Exploring New Energy Sources
solar electric vehicle charging station
The solar e-car charging station, located near the University Services Building and the Madison Street Services Building, provides charging spaces for approximately 20 electric vehicles for Facilities Management (FM) and other UI departments. The project was completed summer 2011.
Facilities Management continues to expand its fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles which includes a number of EXV-2 model vehicles, a GEM, Chevy Volt and several Toyota Prius.
Charging an electric vehicle at the station takes about three hours and provides a 30-mile charge. One stall is used as an education resource and for experimental vehicle testing by the UI College of Engineering.
The south-facing 180-foot solar photovoltaic (PV) array generates an estimated 70,000 kWh of energy annually -- that allows for a projected reduction in gasoline use by 15,686 gallons. It is also enough energy to recharge up to 40 campus utility vehicles on a sunny summer day or provide enough energy for seven average homes in Iowa for a year (a typical home uses 800 kWh per month).
The surplus power generated by the station will be distributed back to the UI power grid. The station supplies 120/240V of electricity and features a data network connection to the UI Energy Control Center for system tracking and analysis.
The cost of construction of the station was approximately $950,000 and was funded by a coalition including the Office of Energy Independence, Department of Energy, UI Facilities Management, UI Office of Sustainability, and UI Parking & Transportation.