Update on Ypsi’s solar City Hall

I just received the following update on the Solar City Hall project from Dave Strenski, and thought that I’d pass it along. What Dave and his volunteers have been able to accomplish thus far in Ypsilanti has been just incredible.

day1_13_smallWe continue to make progress on the Ypsilanti City Hall Solar Project. We had a small delay locating and renting an aerial lift that was tall enough to reach the top of the back wall of City Hall. The wall is 50 feet hight and we’re working between the 42 to 45 foot area. The lift from Delux Rental does the job but we are at the limits of it’s reach.

The original plan was to spend one day install the panels. Unfortunately, working from a lift has greatly slow our progress. The lift can only reach about 1/3 of the building before we have to bring it back down and reposition the lift to the left or right. We’re also having trouble with a few of the anchors and need to re-epoxy new ones when they don’t hold. Choosing the Hilti HY150 Max anchors and sinking them 10 inches into the wall was a good decision. When they hold, they are really solid.

At the end of the first day, October 5th, we only had the center section of the rack installed. We came back on October 29 and was able to get most of the rack up, but still have not finished. The second day was cut short with a mix-up with the rental company and the lift. Instead of getting it at 8:00am, we got it at 11:30am.

day2_06_smallPictures of the installation can be found here.

One more good day should finish the installtion of the panels. Many thanks to Gary Turner, Abel Thompson, Carl, Vince, Joe Schultz, John Shuler, Steve Pierce and others for help with the installation.

If you haven’t seen the energy graphs from the Ypsilanti Food Coop, you can see them here.

Once we have the panels online, we will have similar graphs for City Hall. Many thanks to EMU student Nik Estep and his professor William Sverdlik for making the SolarYpsi.org website so great.

As always, thanks for your support.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a sweeping statement that I’m sure isn’t completely true, but I’m going to say it anyway, as I’m tired and presently oblivious to the consequences of doing so. And, by saying it, I don’t mean any disrespect to the good people working for the City. I know they’re working their asses off, and that what they do is absolutely critical. With that said, however, I’m going to go ahead and make my assertion… Here it is… Every good, revolutionary thing happening in our City right now is the doing of regular citizens like Dave who have, for whatever reason, decided to contribute their time and energy toward making this a better, more livable, more sustainable place to live, work, and raise a family. Again, with all due respect to the powers that be, if you think of anything cool happening here, it’s probably not happening because our elected officials saw a need or an opportunity. Whether it’s Dave’s various solar projects, the community gardens, the campaign for City chickens, the Ypsitucky Jamboree, the Shadow Art Fair, Spur Studios, or whatever. Sure, people from City government get involved, and help make things happen, but they don’t typically start things in motion. No, all of those things that I just mentioned came about because regular people in the community got a notion to shake things up, and get engaged. And they were persistent. And that’s probably the main reason I love Ypsilanti as much as I do. It’s the kind of place where regular people can actually get involved and make a significant difference…. So, with that said, I’d like to thank Dave again for giving us his weekends and his evenings, and sharing his incredible intellect and passion for alternative energy with us…. If we had another five Dave Strenski’s, I think Ypsi could put someone on the moon.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    And, again, I didn’t mean that last part to be read as a rant against our City leaders. What they contribute is invaluable. I just don’t think that’s where the revolutionary ideas are coming from. And I think that’s probably a good thing.

  2. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    And, more importantly, if Ypsi were to put a person on the moon, who would it be?

  3. Oliva
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    So, with that said, I’d like to thank Dave again for giving us his weekends and his evenings, and sharing his incredible intellect with us…. If we had another five Dave Strenski’s, I think Ypsi could put someone on the moon.

    Love this post. Thank you and thanks Dave and those important others. Ah, to the moon! (Full moon tomorrow, could be inspirational, Dave.)

    That downtown Halloween party Friday eve was another spectacular local thing. So many people despite a little rain. Many cheerful, hard-working volunteers and tons of children dressed in costumes having great fun. Sure does make living here feel good and lucky.

  4. Ypsiman
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “if Ypsi were to put a person on the moon, who would it be?”

    Bill Riney, the Obama Hot Dog Man

  5. Kevin O'Toole
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    James Mann and Stevie Pierce. And we could all watch on television. It would be like a sitcom.

  6. just Josh
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Let’s turn Water street into a launching pad for our rocket to the moon.

  7. Ypsiman
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    One small step for Mann, one giant leat for Pierce

  8. Larry
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Surely James and Steve could make room for Davide Kirtcher in the capsule.

  9. Dan
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    If you are interested in having your own solar system, DTE has started a pilot program to subsidize the installation of a photovoltaic system on your home or business. DTE will pay you $2.40/watt of installed capacity plus $0.11 per KWh for 20 years for electricity you are using from your solar system. You would also qualify for federal tax credits. For details see http://www.dteenergy.com/solar

  10. Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    The thing I was trying to get at in this post, was the ability for regular people to get involved and make a difference in Ypsilanti. I think it’s one of the things that makes our community special. Unfortunately, in doing that, I’m afraid that I gave the impression that our City employees don’t do a tremendous amount of work. I merely meant to suggest that, when it comes to revolutionary thinking, it doesn’t tend to come from the City. With that said, however, I should point out that very few of the examples that I mentioned would exist if not for support of good people working for the City.

    So, for the record, I’m not saying, “The City should have put solar cells up on City Hall.” I’m saying that we live in a community where people like Dave, with the support of all the folks in city government, can get cool, brilliant stuff accomplished… I was just trying to make a case for increased involvement by people who, like Dave, have talents that could make our town better. And maybe I wasn’t terribly eloquent. I was just saying that we, the citizens of Ypsi, in the last few years, have been responsible for a lot of good things, and that we should keep it up.

  11. Nik Estep
    Posted November 4, 2009 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    As the Nik Estep tagged in this article, I want to thank Mark for posting a copy of Dave’s email and echoing a cry for people to do what they think can improve Ypsi. This article has been responsible for 10% of the website hits in the last month, and it’s only been up for two days. Thanks again!

  12. Robert Smalls
    Posted November 4, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    if Ypsi were to put a man on the moon……

    would that be a one way trip? If so, we’d gain a lot by sending the incumbent City Manager.

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