ACECET’s Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Ah what a great day for a ribbon cutting ceremony at Calhoun Community College. Today they officially opened the doors for the new Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology (ACECET).

The 11,000 square-foot ACECET building was originally constructed in the 1960’s & was extensively remodeled and earned LEED Platinum status. It is now home to Calhoun’s Renewable Energy associate’s degree program which was developed under a 3.47 million dollar grant “to meet regional needs for energy certified practitioners in the areas of energy assessment and energy efficient installation”

The Speakers & Ceremony:

Dr. Marilyn Beck - President, Calhoun Community College

Dr. Marilyn Beck – President, Calhoun Community College
Jerry Adams – ACECET Director

Bethany Shockney – Dean

Representative Terri Collins – District 8

Frank Barnes – Facilities Coordinator

Tom Buckle – Industry Adviser (i.e. the one who planted the seed)

Everyone ready?

The Exterior:

Permeable Parking Spots

20 KW Photovoltaic of Panels used for shaded parking which provides nighttime lighting & 80% of the building’s power requirements

Permeable Walkway

Geothermal loop area & 1 of 3 rainwater storage tanks

ACECET student talking about rainwater system which is used for toilets & irrigation. The system can capture up to 6000 gallons of water per every inch of rain. The only bad part is that the tanks only hold 6500 gallons total.

Not shown – solar thermal panels that provide all the needed hot water for the building (sorry)

The Interior:

Monitoring the PV system

Monitoring the Geo-Thermal System

Required dye’s & chemicals for using rainwater to handle toilets

Learning about Fuel Cells

Besides learning just “green” or “clean” they are taught all about HVAC &/or Electrical

Split Ductless system & an “art” air system to learn on – this doesn’t include them being able to work on the commercial sized Geo-thermal system for the entire building

Learning all about refrigeration & testing

Learning about Solar & Backup Power wiring – mobile lab they bring for presentations & teaching offsite

Some of the PV & Solar thermal system setups

Marcraft Industries Bio-Fuel Lab

A couple more of Marcraft’s simulators & labs – yeah they are pretty sweet

All in all it was a great event & talking with some of the students you can tell they are getting a pretty good education & are looking forward to a cleaner & brighter future.