A major student project within the CZU Campus Sustainability Challenge has been completed, resulting in a solar-powered pergola. A wooden pergola with a large table and the possibility of electrical connection is now located in front of the EFG dormitories. This pergola creates a pleasant place to work and relax in the fresh air while generating enough energy to power two laptops and four mobile phones at the same time.
The project seeks to promote the use of renewable sources like the sun as a reliable energy source for our daily life instead of relying on traditional fossil fuels as well as encourage CZU students and staff to enjoy the outdoors surrounded by edible plants.
The idea arose in collaboration of two students, Ilia Vikhman and Brett Gallagher. The students wanted to follow-up on the Edible Campus project, which was implemented by Brett in the previous year. The edible campus aimed to expand the biodiversity of the campus natural environment and create places that the local community can actively use for edible fruit picking and relaxation. Over 137 edible plants, herbs, shrubs and trees were planted in front of the EFG dormitories and near the Round Hall.
Ilia, a student at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, who designed and installed the solar system, emphasizes that Solar energy has zero emissions during the operation and minimum negative effects on the environment in the production and end of life stage (after 30+ years). He adds that most solar panels are made of doped silicon, which can be found in nature in the form of silicates, and that recycling of panels and their components is well technically feasible.
The construction of the wooden pergola was designed and made by the joinery of Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences CZU.
Solar panels and other components were provided free of charge by companies Solarity, Renusol, Noark and BMSC s.r.o.