Going Green

The Solar Array

Photo of the Solar Array at Edwardsville Township Community Park

Edwardsville Township Community Park is the first park in our community to have a solar energy system.  This solar array provides energy to the new All-Season Restroom Facility, the new dual electric vehicle charging station, and the new personal electronic device charging station installed on the outside of the new restroom facility.

How it Works:
A solar energy array is made up of solar panels.   Some arrays have many panels (solar collectors) and some have just a few.  The panels contain solar photo-voltaic (PV) cells and are made out of silicon, one of the Earth’s most abundant elements.  The panels are then mounted where the sun’s rays will shine on them.  Sunlight delivers packets of energy called photons.  There are more photons delivered from the sun in one hour than the earth could use in an entire year!  When the photos hit a solar cell, the silicon absorbs them and electrons are released.  The electrons flow along the metal contact at the bottom of the cell and form electricity.

how itworks

The solar array at Township Park is a pole mounted system that is contains 12 solar panels and one inverter.  The Direct Current (DC) energy created in the panel travels through the inverter and is converted into Alternating Current (AC) so that it can be used to power facilities in the park.  The energy runs to a net metering system and is used immediately if needed.  If it is not needed, the energy will flow out to the energy grid and will be stored for later use.  The net meter tracks how much energy is stored and later used.  When the sun is bright and very little electricity is being used, you can watch the meter spin backwards showing the energy being stored.

Solar array Info

The solar array at Township Park:
– helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions
– saves fossil fuels for other needs
– shrinks the carbon footprint of our community
– saves the Township money
– derives clean, pure energy from the sun
– helps relieve pressure from the energy grid.

Click here to see how much energy the solar panel system is producing today!

This project was funded in part by Madison County and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

For more information about renewable energy, please visit the following websites:
– http://www.eia.gov/kids/
– https://www.epa.gov/energy#results
– https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator
– https://www.epa.gov/energy/measure-your-impact
– https://www.epa.gov/energy/reduce-your-impact