by Lenie Lectura, February 22, 2015
THE University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) has installed a 300-kilowatt (kW) solar-power facility that allows it to save as much as P4 million in heat insulation and provide the power requirements of other buildings in the campus as well.
The photovoltaic power system was installed in UA&P’s new Parking and Sports Building (PSB). It is the first campus in the country to implement the use of solar energy in such a capacity.
The system provides all of the 60 kW power need of PSB, which houses a three-level parking facility, two basketball courts, an Olympic-sized futsal pitch, and a three-lane indoor running track. It also feeds the power requirement of the other buildings on campus in tandem with the power supply from Manila Electric Co.
“Our goal and desire is to ensure that our stakeholders, comprising our students, parents, teachers, employees, contractors, and guests, are not burdened with the disruptive effects of power supply service interruptions that can only result in class schedule delays and extensions, and consequently, wasted resources,” UA&P VP for Development Ruben T. Umali said.
There are 1,200 pieces of high-efficiency 250W black monocrystalline solar panels installed at the rooftop of PSB.
Another feature is the system’s use of hybrid inverters that control and continuously charge a battery bank that could be switched on in the event of an unexpected shutdown of either the Meralco power supply or the solar-power system. Umali said the university’s switch to solar power is in response to the call of the Department of Energy for energy conservation and efficiency, made tangible in the department’s solar-power program in cooperation with Metro Manila schools. He said UA&P now reaps the benefits of going solar: reduced energy costs, less carbon footprint, and a supplemental capability to provide an uninterruptible power supply that ensures excellent service to its growing student population.
UA&P, the second building in Ortigas Center to be solar-powered, hopes that more buildings and schools in the country will soon follow suit. Asian Development Bank was the first in Ortigas.