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Scientist to shine light on sun-powered house at UT, Oct. 1

Brooks Martner will discuss what it’s like to live in a house that runs on solar power Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, at 7 p.m. in Wolfe Hall Room 1201 on The University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

In 2008, the retired scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration purchased a solar panel system to power his home in Lafayette, Colo. The 5-kilowatt photovoltaic system is connected to the utility company’s grid, which serves as an automatic backup when the sun isn’t shining.

Martner said the panel array was designed to be large enough to produce sufficient power to offset the home’s annual electrical consumption.

Prior to harnessing the sun’s energy, Martner’s monthly electric bills ranged from $40 to $90. These days, that cost averages $8.

He will talk about the cost of the project, rebates, tax credits, and how long it will take for the system to pay for itself.

Martner also will present data collected from a weather station located next to the solar panels. Seasonal and environmental variations — air temperature, snow cover, sun angle, length of daylight — will be discussed, and comparisons of Colorado’s and Ohio’s solar climates will be made.

The free, public lecture is sponsored by the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy. It is one of several special events planned as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ 100th anniversary celebration year.

For more information, call the UT Physics and Astronomy Department at 419.530.2241.






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