On thursday Quebec City has put into operation a system of photovoltaic solar panels placed on the roof of the building F.-X.-Drolet in Saint-Roch. This experimental facility will produce 15 kilowatts of electricity, which is estimated at 3000$ in savings.
The system includes 60 solar panels of the monocrystalline type with a power of 250 watts each. Fixed on the flat roof of the building with a metal structure, they are all oriented to the same direction to receive maximum sunlight.
A monitoring system and a weather station were established to a daily monitoring. “We're going to combine what we consumed every month and every year. We will have everything computerized to follow up on it,” said Jean Lemay, an engineer and energy manager in the maintenance division of the Department of Building Management of the City.
The energy produced is directly redistributed into the building. A parallel connection with the Hydro-Québec reduces spending power of the City without having to store the energy produced in batteries.
For now, the solar photovoltaic system is a booster, says Lemay, and the electricity used comes mainly from Hydro-Quebec. “We still have a good use here. There is a garage with lots of ventilation and air conditioning,” he said.
The implementation of the system cost more than $ 150 000 to the City. Alone PV system represented an investment of $ 134 100 plus tax and the monitoring system, $ 12 500 plus taxes.
Experts estimate that the City may benefit from annual savings of $ 2,000 to $ 3,000. Jean Lemay says that the project goal is not profitability. The photovoltaic solar system of the building F.-X.-Drolet is intended as a demonstration project and adaptation of new technologies.
For his part, Vice President of the Executive Committee, François Picard, believes that this investment will pay for itself within two years. "Usually, when making changes to systems or geothermal, the traffic lights to LED, condensing boilers, etc.. we are able to enter our investment in a period of about two years, "he said.
Future To The Solar PV
Quebec City is given two years to evaluate its new system. If the results are inconclusive, new municipal buildings could benefit from this type of energy. “Over a period of two years, we should have a good profile, good information. We will also learn how the system behaves when there is snow and storms. The installation was completed before the holidays and up until this day, it never had to be cleared manually. As soon as the sun appears, the snow melts. This is encouraging,” said Jean Lemay. Tests had previously been made in a wind tunnel before installation of the panels.
The project of green electricity from the City is a continuation of its efforts to improve the energy efficiency of its municipal buildings and promote sustainable development. The results of all actions taken by Quebec since 2003 allow recurring annual savings of nearly $ 6 million.
Basma – International Green Energy News Correspondent – 27/01/2012