Engineer helps boost confidence of local solar energy system designer

A UWindsor engineer hopes the testing he conducted for a local solar energy supplier will help the firm expand and grow.

Sreekanta Das

Sreekanta Das.

“I was happy to help a local industry that’s going to grow and hopefully hire more local people, which is what we really need around here,” said Sreekanta Das, an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering.

Along with his team of students, Dr. Das conducted an exhaustive series of tests on the structural integrity of mounting systems used by Green Sun Rising to install solar energy generation systems for their commercial and residential customers.

The Kildare Road company, located in a space that used to be occupied by Windsor Tool and Die, needed to independently verify its aluminum mounting structural components, frames and connections used to support solar panels, Dr. Das said.

Das’s team put the system through its paces in its structural engineering lab in the basement of Essex Hall, conducting failure tests on the frames, aluminum braces, rails and connections between the frame members.

Company owner Klaus Dohring said he was delighted with the results.

“It validated our design system and put us in a much more solid position,” he said. “My confidence level has risen because we have a good solid design that we can put into application. We learned our strengths and limitations so it was very educational for us.”

Das was one of seven UWindsor researchers who received funding in 2010 from the FedDev Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative to work with small to medium-sized businesses on turning ideas into commercially viable goods.

An event to celebrate the FedDev program’s success will be held on Tursday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m. in Vanier Hall’s Katzman Lounge.