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Undergraduate Service Learning: Photovoltaic System Design And Construction

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Design Experiences in Energy Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1370.1 - 10.1370.12



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Paper Authors

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Jacki Stewart

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Peter Jansson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Undergraduate Service Learning: Campus Photovoltaic System Siting, Design, and Permitting

Dr. Peter Mark Jansson, PE, Jacki Stewart, William Heston, Rob Molner, Julie Murphy, Paul Tomkiewicz

Rowan University - College of Engineering Session 2433


In 2001, Rowan University’s President, along with 45 other universities and colleges in New Jersey made a commitment to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to reduce our greenhouse emissions to below their 1990 levels by 20051. As the 2005 deadline is approaching, Rowan University has been active on many fronts in an attempt to meet this challenging goal. One effort to help reduce emissions includes a multi-disciplinary group of engineers in the College of Engineering’s innovative Junior/Senior Clinic program2,3 who have combined to site, design, permit, and install photovoltaic (PV) systems around campus. PV systems are a clean, renewable energy resource that use energy from the sun and convert solar energy to usable electricity. They have developed plans for installing these systems on roofs around campus, as well as one system on the ground for educational purposes. Lucrative financial incentives from the State of New Jersey have made these systems economically feasible for the first time. To further reduce overall system costs, students working on the project, as well as volunteers from the professional service societies of the College (IEEE, ASCE, etc.), will be installing the PV systems themselves. Early estimates are that the planned installations will save over 8.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually (estimated from the installation of 6-kilo Watts of PV. This paper describes the steps that the student volunteers undertook to perform resource assessment, site identification, site selection prioritization, presentation to administration, system design, system component procurement and ultimately system construction, permitting, and rebate application. Although Rowan University finds its 2005 deadline challenging, since, like many universities, it is growing very significantly each year, significant strides have been made in many areas (efficiency, cogeneration, and tree planting). This project is a key component of the overall plan for the coming years to enable Rowan University to become more environmentally responsible.


Over the past 81 years, Rowan University has grown from a small local teacher’s college (Glassboro Normal School) to a nationally recognized University for students of diverse interests. During the next 10 years, Rowan has an aggressive plan to invest $536 million in new buildings, residence halls, and other campus improvements. In the midst of this continuing growth, Rowan University is faced with the task of reducing its greenhouse emissions.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Stewart, J., & Jansson, P. (2005, June), Undergraduate Service Learning: Photovoltaic System Design And Construction Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14604

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