In 2009, a group of volunteers installed 12 solar photovoltaic panels at the back of the Ypsilanti City Hall to make Ypsilanti the first city hall in Michigan with solar power!
This system provides about 2.5KW of renewable energy that is used by the building. It is the second solar installation within the Ypsilanti Historic District; having the panels on the back of building preserves the historic character of the facade while adding renewable energy.
City Hall is one of the few DTE Energy customers connected via net-metering and the first net-metering customer to use utility meters with a customer interface.
How It Works
Sunlight penetrates the
photovoltaic panels, which convert a portion of that light into
electrical current. The panels, mounted at a fixed 38 degree angle,
maximize annual solar collection. This electrical current is a direct
current (DC) which is carried through a wire to a disconnect switch that
can turn the system off for maintenance. The DC power is then routed to
the Sunny Boy inverter, which converts DC electricity into standard
110-volt, 60-cycle alternating current (AC) that we find in an ordinary
wall outlet. The power is then ready for use and routed to the City
Hall’s electrical service panel for distribution to individual circuits.
LIVE graphs showing the power coming into City Hall (red), exported out (green), and generated from the sun (yellow) can be seen at SolarlYpsi.org.
The website also shows installation photos and details about the project.