Options for using Solar Energy in NYC – As part of the Solar Energy class, the following student projects investigated the application of solar energy in New York. Following abstracts synthesize the work.

Investigating the Feasibility of Replacing Conventional Energy Sources in New York City (Yoribaldis Olivo)– The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of replacing conventional energy sources in New York City using solar powered products for residential homes. Mainly in this study we are concerned on quantifying the annual electricity and water heating consumption at a city scale. A Single Building Energy Model (SBEM) for residential homes is used to estimate the cities energy consumption using a bottom-up approach with detailed spatial distribution of the residential area available for solar products installation. The results showed that with solar power products up to 92% and 74% of the water heating and electricity use can be met, respectively. By replacing the energy consumed with solar panels and collectors, we estimated the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by approximately 94 percent on an annual basis.(Download the paper)

Solar Hot Water Heating for the Sotomayor Houses (William Kalbacher)- The New York City Housing Authority is set to replace the central boiler plant of the Sotomayor Housing development in the Bronx, New York. This project evaluates the feasibility of replacing the steam boilers with a solar collector system for domestic hot water heating. Two system designs are compared thermally, environmentally, and economically: flat-plate and evacuated tube collectors. The results indicate that while installing an evacuated tube system provides the most environmentally friendly solution, a flat-plate collector system is the most economically sensible with only marginally greater environmental impact. Replacing the steam boiler with a solar array will save 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the system’s 20 year lifespan, and save over $8,000,000 in fossil fuel costs. Overall, 92% of annual hot water production can be met with a solar system.(Download the paper)

Indian Point Replacement NuSolar PV (Edwin Cho)- A solar PV system is proposed to replace the nuclear power facility at Indian Point Energy Center. A feasibility study was performed on the proposed system. Solar resource for different tracking surfaces were estimated using a user designed code. Typical Meteorological Year data were used as inputs for the code. The code is based on the Isotropic Sky model. The proposed system is expected to have a life of 25 years. The thermal efficiency for the PV panels were calculated to have an average value of 14.7%. The power capacity of the proposed system ranges from 75 to 83 MW. Annual net power output ranged from 160 to 192 GWh/yr. The proposed system would be the 2-axis tracking surfaces. The project would cost $200 million with a simple payback of 12 years. Economic analysis showed that the proposed system is feasible and profitable for the investor. However, the proposed system is insufficient as a replacement of the nuclear power facility and would be better suited as a secondary system.(Download the paper)