The Dartmouth College Photovoltaic System was set up primarily to:

  1. support research on photovoltaic system design
  2. be used as part of the curriculum in Environmental and Engineering Sciences classes
  3. increase awareness of energy use and conservation among a broad spectrum of students, faculty and staff

It is hoped that faculty members and students of Dartmouth College will make good use of this valuable resource and thus research on the technology, implementation, and policy implications of photovoltaic electricity generation.

The system was proposed as a result of recommendations by the Winter 1995 Environmental Studies 50 class in their report on reducing energy use in Dartmouth buildings.

The Photovoltaic system was designed and installed by Ascension Technology,Inc., in November 1995. The PV ASE-50 modules were produced by ASE Americas, Inc. The system consists of two arrays with ten collector panels (modules) each, mounted at 25 degrees on the roof of Murdough Hall. The net collector area is 44.80 square meters. The gross area is 48.60 square meters. The energy collected by the panels is converted to direct current (DC) by the solar cells. An Omnion Static Power Converter changes the direct current from the array to alternating current (AC) output. The energy output is then read directly from the arrays and displayed at this site.


Students in both the ENVS and ENGS departments will benefit from courses that will incorporate various assessments of the system's performance. The array will be used to investigate engineering aspects of photovoltaic system design in New England : optimal orientation considering snow shedding, insolation, and winter peak demand. Energy use and conservation at Dartmouth College will be analysed in light of the system. Finally, in collaboration with Shimon Awerbuch, an economist and DOE consultant, the economic performance of the array will be evaluated.

For more on research in solar energy see:


Dartmouth courses that may make use of the Photovoltaic system include :

Students will be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of a photovoltaic system first-hand, investigate the potential for larger scale use of alternative energy at Dartmouth and examine what this would entail in terms of initial investment, land use, maintenance costs, e.t.c. Of great importance is the scientific evidence for the impact of energy use on the environment.

Click here to see the system performance outline.

Dartmouth Photovoltaic System index

Douglas T. Bolger
The Dartmouth Photovoltaic System
Dartmouth College, Hinman 8000, Hanover,NH 03755

Tel: 1+(603) 646-2838
Fax: 1+(603) 646-1682. Attn : Douglas Bolger