Last Saturday (Oct 26th), I participated with others from the Kentucky Solar Energy Society in a work project for the University of Louisville assisting several of their research projects going on at the new Karen Lynch Park within the Beargrass Creek watershed of urban Louisville. There were at least 20-25 people present working on multiple projects and ongoing efforts to improve and monitor the water quality and general environment. This is one of many improvement projects lead by the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, as well as others. Specifically, I and five others were there to install a 1.4kW off-grid solar system funded by UL’s research. We were the volunteer labor, but the employees of Solar Energy Solutions were the professionals.
The system is not grid connected, but instead will directly power a DC pump to move water up from the creek to a water tank (not yet installed) that will feed an artificial 50+ foot waterfall back down into the creek, adding oxygen in the process. All powered by the sun! The research projects will be measuring the levels of dissolved oxygen before and afterwards, and make other quality measurements to determine the effectiveness of the modification and how many of these installations would be needed to significantly improve the entire watershed.
Altogether the entire solar installation only took about 3.5 hours. We probably would have been much faster, except that the tin roof of the shelter had no sheathing under it, and could only support one person with extra care required. The UL team was still working to get the piping in place when we left. It was a good day for a worthy cause! – Jack