One of the largest solar electric installations at a public university in California, the $1.8 million photovoltaic project was developed through a partnership with the university's Physical Plant Management, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Gas Company and Shell Solar Industries.
The installation of more than 3,000 solar panels in 2003 saves the university more than $50,000 annually in energy costs while at the same time contributing to a cleaner environment.
The 3,024 Shell solar modules, which are doubling as shading in student parking lot E6 at the northern end of the campus off Halsted Street, can generate 75 watts of power each, producing a peak generating capacity of 225 kilowatts.
Photovoltaic cells in the panels absorb the sun's ray's creating direct current power that is directed to a substation where it is converted to alternating power. It is then increased to 4,160 volts of energy and fed into a power grid that distributes electricity throughout campus.
In addition to saving energy, the use of photovoltaic cells is also easing the campus' impact on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, by using 225 kilowatts of photovoltaic capacity, you reduce carbon emissions equal to the amount emitted by an average passenger car driving 722,181 miles.
To learn more about CSUN’s energy conservation efforts, visit our Fuel Cell project page.