Annabelle Epplin, the 2020 winner of The Grainger CEME Undergraduate Research and Leadership Award, and Joyce Mast, Coordinator for The Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics, demonstrated making s’mores with a solar oven while discussing the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB)’s solar array.
ECEB has about 950 solar panels producing about 275 kilowatts of energy during peak usage. This is about one fifth of the building’s needs. Sixty panels (see arrow, center right, below) are dedicated to student and faculty research. Each panel can immediately convert energy produced into ready-to-use ac energy, directly connecting to the university’s power grid. ECEB’s panels comprise one of the largest ac solar installations of its kind and allow a 30% reduction in energy emissions, which is about 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. The solar panels figured strongly into ECEB’s achieving LEED Platinum certification.