Chatham University

Solar Initiatives

Student Organizations at Chatham

Using on-site heat generation to conserve energy!

Quick Facts

Residence Hall Project Overview

Chatham University partnered with Solar Tomorrow Inc. to install building-integrated solar thermal collectors on Chatham’s research greenhouse and roof-mounted collectors on the two highest-occupancy residence halls.

Solar Tomorrow’s installation at Chatham’s Shadyside campus in Pittsburgh is the largest solar thermal project in Pennsylvania. The project is also Solar Tomorrow’s first full-scale implementation of its proprietary micro-channel solar thermal technology. Financing for the project was provided by the Governor of Pennsylvania, Chatham University, and Solar Tomorrow Inc.

Greenhouse Project Overview:

In October 2010, Solar Tomorrow completed the installation of solar collectors on Chatham University’s research greenhouse. The greenhouse solar thermal system was built primarily as a demonstration project, as well as to supplement space heating for the greenhouse and to collect performance data.

The collectors resemble a curtain-wall structure widely used in contemporary construction. As such, the collectors demonstrate their possible use for two distinct purposes: collecting thermal energy and providing building façade cladding.

The collectors are installed at the ground level to showcase the installation and system elements to students and visitors. Plaques describe the basics of the technology and provide information about the project, and a computer display next to the collectors shows live system data.

There are two different types of collectors installed on the greenhouse: glazed collectors and unglazed collectors with a stone composite surface.