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Beverly High School in Beverly, Massachusetts, uses a system of solar photovoltaic flat-plate panels to generate its electricity needs. Currently, this system produces 100 kw, but could produce considerably more with some simple modifications. The Beverly photovoltaic system is made up of more than 3,000 panels. Each panel contains 10 photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic array is made up of separate subarrays of photovoltaic modules deployed in rows on a southerly facing slope. Each subarray is made from 3 standalone (but electrically integral) sections called panels, supported by a portable mechanical jack. Although the panels can be manually tilted to follow the path of the sun, they have been put in a stationary position that optimizes their exposure to the sun. Each panel measures 292 inches by 93 inches and contains 10 photovoltaic cells. The power generated by these panels is transmitted at 4160 v from the inverters and a step-up transformer to the main 4160 v utility feed line into the school. Separate meters are used to measure power bought from or sold to the local utility. At the optimum tilt angle—about 40 degrees—the array provides about 14% of the annual school load. This amounts to annual energy savings of between $8,000 and $16,000.
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