The University of Utah has unveiled a new online dashboard that will display the energy production of solar panels on the J. Willard Marriott Library.
The dashboard was designed and implemented by students and will appear on screens inside the Marriott Library.
Alberta Comer is the Dean of the Marriott Library. She says it not only tracks the energy production of the six solar arrays on the library’s roof, “But it makes this data more easily accessible and appreciated by noting examples of the emissions offset, so that when you look at it, you’ll know how much power is used to brew a cup of coffee or power a laptop.”
The dashboard also notes how many barrels of oil and carbon emissions are saved from the energy produced by the solar panels.
Tom Melburn recently graduated from the U, but he came up with the idea for the project in 2011. He says the dashboard is one example of how students can get involved and make a difference.
“So this is just one small aspect within that, that’s showing what students can do to help make their campus better, help make a lasting impact,” Melburn says.
The Marriott Library is the seventh building on the University of Utah campus to host solar arrays. The system was installed last July and produces about enough energy to power five houses for one year, which accounts for less than one percent of the Marriott Library’s energy usage.