interested in had to be

  • south facing and on the second-floor roof to maximize power output,
  • needed to allow room for 18 more panels to be added to the current design,
  • and the structure and components needed to be viable for Prince Edward Island weather: wind speed, temperature(-37.2 to 36.7 C) and snow accumulation variations.

Design Solution

The solar array is in the furthest corner of the footing array on the green roof to reduce shading issues. Also, the array uses Enphase micro-inverters to process the solar data,keep the voltage at a safe 48 V maximum, and allow for each panel to be analyzed individually.

3.2 kw solar array on second floor of SSDE

Mason Boertien showcasing the Solar Array on SSDE Roof

The weather station is located on the third-floor roof and is tethered down with concrete loaded plywood placed on Styrofoam to prevent damage to the roof. The weather station is capable of monitoring wind direction, wind speed, rain levels, humidity, pressure, and temperature.

Davis Wind Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station

The calibrated weather station that reads and records data through WeatherLink (Davis Software) and Weather Underground (open-source software) is placed on the third-floor roof of the SSDE to assess the wind resource. Work orders in place for data line connecting the weather station to the console that is next to room 304 on the third floor, and Ethernet connection for the Davis console to upload data to WeatherLink and Weather Underground.

Wind velocity and output LED screen display

The charging station uses a current transducer feeding data through a voltage divider into an Arduino that processes it and sends it via a serial cable to a Raspberry Pi 3. The current transducer is attached to the positive wire that is connected to the circuit for the second level of the learning stairs and is in the electrical closet on the second floor of the engineering building. The device is installed but still requires troubleshooting to develop an accurate reading of current and wattage.

Andrew Simmons during presentation explain the Learning stairs charging station in the SSDE

The Data Integration Station aka theĀ Green Instrumentation Room is located on the second floor in the supply closet where eventually there will be a screen implemented on the wall for future viewing of the energy generated for solar, and wind power.

Project Outcome

The requirements of the client were met to provide, test, and install a sustainable energy aspect to the School of Sustainable Design Engineering by providing a 3.2 kW array on the Green Roof of the building. Also, the Davis Vantage Pro 2 provides a means of analyzing the roof location for wind turbine feasibility.

Both solutions have their own data monitoring systems that are integrated into the Green Instrumentation Room with Enlighten and Weather Underground respectively.

Lastly, a prototype was developed for the charging station that can be displayed along with the Enlighten and Weather Underground in the Green Instrumentation Room via Raspberry Pi 3 SSH communication. This prototype has limitations as it can not currently provide a reliable reading for current and watts from the learning stairs.