Inspiration: VCU recently hosted a month-long residence hall energy saving challenge. Despite this, only two of the seven halls significantly decreased the amount of energy consumed. In fact, two halls increased their energy usage, one hall increased consumption by ~20,000 kWh. Energy consumption by urban Universities is a huge issue and we believe solar panels are the answer.
What it does: Our goal is to develop an application that analyzes available surface area on various urban University rooftops, etc. and determine the amount of money and pollution that would be saved with the implementation of solar panels.
How we built it: We used ArcGIS to map out the VCU campus and analyze available surface area for potential solar panels.
Challenges we ran into: We did not have access to the desktop version of ArcGIS and used the online application.
Accomplishments that we're proud of: Working with ArcOnline for the first time, creating layers with census data, and finding a way to make our school a greener place!
What we learned: Developed ArcOnline skills.
What's next for University Solar Panel Feasibility Analysis: We hope to make this application available to all urban universities.