World Energy Day: UFSC expands renewable generation with 27 photovoltaic power plants

31/05/2023 15:51

Fotovoltaica/UFSC Solar Energy Research Laboratory at the Sapiens Parque, in Florianópolis. Photo: Fotovoltaica/UFSC Laboratory

Whether in research for the production of green hydrogen or innovating with new forms of clean energy generation, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) works to find a solution to a global problem: how to generate more and more renewable energy, with reduced impact on the environment. In this sense, it has expanded the generation of photovoltaic electricity by developing systems capable of capturing not only the light that falls directly on the panels, but also the reflected light.

The UFSC photovoltaic park already has 27 power plants, at the service of research and technological development, in  the cities of Florianópolis, Araranguá and Joinville. A part of this complex will be renovated in 2023, with an investment of more than R$ 2.94 million in projects and installation of 37 photovoltaic solar energy generating modules in various buildings on the Florianópolis Campus. The concern with research and development in the area is the objective behind the creation of World Energy Day, celebrated last Monday, 29 May.

The University has been continuously expanding its self-generating electricity park. Last year, photovoltaic systems with a total power of 210 kWp were installed in buildings at the School of Biological Sciences (CCB), the School of Socio-Economic Sciences (CSE) and the School of Sports (CDS), located on the Florianópolis Campus. These systems have been operating since April 2022. In addition, a pilot solar unit with bifacial modules and a capacity of 100 kWp was installed at the Fotovoltaic/UFSC Solar Energy Research Laboratory, located at the Sapiens Parque, Florianópolis, in May 2022.

Sapiens Parque holds most of UFSC’s photovoltaic generation structures. The Fotovoltaic/UFSC Laboratory develops advanced research in this area. Even before the expansion carried out last year, the laboratory was already producing enough energy to meet its consumption. At times, it produced surpluses that were injected into the grid of Celesc – the electricity utility for the state of Santa Catarina –, generating credits entered as a discount on the University’s electricity bills.

UFSC also develops research on kites for wind power generation. Watch the video below:

Online map shows location of photovoltaic and wind power plants

Currently, UFSC has 27 photovoltaic power plants located on the campuses of Florianópolis, Araranguá and Joinville. Together, these plants add up to 1,055.11 kW of installed power, of which about 42% are in operation, producing 442.368 kW. Most of them are made up of monofacial silicon modules, but the Mato Alto 3 plant, in Araranguá, implemented in 2022, is equipped with 12 bifacial modules.

The equipment is listed on the Map of Alternative Energy Generation Sources at UFSC, which, in addition to the photovoltaic plants, also includes two wind energy generation equipment. The University’s Architecture and Engineering Projects Department (DPAE) is responsible for gathering all this information and making it available in the form of an online map.

First system connected to the public grid in Brazil is from UFSC

UFSC has a great tradition in the research and use of photovoltaic solar energy. In September 2022, the first photovoltaic system integrated into a building and connected to the public electricity grid in Brazil completed 26 years of uninterrupted operation.

Investment in photovoltaic self-generation is justified by economic and environmental aspects. One of the goals of the UFSC Sustainable Logistics Plan (PLS 2021-2024) is that UFSC has 5% of energy generated by alternative renewable sources in relation to the total energy consumed. The photovoltaic solar energy source is one of the forms of energy generation that has been growing in recent years in Brazil. Not only it contributes to the reduction of consumers’ electricity expenses, but it collaborates with the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the environment.

There are several initiatives in the area of photovoltaic energy at UFSC that have borne concrete results or have already contributed to the development of the sector, such as a bus powered by solar energy, a boat in an Amazonian community and also the solar panels that power a historic monument: the Fortress of Santo Antônio de Ratones, in the north bay of Greater Florianópolis – which has been currently renovated with the support of the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (Iphan).

Get to know the UFSC electric bus:

Recently, work was completed to install photovoltaic modules totaling 683.76 kWp of installed power on the Florianópolis Campus, in the Trindade district, in buildings such as the Culture and Events Center (CCEven), the Department of Informatics and Statistics (INE), the Department of Sanitary Engineering (ENS), the University Restaurant (RU) and the School of Health Sciences (CCS). In addition, the installation of a photovoltaic system with an installed capacity of 210 kWp was completed in buildings at the School of Biological Sciences (CCB), the School of Socio-Economic Sciences (CSE) and the School of Sports (CDS), on the same campus.

On the Joinville campus, a photovoltaic generation system with an installed power of 8.16 kWp is in operation since May 2021. On the Araranguá campus, a new subsystem of 0.92 kWp was installed in December 2022, in addition to a 0.99 kWp photovoltaic generation system that has been operating at the site since 2020. These initiatives demonstrate UFSC’s commitment to sustainability and preservation of the environment, in addition to contributing to the reduction of electricity costs.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here.