MCC Daily Tribune
Solar Students Celebrate Successful Summer Session at STAR unit
A cohort of Solar Thermal Students were able to complete all needed Solar Coursework for the Solar Thermal Certificate as of August 10, 2017. 11 Students completed STT 101 Intro to Solar Thermal Technologies and enrolled into STT 102 Solar Thermal Installations & 201 Troubleshooting and Preventative Maintenance for Solar Thermal Systems, with Lab/Field Experiences for the summer of 2017. There were many great projects initiated by innovative minds. In a collaboration with local community members and industry partners, students were able to conduct in-depth field studies and performance analysis on a multitude of diverse solar thermal applications. Some students as part of the coursework even built and constructed their own solar collectors and systems.
Dustin Cichon and Vincent Vetromile for a group project in STT 101 used a recycled wine cask from a vineyard to build a storage center/heat exchanger for a custom-built hot tub powered electrically by a photovoltaic panel. The students built every facet of this project from sizing the pump, designing and installing the mechanical operating system to finishing the wiring for hot tub.
Jeremy Braund, Mary Ann Sweikart & Marcia Najjar built an evacuated parabolic tube collector for a group project in STT 101. This particular design is unique as it build on a rotating fixture to track the suns path throughout the day for efficiency purposes. Most parabolic concentration collectors in general are used at a large-scale capacity to create electricity, which is generated from steam driven turbines, like the Ivanpah solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert.
All students in STT 102 & 201 were able to utilize the STAR unit at the Applied Technologies Center for their install projects and troubleshooting portion of 201. It is a completely off-grid training center for students in the program. Cichon and Braund joined forces with David Pylyuk to fix existing problems and trouble areas on our main evacuated tube system which provides heat and domestic hot water for the off grid facility. Some of those problems were electrical based and piping configuration, which restricted flow in the system along with a cracked storage tank.
All students in STT 201 were assigned to a field study in the community to gain a real world perspective of how solar thermal applications are viable in our Rochester weather. David Harrell & Kevin Marshall were able to conduct a full study at the Harley Schools Commons LEED certified Zero Net emission living building. This facility incorporated photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating system, evacuated tube hot water system, rainwater collection station and has a 740 square foot greenhouse. This building is used by all students studying in STEM related fields at the school.
Industry partners were able to help facilitate field study locations for some of the groups and assist the instructor. Matt Berus of Simply Solar in Hamlin, N.Y., directed group members Liam McMahon, Elijah Sacchitella and Ryan Kucharski to Whipple Farms in Hilton. There owner Bob Whipple, worked with student to showcase and analyze an early 80's thermal system called SolaRoll. The design is rather simplistic as is uses corrugated steel roofing as the surface to collect heat, which in turns is transferred to an ethylene propyle diene monomer (EPDM) neoprene SolaRoll collector.
Kevin Pilcher Sale Representative of Sun Common and formerly Halco Heating & Cooling was able to help connect students to home residents in Sweden, New York that was a combination PV and Thermal System. James Jason, Brian Cizenski & Vince Vetromile had the awesome opportunity to work with green energy advocates Jim and Bernice Lachman. Students explored a 28 pv-panel, 2 flat plate collector system built by Halco Heating and Cooling in 2012. The home built in the late 1800's is close to being self-sustaining with each of the systems incorporated into alternative energies. The students even mentioned a plug in electrical station for a Nissan Leaf, which Bernice stated gets close to 100 miles travel on a full charged battery. Jim has a Toyota Prius hybrid that gets over 50 mpg too. The group really enjoyed their time with the Lachman's and their commitment to sustainability and alternative energies.
The class of 11 finished off summer session with a final Solar Eclipse tour on Monday August 22nd of the instructors own 24 PV panel System installed by Sun Common which cover 115% of yearly electrical costs and tank-less water system along with gaining certificates of completion for all STT related coursework at MCC. They then took a tour of the area solar systems on the west side of Monroe County where most projects were conducted. Please help me in congratulating the following students for doing phenomenal work in our HVAC/R & Solar Thermal Programs at the Applied Technologies Center. There will be pictures posted on the Applied Technologies Facebook page with all of the different projects within the week.