Solar and giant “water battery” to slash university’s grid consumption by 40%

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University of the Sunshine Coast combines 2.1MW of rooftop solar with massive water tank “battery,” to power campus air-conditioning using complex thermal energy system.

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One Step Off The Grid 

Queensland’s University of the Sunshine Coast is set to slash its grid electricity consumption by 40 per cent, using a combination of 2.1MW of rooftop solar and a massive on-site “water battery.”

The unconventional system, designed and built in partnership with Veolia and now fully installed, will use the more than 6,000 solar panels to cool the water held in the three-storey tank, via a complex thermal process.

The solar PV, which spans across campus rooftops and carpark structures, will produce enough energy to cool 4.5 megalitres of water, effectively acting as a 7MW battery, the university said.

That stored, cooled water will then be used for air conditioning – currently the single biggest consumer of electricity at the Sippy Downs campus.

The system is expected deliver an estimated $100 million saving to the university over the 25-year life of the project, and slash emissions by more than 92 thousand tonnes for the same period.

To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, click here…

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