Energy conservation is a very popular topic these days. More people are demanding cleaner methods of producing energy than ever before. Times are tight and if money can be saved by using a more efficient source of energy, that source becomes a very attractive option.
Working off this premise, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Martinsburg, W. Va. (VAMC) employs two electrically driven maintenance vehicles. The medical center will build two solar-powered charging stations for these vehicles.
Essentially, the maintenance vehicles will charge while parked in the open sheds. The solar components will be installed on the roofs of the sheds. Cabinets existing under the sheds will house:
- Storage batteries;
- Charge controllers;
- Disconnects; and
The roof panels will be angled towards the south in order to collect as much sunlight as possible. The panels themselves will absorb enough sunlight to not only restore an adequate charge on the vehicles but enough to maintain that charge level. While the panels charge during the day, the vehicles will charge at night by utilizing the energy from the storage batteries.
This project will come with a price tag of approximately $100,000 – $250-000. Bidding on this project is limited solely to service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. The VAMC services approximately 129,000 veterans and if this initial investment saves money in the long run, it is well worth the money.