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August 12, 2007

Dividends being realized

Solar energy system receives praise from FSU professors

FROSTBURG — Frostburg State University Professors Oguz and Hilkat Soysal are pleased by the efficiency of the solar array system installed atop the FSU Fuller House on Braddock Road.

“The solar array is producing more than we were expecting — the efficiency of the system is excellent,” Hilkat Soysal said of the 2-kilowatt solar panels that began to generate electricity June 8.

The daily average energy generation over the past 60 days has been 7.65 kilowatts per hour, according to Oguz Soysal. “This is about one-third of the energy used in a typical single-family house with AC,” he said.

“I’m really pleased with how much energy is being generated by the solar panels so far,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “Because solar panels have become so much more efficient, we’re exploring the possibility of retrofitting some buildings on campus with solar panels to supplement our energy needs.”

The Soysals said it is still too early for output results from the wind turbine that began to work July 6. The 33-foot tower is shorter than one they ordered, and they expect to replace it with a 45-foot tower at no charge by the end of the month.

They noted that the summer days are calmer, so wind turbines do not generate much electricity; however, they are expecting more wind generation in fall, winter and spring months.

The main purpose of the study, which will analyze the effectiveness of renewable energy, is to generate unbiased data that will be available to students, faculty and community members.

FSU students will play a role in conducting the study.

“The students and the community will be able to monitor the system output very soon,” said Oguz Soysal. “We purchased and installed a Web- enabled meter to record voltage, current, power and energy data in real time — we are hoping to put this data on our Web site.”

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