Stadium to switch light systems

The Athletic Association has begun the process of making a switch from manual breakers to solar breakers and photocells at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The switch to solar breakers and photocells will mean less light being output from the stadium during daylight hours.

“[We] have not have made a switch yet, but anticipate it’s completion in July,” said Shawn Teske, Director of Athletic Facilities.

The Athletic Association’s switch was influenced in part by a student project in the spring by then-freshmen students for EAS professor Kim Cobb’s carbon reduction challenge.

The team was comprised of Biomedical Engineering major Christine Amuzie, Mechanical Engineering major Jonathan Effgen, and Biomedical Engineering major Vivian Fan.

For the project, the students asked the stadium to turn off its lights for 24 hours over the span of Earth Week last spring in order to reduce carbon output.

Seeing the results, the Athletic Association then heavily considered switching the stadium to more carbon efficient technology for the future.

“It is a matter of ecological and well as fiscal responsibility to react to [the students’] concerns in a positive and constructive manner,” Teske said.

Prior to the student project, Teske and the Athletic Association had looked into the option of solar breakers and photocells for the stadium; however, no action was made.

The solar breakers would turn off the circuits for electricity in certain lights in the stadium, according to the photocell. The photocell would be used to turn the lights on and off according to the cycles of daylight.

Following the Earth Week project by Amuzie, Effgen, and Fan, it was determined that turning off the lights reduced over 25 metric tons of carbon.

In addition, the stadium and facilities saved the electricity money that would have been used to power the stadium for 24 hours a day.

“ The stadium lighting illustrates how much a big institution like Georgia Tech could benefit from tackling the low-hanging fruit of energy conservation,” Cobb said.

However despite the switch promising to save money, Teske and the Athletic Association are still somewhat concerned about the prospect of reducing the light output in the area surrounding the stadium.

“We as part of the institution have to be careful. At the corner of Techwood and North Avenue… it’s like a black hole out there. The student group that did talk to me made some good points, but we’re in a transition stage where we have to find a way for less lights in the day and enough at night,” Teske said.