What provides Wi-Fi connectivity, security, shelter, lighting, seating, and uses net-zero energy? A new Solar Secure station now installed on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.
UT is the first university in the country to house a Solar Secure SunStation. The structure was unveiled on July 12 outside Perkins Hall on the Hill.
Solar Secure’s SunStation is a solar powered, wireless structure that provides a self-sufficient power and communications source for Emergency Assistance Stations, video surveillance, LED lighting, and Wi-Fi.
“Solar Secure demonstrates what good engineering principles can accomplish,” said College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis. “It also fits very well into the culture of our college where we are conducting research on solar panels, renewable energy, smart grids, electric power transmission, and transportation technologies.”
Solar Secure generates all of the energy it needs from solar panels. It also incorporates back-up batteries for energy storage, ensuring uninterruptible power and communications capabilities in the event of an outage or other emergency. Fittingly, the structure sits in the middle of the College of Engineering complex—along a bus line.
The SunStation also features a power outlet, allowing students the convenience to stay connected by using their laptops, cell phones and other technology outdoors.
UT was selected as Solar Secure’s first higher education installation due to its progressive energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives.
“Solar Secure aligns perfectly with UT’s mission of being a sustainable campus,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for facilities services. “In all that we do, from our cutting of consumption, to using green cleaning products, to constructing LEED-certified buildings, we are committed to being responsible global citizens.”
Solar Secure was developed by Cochran in Seattle, Washington, to overcome barriers of environmental impact and the high cost of trenching to install surveillance cameras and other security infrastructure on campuses.
“We developed Solar Secure to provide customers with the ability to extend security coverage beyond traditional limits with a solar powered solution that is not only better for the environment, but is easier and more cost-effective to install than conventional systems,” said Collette Duck, Solar Secure product manager.
While developed on the West Coast, the station was manufactured by Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical in East Tennessee.
“The college has another link to this project as it allowed us to work with several local companies such as Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical, which employ our alumni,” said Davis.
Solar Secure was developed by Cochran, a Seattle‐based company with more than five decades of experience designing and installing a broad range of electrical, security, and technical infrastructure. For more information, visit www.solarsecure.net.
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