CSU–Pueblo Goes Solar with Photovoltaic Collaborative Project


Colorado State University – Pueblo, in collaboration with EcoStruct-EcoSol of Beulah and Smart Growth Advocates of Pueblo, is turning to solar energy as part of a project to design, install, and operate free-standing solar photovoltaic panels near the south end of the Technology Building on campus. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  Dr. Hector Carrasco, dean of Engineering, Education, and Professional Studies, and Dr. Hüseyin Sarper, professor of engineering, sought to maximize positive public awareness and increase the knowledge of the benefits of renewable energy through their Solar Photovoltaic Project Proposal.
Solar panels, two arrays with a total of 36 modules rated at 6.12 KW, will be located on the south side of CSU-Pueblo’s Technology Building. An educational kiosk will be built within proximity of the solar panels to explain the process. Public access to the educational kiosk will be available during the day with hopes that it will be used by area schools as a field trip destination.

Along with educating the community on solar energy, the Solar Photovoltaic Project will provide CSU-Pueblo students with an applied work experience as they will regularly calculate, calibrate, and measure the system’s output and efficiency. CSU-Pueblo Engineering graduate and undergraduate students will conduct research on all aspects of solar electricity generation through the project. Computer Information Systems students will be engaged in providing information on the solar panel system, system output, and other measurable data, on the CSU-Pueblo website.

EcoSol designed the system and will furnish all labor, material, and equipment required to complete the installation of photovoltaic solar panel system. They hope installation will occur by March 21 (Spring Equinox). The project budget will be covered by CSU – Pueblo, a grant from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment- Supplemental Environmental Projects Fund, and Aquila.

As recipients of a 2005 Department of Energy grant for their work entitled “Development of Fuel (Briquettes) Using Fly-ash from the Aquila Coal-fired Power plant in Canon City and Locally Available Biomass Waste,” Carrasco and Sarper had a keen interest in the project. Sarper has just finished directing three master’s theses in the field of renewable energy.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.