• New Solar Panels To Be Used For Green Grid Research

     Green grid research just got a little brighter on Centennial Campus. 

    Research scientists with the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center intend to use a recently installed solar system on the roof of one of the research park’s newest buildings to study how distributed renewable energy can be tied to the current electrical grid. The FREEDM Center, under the leadership of NC State’s College of Engineering, is the first National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research center to focus on distributed energy and is supported by an initial five-year $18.5 million grant from the NSF and industry sponsors. The goal of the center is to tackle the technological challenges associated with decentralization and integration of the nation’s power grid with wind, solar and other alternative energy sources. 

    The 268 panels sit atop the Keystone Science Center, a 70,000-square foot multi-tenant building, which houses the FREEDM Center. The 40 kW, ballasted rooftop solar system, which took three weeks to install, is forecasted to generate around 52,000 kWh of energy annually for the building. The entire solar system consists of 186 photovoltaic (PV) modules and four solar inverters. The solar inverters transition the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for immediate use throughout the building and for specific research projects. In addition, the installation incorporates a monitoring system to feed real-time energy generation data to the FREEDM Systems Center engineers. accordance with North Carolina codes, the tilted, non-affixed panels are wind-rated for up to 95 miles per hour. FREEDM will have the ability to use the power directly as designed or set up experiments to use the system as part of its research focus. Eventually, the FREEDM Center will operate a fully operational 1kW green energy hub in the building, which will demonstrate the plug-and-play capabilities of a distributed, green grid system. 

    The solar system was designed and installed by AEG Power Solutions (AEG PS), a Netherlands-based provider of solar solutions for commercial buildings. 


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