Target: Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell
Goal: Commend and bring awareness to a professor and students at Virginia’s Old Dominion University for helping to design the future of solar power.
A team of students led by their professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia are working towards the production of better, higher-efficiency solar technology. As more and more of the world’s fossil fuels are consumed, improvements on renewable technology are becoming a vital aspect of research budgets everywhere. The laboratories at this college are currently working towards developing a solar tracking system. Applaud the scientists at Old Dominion University for their efforts to improve solar technology in order to keep our natural environment safe.
The project is led by Sylvain Marsillac, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at ODU. Recently, Marsillac and his students had the backbone of the new assembly placed atop the university’s engineering building, Kaufman Hall. When all of the planned 24 photovoltaic panels are installed and the concept is complete, the underlying motorized system will be capable of tilting the panels to any angle to follow the sun over the course of the day, allowing for maximum efficiency. The new array uses next-generation test materials and will be comprised of three distinct types of panels, enabling researchers to determine the best of the collection and make further advancements.
All of this has been made possible by federal grants totaling over $2 million from the Department of Energy and Defense Department. Additionally, Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest electric utility, has provided $50,000 to facilitate the research. In the future, Dominon Virginia Power has plans to jumpstart from ODU’s installation into a solar generation pilot program with as many 50 sites around the state. These arrays will be capable of generating 30MW of energy, enough to power 6,000 average homes.
Continued investigation into fresh renewable possibilities like that of the researchers at ODU is essential to providing more citizens with clean, emissions-free alternatives. Marsillac is certain that the solar industry will only become more economically competitive with older, dirtier methods of power generation. “Long term, it’s already viable,” he said. “The price goes down as you scale up. The price of solar panels has gone down by a factor of three in the past 10 years. That’s huge.” His team’s work is indispensable in our continuing battle against climate change.
Sign this petition to ask Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to commend Marsillac and his engineers for their work to save our environment.
Dear Governor McDonnell,
A research team of students led by Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Sylvain Marsillac at Old Dominion University is currently developing new solar technology to increase efficiencies and avoid needless carbon dioxide emissions. Their new project is making use of next-generation test materials and uses three distinct types of panels, enabling the researches to determine the most efficient model. Placed on the roof of the university’s engineering building, this new motorized array employs special trackers to sense the location of the sun and rotate the panels to any angle to achieve maximum power generation over the whole day.
The site at ODU is the first of many planned by Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest utility. They intend for construction at up to 50 locations around Virginia, jumpstarting a solar generation pilot program from the new facility at ODU. Professor Marsillac is confident that solar energy will only become more competitive with other forms of generation. “Long term, it’s already viable,” he said. “The price goes down as you scale up. The price of solar panels has gone down by a factor of three in the past 10 years. That’s huge.” As more and more of the world’s fossil fuels are consumed, investigation like that going on at ODU is indispensable in our battle with climate change. I urge you to commend the work of Marsillac and his students to protect our natural environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory via Flickr