ETSU receives grant to create the first Solar Wall in the state


JOHNSON CITY (August 27, 2013) — Thanks to a $291,000 two-year grant, East Tennessee State University will soon make even greater strides in sustainability.

With funding coming equally from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and from ETSU students' "green fees," the award will allow the installation of a passive solar heating system called a Solar Wall in the Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity (CPA).

Solar Wall technology has been used nationally in industrial, military and government installations, but never before in Tennessee. A 3,360-square-foot area on the roof of the CPA will be used to capture solar energy which will heat the building.

Funding also calls for an LED replacement project in the Charles C. Sherrod Library in which all the 48-inch fluorescent tubes in the top two floors of the library will be exchanged for LED tubes. The new fixtures have a 50,000-hour commercial life and a warranty of five years. The project is projected to result in substantial cost and energy savings.

In addition, director of the ETSU Department of Sustainability, Kathleen Moore, will use grant funds to obtain a software package to track energy usage. This will be used at first in residence halls, but holds the potential for expansion to other areas. Studies have shown that when students can see the real-time statistics of their energy consumption, their usage decreases.

The grant was requested and will be implemented by Moore; Gary Bishop, director of ETSU Facilities Management Operations; and Drs. Paul Sims and Moin Uddin, faculty members in the Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media.

For further information, contact Sims at (423) 439-7819 or    

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