Solar Energy Visualization System
SolaViz: The Solar Energy Visualization project was awarded a research grant from The Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) in 2015-16 at the University of Texas at Austin. In April 2017, the project started solar energy data logging with the help of OPTICSRE software at two campus solar charging station located on campus. The research goals of the project have been to develop and field test the solaviz.org mobile website to provide monthly solar data updates and solar energy info graphics for solar education and engagement. This mobile website is connected to two off-grid Campus Solar Charging Stations that collect the sun’s energy and store it in batteries, and then provide power for mobile electronics, LED lighting, and electric bikes. Solaviz shows a graphic display of information from the station such as total energy production, real‐time loads from portable electronics plugged into the outlets, weather, airquality and equivalent CO2 reduction. This platform address the need for a comprehensive energy operating systems to work with off-grid public solar charging stations on the UT campus and beyond.
Participants: Beth Ferguson, Visiting Research Scholar & Sol Design Lab Director; Jack Risley, Chair, Department of Art and History; Kevin Chandra, Cockrell School of Engineering; Karen Blaney, Office of Sustainability, Program Coordinator; Anna Wittenmyer, Cockrell School of Engineering; Delia Brownson, Biology Instructional Office, CNS
Campus Solar Charging Station
The University of Texas at Austin’s Solar Charging Station offer students and community members the opportunity to gather while re-charging their laptops, phones and electrical devices, all while exploring the possibilities of solar energy. Three solar panels and six batteries extend the station’s charging capacity into the night and on cloudy days. Two solar charging stations were successfully installed in 2014 at the intersection of 23rd St. and San Jacinto Blvd, and on the Perry-Castaneda Library Plaza and funded by the UT Office of Sustainability Green Fee program. The Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology award was given to the project in 2015 to collect solar energy and environmental sensor data with the OpticsRe dashboard.