Let’s get churches roof panels solar!
For the Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville in Pennsylvania is eagerly anticipating the installation of solar panels on the rooftop of their building. The array is estimated to generate 14.8 kilowatts of energy. Thereby providing a significant cost saving to the church. The solar panel installation is projected to become operational in the coming month. Furthermore, the church is confident that solar will be a beneficial move for both the environment and their financial situation. If you are considering switching to solar energy, now is a great time to do it.
The solar array consists of 37 panels, each about 2 meters long and 1 meter wide. All which are located on the flat sections of the roof over the side entrance and rear area of the University’s parish house. For that’s close to Diamond Park in the south-east corner.
These panels can also be seen in northwestern Pennsylvania. That’s causing many to ask if they will generate enough energy under the typically grey skies of Meadville. Additionally, people are curious about how much energy will be produced. Especially when the panels are covered by 16 inches of snow.
To be honest, when the panels are beneath so much snow, don’t expect a lot. I mean not a lot of energy will be created. However, Carbone assured that snow is not a complete deal breaker. The panels are slanted to the south and as they heat up quicker than the surrounding surfaces. So the snow will sometimes slide off. Other solutions are available too. For example MY solar panels heat up and defrost the snow off the panels.
Carbone even stated that the solar panels work even in dim sunlight. So there is plenty of sunshine to make them beneficial. He added that in Pennsylvania, the solar array will pay for itself within 10 years and will then carry on providing electricity without charge for around 15 years. The only condition is that one has to find a way to finance the initial expenses of the solar system and they need to have a location and roof that can facilitate it.
Considering the fact that the cost of materials for such a project is in the tens of thousands of dollars, it can be hard to make it happen. Consequently, the church got in touch with Allegheny to get a grant and they were awarded $44,000 from the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund, which is controlled by the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, a Johnstown-based non-profit. On top of the grant, the project was rewarded with free labor to install the solar panels.
Source: Panasonic North America