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NORFOLK (AP) -- Students and professors at Old Dominion University are helping design the future of electric power.

Associate professor of engineering Sylvain Marsillac and his students are leading research into how to tap renewable energy such as solar power in an efficient and economical way.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the school is installing a solar tracking system complete with 24 energy-producing solar panels bolted onto a frame on the engineering building. The motorized system will tilt the panels to any angle, allowing them to follow the sun over the course of the day for maximum efficiency.

In addition, the researchers are testing new materials to develop the next generation of cheaper, more efficient panels.

ODU hopes to land a pilot solar-generation program planned by Dominion Virginia Power, which already kicked in $50,000.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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