Solar panels part of OU professor's plan to create net zero home - KMSP-TV

Solar panels part of OU professor's plan to create net zero home

Posted: Updated:
Oakland University engineering professor Chris Kobus is having solar panels installed on the roof of his Rochester home.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Oakland University engineering professor Chris Kobus is having solar panels installed on the roof of his Rochester home. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
ROCHESTER, Mich. (WJBK) -

They brave bitter cold temperatures and biting winds, but it is all part of the job for workers with Salvatore Contracting.  We found them on the roof of a Rochester home installing solar panels for Oakland University engineering professor Chris Kobus, who is a big fan of the technology.

"Once you install it there are no moving parts," he said.  "If you install it correctly and size everything correctly, it will run for two, three, four decades without you ever having to touch it."

Kobus bought the thin film solar laminate being used for the project in a bankruptcy auction from Uni-Solar in Auburn Hills when the company went out of business and sold off its assets.  He is having it attached to a metal roof and will soon use it to make all the energy his family needs.

When the project is finished, a total of 115 of the laminate sheets and 32 photo photovoltaic panels will have been installed.

"This will take care of about 100 percent approximately of his bill," said Mike Kahn with Salvatore Contracting.

Kobus teaches alternative energy.  For the last ten years, he has used data from his own house as a case study for his classes.  Now students will learn how to create a zero net house, one that produces as much energy as it uses throughout the year thanks to the solar project.  It is an effort he hopes will make them think.

"In all human history the challenge has been how do we survive.  We don't have those survival challenges anymore.  The challenge now is how do we sustain this very high quality life, and I want to be part of the solution to that challenge," he said.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices