Solar Power

Environmentally friendly energy generated for the Green Campus can be solar energy as well as wind.

One of Finland's largest, 220 kW of power

During 2013-2014, one of Finland's largest solar power plants was built on LUT's campus with a generation capacity of 220 kW. The solar panels are located on the roofs of the university and they make up the roof structures of car ports. The surface area of the solar panels will be about 1500 square metres.

"Such a large solar power plant had never been built in Finland before, so its design and construction produced a lot of valuable information about implementing a solar power plant in northern conditions", explained Professor Jero Ahola.

Once it is completed, the solar power station will not just produce electricity, but will also be a research and teaching laboratory where such things as the installation and functioning of network interfaces with solar cells can be investigated.

"Genuine research equipment and real operating conditions improve the quality of experimental and theoretical research", adds Professor Ahola.

Solar power to replace university's bought-in power

The electricity generated by all the solar panels will replace some of the electricity bought-in. In 2013 LUT's electricity consumption was 7,237 MWh The new solar power generation will generate about 160 MWh annually.

Some of the solar panels will be fitted with turning devices which will keep them facing the sun. The turning devices will increase the amount of energy collected annually by 20–40 per cent.

"The panels have a long life. The manufacturers guarantee that after 25 years of use the panels will still operate at over 80 per cent of their nominal power output. After installation, solar power systems require almost no maintenance, you just need to clean the panels from time to time."

Once the procurement and installation of the panels is paid for the generation of solar power is free: the sun will last, using it does not pollute and nor does it produce any noise.

"As far as the generation of solar power is concerned, Finland is almost the same kind of region as Central Europe. The dark winters are compensated for by the light summers when the sun shines for almost 24 hours.

In addition, Finland has the advantage of a low ambient temperature which improves the efficiency of solar cells. Solar panels work better the colder it is.

20 kW of solar power part of the university's smart grid

The turning device fitted with 22 silicon crystal panels that has been installed in the Tervahaudanpuisto park in front of the university, is part of the university's smart grid. The total power of the panels on the turning device is 5 kW. The height of the device is about six metres and it is about eight metres wide.

In addition, there is another 5 kW (22 pcs) of silicon crystal panels on the roof of the university which provides real time comparative information about the difference in power generation between the fixed rooftop installation and the installation with the turning device.

A further 10 k of thin membrane panels (84 pcs) will be added to the solar power station later.

Take a look at the real time generation figures at the following address www.lut.fi/green-campus/alykas-sahkoverkko-smart-grid/tuotantolukemia.