1 1 Get Renewable! Tampa, FL University of South Florida Board of Directors 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL Directors, I write to you on behalf of Get Renewable!, a green energy consulting firm interested in tackling the problem concerning the lack of applied renewable energy sources on the USF Tampa campus. As a campus serving more than 40,000 students and hundreds of additional faculty members, the energy cost of the Tampa campus alone is significant Our firm has drawn up a plan for implementing primarily solar and considers auxiliary wind power systems with the intent of easing the Tampa campus draw on conventional energy sources. The initial project focuses on partnering with the proposed Green Writing and Design Facility (GWDF) - taking a green-oriented technology application and making it even more friendly to the environment and the University budget. The first step, in regards to introducing green energy sources, focuses on the same 18 year timeframe described in the GWDF proposal. Once the initial GWDF application has been completed, we look to expanding application of the same renewable energy technologies to other buildings on the Tampa campus, such as the housing buildings which account for the highest consistent population densities on campus. Your time is appreciated. We ll be attending the presentation day and will answer any questions during our session. Sincerely, USF Green Project Get Renewable!
2 2 Applying Renewable Energy Sources to Supply Clean Energy to the USF Tampa Campus Get Renewable! Tom Angelina Lafane Campbell Derek Messmore Corey Williams
3 3 Table of Contents Page Section 5 Executive Summary 6 Problem Statement 7 Background 9 Implementing Solar Power 13 Wind Energy Supplement 18 Qualifications 19 Glossary of Terms 20 Works Cited
4 4 Table of Illustrations Page Figure Title 9 1 Graphical representation of how a solar power system works 10 2 TECO s solar calculator year cost analysis for a PV system (table) year cost analysis for a PV system (graph) 13 5 Diagram and size comparison of a wind turbine 14 6 Addition of a wind generator to an electrical grid with a solar panels 15 7 Average wind speeds across the United States
5 5 Executive Summary This proposal details the feasibility of implementing solar and potential wind power sources for use on the University of South Florida Tampa Campus (USF Tampa). The current energy cost to the campus is $0.085 per kwh, which amounts to multi-million dollar annual costs to the university s budget, running hundreds of buildings and serving more than 40,000 personnel. As background, this proposal looks at examples set by other universities who have already began implementation of alternative power systems, such as the California State University San Bernardino campus and the University of Delaware. Projected energy output and costs are included, and these cases can serve as examples to the feasibility of the project. The implementation plan for solar panel arrays is then discussed, providing samples of two panel types deemed to best fit the project. Wind turbines are also discussed, but as an auxiliary addition to the project, given that the size-cost-output ratios are significantly less worthwhile. The sample application for this proposal is a green computer lab (See Green Writing and Design Lab). Although the lab is designed to reduce energy demand over the course of its lifetime, the source is still to be the traditional supply sources employed across the university campus, fed off the existing TECO power grid. The GWDL serves as a template for computer labs throughout campus and then could be accompanied by sources which could take the stated 70% reduction in power and further reduce that impact on the university budget. The GWDL is a strong project on its own, but as will be highlighted, renewable energy can serve to strengthen it further.
6 6 Statement of the Problem The USF Tampa Campus covers roughly 1600 acres and serves a student population of nearly 40,000. Between resident student needs, classrooms, dining services, and other miscellaneous applications, this campus requires a significant amount of energy on even a daily time scale. Such large consumption means an equally significant cost to our campus just to maintain normal operations. This proposal seeks to address alternative power solutions which could serve to reduce the effects of both energy costs on the budget and environmental impact but the generation of the electricity required. The university obtains its energy from coal plants at the cost of $0.085 per kilowatt hour, and at a recorded peak demand of 26,824 kw, the equates to, at maximum load, just over $ 2,280 per hour. Although the university doesn t quite come close to maintaining that consistent usage, maintaining a consistent 75% capacity would still cost about $71,000 daily in electricity alone. In the case of the Green Writing and Design Lab, over the span of the year, it will contribute an estimated 5,450 kwh to the USF Tampa energy bill. Although the plan for the lab reduces the total computer lab energy cost 91% from where it currently is, the remainder still amounts to $463 per year in energy costs. Even, at best case, if all labs on the campus were to be converted to follow the GWDL model, that still amounts to roughly $5,500 in electrical costs annually (estimated public computers available, divided into 12 equivalent labs ). Although the GWDL model reduces the electrical draw by 86% (Zoetewey), the energy being used is still the same as that in use by the rest of the university. And the university, as with much of the Tampa Area, still gets much of its power from fossil fuel sources, such as coal. It is desirable, both economically and environmentally, to begin transitioning away from fossil fuels. Although the GWDL project provides a perfect fit to introduce renewable energy to the USF Tampa campus, it is seen also as a springboard to reduce the draw of the Tampa campus and the associated cost.
7 7 Background As stated previously, the University of South Florida pays a very substantial amount on its energy every hour, about $1,500 during peak hours ("Data collection and," 2011). Every college across the United States is also facing this same problem. With several alternative energy sources available, reducing the amount of money the University of South Florida spends on energy is definitely possible. Although USF has not made any major advances in using alternative energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, several other colleges have done so. The other colleges have not only reduced the impact on the environment, but also significantly reduced the amount of money they spend on energy. One college that has added a significant amount of solar power is Cal State San Bernardino. To go along with the existing solar panels on the roof of their health and physical education complex, the university added a ground mounted, 3.5 acres solar farm ("Colleges add solar," 2010). The two projects combined generates 28.8 percent of the 4,500kW of electricity that the university uses during peak hours of energy use ("Colleges add solar," 2010). The panels are installed and owned by third-party investors, and the university pays for the electricity generated by the photovoltaic system ("Colleges add solar," 2010). Tony Simpson, senior director of facilities for the university, stated that the cost per kilowatt-hour is less than if they were to purchase the energy from the local utility company ("Colleges add solar," 2010). In the first few months since the solar panel system had been installed, the university stated that it has reduced metric tons of greenhouse gases. The campus has also seen a 15 percent decrease in overall carbon footprint, which is a reduction of almost 2,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions ("Colleges add solar," 2010). Along with the solar panels, Cal State San Bernardino installed two wind turbines in Their rated production capacities are 5kW and 2.4 kw respectively ("Wind turbines," 2011). With wind speeds being hard to predict, the exact amount of energy the wind turbines will produce cannot be predicted either. However, based on the expected production capacities, the turbines will produce almost 65,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually (7.4kW x 365days x 24hours) ("Wind turbines," 2011). Adding these wind turbines will benefit the environment by reducing the amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere every year. Several other colleges have also already added solar power. The University of Delaware installed a 2,000 panel solar array in late 2010 ("Standard solar brings," 2010). The solar panel system was expected to generate about 1,035,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted annually by 1,323,433 pounds ("Standard solar brings," 2010). This is the equivalent of reducing the use of 68,216 gallons of gas every year. Patrick Harker, the UD President, stated that the solar system was funded in part from its 2009 senior class gift, which was earmarked for solar initiatives on campus ("Standard solar brings," 2010).
8 8 Atlantic Cape Community College installed solar panels that outfitted 6 parking lots on campus (Carrigan, 2010). The President of the Community College, Dr. Peter Mora, stated that the design allows cars to still park in the lots, while the solar panels above will power nearly half of the college. The savings is computed to be $220,000 a year, Mora noted (Carrigan, 2010). As many colleges have significantly reduced cost spent on energy and reduced their carbon footprint using alternative energy sources, the University of South Florida will also be able to see the same success. The door is wide open for USF to cut cost, as well as protect the environment by adding solar panels and wind turbines to its campus.
9 9 Implementing Solar Power What is solar power? Solar power is a renewable form of energy that absorbs sunlight and converts it into electricity to power devices. How does the solar process work? 1. First, energy from the sunlight is absorbed into the solar array; some of this energy is then converted to direct current (DC). 2. Then the DC is carried to a charge controller which regulates the current provided to battery and prevents current back flow to the solar panels. 3. The DC then leaves the batteries to an inverter to be converted to alternating current (AC). This is necessary because most appliances such as thin client servers operate with AC. 4. The AC then travels to the AC Service Panel where it can then be distributed to the appliances that need power. 5. Excess AC power produced from the system goes out to the utility grid. The power output to the grid is measured by the AC Utility Net Meter because it is bi-directional. Figure 1 Graphical representation of how a solar power system works. Source:
10 10 Power Consumption and Cost of Electricity for the GWDL The power consumption of the Green energy computer lab will be consumed by 26 thin clients, a thin client server, a bulb-less projector and a multifunction smart board. According to information provided by the Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) application the power that will approximately be consumed per year is 5450 kilowatt hours (KWH). This gives a monthly power consumption of 454 KWH. This monthly consumption rate will be used as the basis for design of the solar power system. The SGEF application also provides a value of $ as the electric cost per year to operate the Green energy lab. The solar system will be designed to offset this cost per year. Cost Analysis All installation work and materials for the solar power system will be provided by Tampa Electric TECO. The decision to utilize TECO is based on their reputation of efficient work, their location in Tampa and the affordability of their service. To approximate the cost of TECO s service, a calculator provided by their website was used. A table was created based on the energy usage of 456 kwh per month. This information is shown in figure 2. Figure 2 Provides details from TECO s solar calculator. Source:
11 Figure 3 Table and graphical representation of the Profit vs Years for the solar power system over an 18 year period. 11
12 Benefit of Applying the Solar Power Solution 1. Profits will be earned within eight years and will continue to be gained from that point onward. 2. Solar panels have an effective life cycle of 20 to 40 years. 3. Excess energy not used by the green computer lab will be placed in the power grid. This will lead to additional savings. 4. It can lead to a reduction in student tuition over time. 5. Has the potential to expand to other parts of campus if deemed profitable. 6. Solar energy is renewable and has no ill effect on the environment. 12
13 13 Wind Energy Supplement About Wind Energy As an addition to solar energy, the new proposed green energy lab at USF can derive some of its required electrical energy from wind-powered generators placed on the campus or on top of the target building. However, wind turbines generate much lower amounts of electricity than solar panels and would be most efficiently used supplement to large applications of the energy sources, or where a flexible, large budget is present, such as the proposed GWDL. Wind turbines utilize the energy from wind speed to rotate the turbines fan, converting the rotational energy into electrical energy through the use of an internal generator.(climatetech) Figure A shows how the internals of a wind turbine are connected and the relative size of the turbine itself. Figure 5 Shows the internal mechanisms in a wind turbine and relative sizes. Source: The wind turbines would be used primarily as a supplemental source to the solar cells, generating additional electrical energy to be stored in the battery packs when connected to the electrical grid as shown in Figure B. The figure also shows the simplicity of adding a turbine to the electrical grid.
14 14 Figure 6 Shows addition of a wind generator to an electrical grid with a solar panel already installed. Source: Benefits of Wind Turbine Supplement Using the wind turbines as supplements to the solar panels can be an effective alternative energy source for a few reasons: Can become short-term primary electricity source during long periods of overcast weather where optimal levels of radiant energy from the sun are not being harvested. During high wind-speed periods, turbine can generate more than enough electricity to power the GWDL by itself while having excess energy disperse into the electrical grid, allowing the energy harvested by the solar panels to be directed to other important applications. Turbines effectively become an insurance plan for the solar panels. Any period of time where the solar panels are in need of maintenance or replacement, the turbines would provide an acceptable source to power the green lab. The main reasoning behind using wind turbines as supplements rather than primarily is due to small energy production, high equipment cost, and inconsistent wind speeds.
15 15 Turbine Effectiveness Due to Wind Speed Wind turbine efficiency (ability to harvest energy) depends greatly on the wind speed associated with the area where the wind turbines are to be placed. It is important to know local average wind speed to determine how much electricity is generated and how long it will take for the turbine to pay for itself. Figure C shows the average wind speeds over the United States. Figure 7 Illustrates average wind speeds across the US. Source: As determined from Figure C, Tampa area s average wind speed is approximately 5.0 m/s on the low end. This figure will be used to determine the amount of electricity generated by selected turbines, as well as the period of time required to make the initial investment back. (Wind Powering America)
16 16 Wind Energy Costs Wind energy, like other forms of renewable energy, is not an inexpensive method of obtaining power. Investors should expect at least a decade for any turbines to produce profit. Some of the factors that go into determining the total cost to manufacture, distribute, and maintain wind-powered generators are: Specific materials used in construction of turbine (aluminum costs more than steel, but is lightweight and strong). Rated capacity of turbine ($1,200-$2,600 per kw for turbines over 100 kw; $3,000-$5,000 per kw for turbines under 100 kw) Type of turbine (size proportional to production cost) as well as number of turbines to be used. Price to rent the area of land required to place turbines on, as well as any legal issues or fees associated with this land (i.e. protected land). Spare parts, employee labor costs, and equipment costs, which vary given amount of damage, time to repair damage, and availability of parts. These figures cannot be estimated. Turbine insurance, which is unnecessary for smaller applications In 2007 wind turbine prices averaged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million per MW (Megawatt) of capacity installed, which is around $1.2 to $2.6 per watt. For comparison purposes, and to put these prices into perspective, most commercially used wind generators installed today are roughly 2 MW in capacity, whereas the average home requires only a 10 KW (.01 MW) machine to power it, costing approximately $35,000 to $50,000. However smaller capacity turbines (under 100 kilowatts in capacitance) also carry a higher price-tag: $3 to $5 per watt. For USF s green computer lab, two wind turbine models, the Whisper 500 and the Ampair 600, will be analyzed for cost and to maximize the amount of energy harvested. (Windustry) Southwest Windpower Whisper 500 Turbine The Southwest Windpower brand Whisper 500 turbine is a large turbine with a rotor diameter of 4.26 meters and is rated at 3000 watts of maximum power. This specific turbine has been calculated to produce an approximate kwh of energy per month (using a 5 m/s average wind speed), which equates to $42.63/month; it can power the GWDL, and have an excess of 47.5 kwh of energy flood into the electrical grid. The Whisper 500 generator costs $8, which, at $42.63 production per month, equates to an approximate sixteen and three quarter years to break even. Using this turbine in association with the solar panels can provide a massive amount of supplemental energy. The size of the turbine, however, limits areas where the turbine can be placed, as well as makes maintenance on the product difficult and possibly expensive. This effectively causes the smaller turbine to be a more effective choice for a supplement(wholesale Solar).
17 17 Ampair 600 Micro Wind Turbine According to a 2005 report on wind energy by Dr. Rudy Schlaf from USF s Department of Electrical Engineering, Schlaf recommends usage of the Ampair 600 micro wind turbine due to its small size and acceptable energy output. This micro wind turbine has a rotor diameter of only 1.7 meters and can easily be installed on top of the target building, in this case the computer lab, with little more than a few mounting brackets. Outside installation is unnecessary for this turbine due to its small size, which means on-site faculty from the University of South Florida could perform the installation. The Ampair 600 produces approximately 100 watts of power per hour, calculated using Tampa s average wind speed of 5 m/s, with roughly units being required to power a single, average home. For the GWDL application, however, 5 Ampair 600 turbines would be required to produce 500 kwh of electricity per month, 46 kwh more than required. This energy output equates to roughly $ At an approximate cost of $2,400 each, investors should expect a period of roughly twenty three and a half years to break even on the cost of these turbines. Although the Ampair 600 turbines cost more total, and will take longer to break even, they are a better recommendation to supplement the solar panels for the GWDL due to their size, ease of use/installation, power production, and no need for separate land costs. (Wind Energy)(Ampair) Conclusion Wind turbines provide an effective alternative energy source for investors willing to spend many years running and maintaining them. Although turbines are not cost-effective as a stand-alone option in small applications, they create an effective supplement to other renewable energy sources, such as solar energy.
18 18 Qualifications Our company, Get Renewable!, is made up of experienced engineers, all who have received a Masters Degree in their specific engineering field. Our engineers are well trained in all aspects of alternative energy, and as a company we have completed several projects dealing with alternative energy for private businesses, family homes, and hotels. In the past few years, Get Renewable! has successfully installed solar panels for many businesses, hotels, and homes. Our prices are the cheapest around compared to other local alternative energy companies. We offer a few different types of solar panels, varying in price based on how efficient they are. Our company has also installed wind turbines to produce energy for local hotels. As a company we can guarantee that installing our alternative energy sources will lower the cost USF pays for energy. We feel that Get Renewable! is best fit to install solar panels and wind turbines on the University of South Florida campus. Our company is very experienced installing these systems, and as South Florida Alumni, we would love to be chosen to complete this project. The Get Renewable! USF Project Planning Team is Tom Angelina - Wind Technology Specialist Master s in Mechanical Engineering, University of South Florida 3 years with Get Renewable! Lafane Campbell - Solar Technology Specialist Master s in Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida 3 years experience in solar technology application 2 years with Get Renewable! Derek Messmore - Research Consultant Master s in Mechanical Engineering, University of South Florida 4 years experience implementing clean energy systems 2 years with Get Renewable! Corey Williams - Project Lead Master s in Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida 4 years with Get Renewable!
19 19 Glossary GWDL - Green Writing and Design Lab Kilowatt hour (kwh) - Kilowatts of electricity consumed per hour. Photovoltaic system- A system which uses solar cells to convert light into electricity. Solar array- Electrical device consisting of a large display of connected solar cells.
20 20 Works Cited Ampair 600 wind turbine. (2012, Janu 2012). Retrieved from Carrigan, D. (2010, Febr 02). Atlantic cape community college will use solar energy in a big way. Retrieved from Colleges add solar power. (2010, Augu 17). Retrieved from Data collection and analysis. (2011, Octo 14). Retrieved from Planning/Data Collection & Analysis elements(new)/dca_comb_w_cover_toc_appendices.pdf Different types of solar panels. (n.d.). Retrieved from How much do wind turbines cost?. (n.d.). Retrieved from Image. (n.d.). Retrieved from Picture (12).png Image. (n.d.). Retrieved from Image. (n.d.). Retrieved from Solar cost faq. (n.d.). Retrieved from Southwest windpower. (n.d.). Retrieved from Standard solar brings solar energy deployment to ud. (2010, Augu 16). Retrieved from
21 21 Utility-scale land-based 80-meter wind maps. (2012, Febr 08). Retrieved from What is the life expectancy of solar panels?. (2008, Sept 11). Retrieved from Whisper 500. (n.d.). Retrieved from pdf folder/whisper500_spec_sheet.pdf Wind turbines. (2011, June 29). Retrieved from Zoetewey, M. (2012, Janu 2012). Sgef grant application. Retrieved from bzb3lu81awp1dw/edit
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