North Complex Solar Project

October 4 , 2011

The picture on the left below is one of the two electric boilers that were used to heat the domestic and heating water for the North Complex. These boilers were replaced with the thermal solar tubes and high efficiency propane gas boilers that provides supplemental heat for less sunny days. In a conventional boiler, fuel is burned and the hot gases produced are passed through a heat exchanger where much of their heat is transferred to water, thus raising the water's temperature. One of the hot gases produced in the combustion process is water vapor (steam), which arises from burning the hydrogen content of the fuel. A condensing boiler extracts additional heat from the waste gases by condensing this water vapor to liquid water, thus recovering its latent heat. A typical increase of efficiency can be as much as 10-12%. The effectiveness of this condensing process varies, it depends upon the temperature of the water returning to the boiler, but for the same conditions, it is always at least as efficient as a non-condensing boiler.

September 23, 2011

Work on the Solar Thermal Project for the North Complex is beginning to wrap up. All of the solar tubes are installed and the solar system, as well as the high efficiency boilers are now operational. The new cooling tower that is used for air conditioning in the building is now installed and working as of 9/23/2011.

Over the next two weeks our contractors will be working on pouring a new lid on the large concrete vault that is located in front of Hess. We expect to have an operational graphic on a flat screen monitor installed in the lobby of the building within the next few weeks. The graphic will show real time information on the solar system function and how the system is reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next few weeks our contractor will continue to be on-site doing demolition of the old electric heating equipment.  Any questions concerning the installation of the solar thermal system can be directed to Facility Services

September 2, 2011

The North Complex Solar Thermal installation continues and is expected to be completed by October 1st.  The underground hot water holding tank has been installed and backfill continues.  We expect to begin the process of installing the solar tubes during the week of September 5th.

August 15 , 2011

The contractor is finished installing all the structural steel and the railing around the perimeters of the roofs.  Piping for the hot water loop is being installed and insulated.  The solar tubes will arrive on campus this week and the contractor will start installing those.

July 8, 2011

Structural steel framing has been installed on the roofs of the three buildings.  This structural framing will support the new solar panels.  Much of the framing and solar panel headers have been installed and can easily be seen from the ground.  The new mechanical room on the roof of the building that will house the new gas boilers is under roof and the walls have been completed.

June 2011

Construction on the solar thermal installation on the roof of the North Complex is moving along.  After several rain delays, the roofs of Miller and Hess have been replaced and structural steel is being set for the solar tube arrays.  Work has started on the new mechanical room on the roof of the Grantham building which will house the new high efficiency boilers.  Over the next several weeks the solar panels will arrive on site and installation will begin. The project is moving along on schedule and is projected to be 100% completed by mid October.

May 2011

The college is contracted with Heim Mechanical to install solar thermal tubes on the North Complex roof to generate hot water.  This system is designed to provide enough hot water for domestic use as well as heating. This project is set to begin May 16th.

Old Heating System New Heating System
Cooling Tower Installation Solar Field
Hot Water Storage Tank Installation 1 Hot Water Storage Tank Installation 2