November 17th, 2014
There are technically three solar schools in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District in Fairbanks, Alaska. Two of them are solar electricity and the third is a solar thermal installation on the Weller School. Larry Morris is the primary contact for the school district. Larry is the head of the FNSBSD’s “solar school team” and a member of Facilities Management.
For the solar electricity projects the most recent installation is a 5.44 kW on the District facilities’ building on Minnie Street. This is building where Larry Morris’ office is located.
What is different about the 5 kW PV project is the fact that the thin film panels are installed vertically due to the latitude of Fairbanks. The angle of the sun makes the vertical installation attractive to the district because they have so many south facing walls. According to Larry, “we are testing this thin film vertical type installation to see how it works for us. If it successful, we will consider doing more of them in the future.”
The panels are manufactured by United Solar Ovonic LLC based in Rochester Hills, Michigan. A & A Roofing Co., of Fairbanks did the design and installation.
Here is a link to the data for the 5 kW installation
There is also a 1 kW on the 2 Rivers School.
October 19th, 2014
There is a new Illinois Solar School installation at the Einstein Academy on 747 Davis Road in Elgin, Illinois. The project was funded with a 90% cost grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Kojo Darkwa is the primary contact.
The installation consists of 4 US Multi Silicon Solar Modules and an Enphase inverter. The panels are 250 watts each making the system a 1 kW (1,000 watts).
If you would like to see the data for the electricity generation at the Einstein Academy, the IllinoisSolarSchools.org web page can be found here:
There are 75 students at the Einstein Academy.
October 4th, 2014
On Cass Avenue in Darien, Illinois (just off I-55) there is a new solar school installation at Eisenhower Junior High School. Robert (Bob) Carlo is the primary contact. Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation funded the solar school installation with a 90% grant that covered 90% of the total cost of the project. ReneSola donated 4 of their 250 watt PV panels through the Brian David Robertson Foundation (BDR Foundation) to help with the school’s 10% share of the cost.
The solar panels are tied to a 4 Enphase micro inverters and the Enlighten Data system and the amount of electricity generated by this system of PV Solar Panels + Inverters can be seen at the <a href=”http://www.illinoissolarschools.org/solar-schools/darien/eisenhower-junior-high.php”>IllinoisSolarSchools.org</a> web site.
The panels are clearly visible to the students and to parents and the entire neighborhood as they were installed awning style on a south-facing wall near one of the entrances to the school.
There are 571 students at Eisenhower.
September 26th, 2014
On North Christiana Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, there is a new solar school installation at <a href=”http://www.illinoissolarschools.org/solar-schools/chicago/mary-gage-peterson-elementary.php”>Mary Gage Peterson Elementary School</a>. Ms Karla Holcomb is the primary contact. Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation funded the solar school installation with a 90% grant that covered 90% of the total cost of the project. Canadian Solar donated 4 of their 250 watt PV panels through the Brian David Robertson Foundation (BDR Foundation) to help with the school’s 10% share of the cost.
The solar panels are tied to a 4 Enphase micro inverters and the Enlighten Data system and the amount of electricity generated by this system of PV Solar Panels + Inverters can be seen at <a href=”http://www.illinoissolarschools.org/solar-schools/chicago/mary-gage-peterson-elementary.php”>Mary Gage Peterson Elementary School</a>.
The panels are clearly visible to the students as they are installed on a green roof of the school right outside classroom windows.
There are 845 students at Peterson.
May 6th, 2014
It was 8.30 am on Earth Day and there were a bunch of students, teachers and visitors standing outside at the Jefferson Middle School all looking up at the sky. Everyone was watching their new wind turbine turning in the wind and generating clean renewable electricity. The wind school project, funded in large part by a grant from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation was finally up and running and working perfectly. The school also received grants from the Jefferson Middle School Green Team, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the Jefferson Middle School PTSA as well as Jefferson Middle School family donations.
Facts about the turbine:
- The turbine has a rated capacity of 3.5 kW
- The turbine starts turning when the wind reaches 6.7 miles per hour (mph)
- The turbine weighs 363 pounds
- The rotor diameter is 13.4 feet
- The estimated annual yield is between 5,500 and 11,300 kWh
As with any project like this at a school there are a number of champions who guided the project through its various stages. For me, that champion is Geoffrey Freymuth, Jefferson Middle School Science Teacher. He led a team of Jefferson Middle School administrators, teachers and students, but he was the team leader. The Champaign School District is one of the greenest in the country and they were definitely on his team but the person who was watching over and guiding and worrying about this project was Mr Freymuth.
The most interesting thing about the project for me was the qr bar code on the sign that enables anyone with a smart phone to walk up to the sign under the wind turbine and read the wind data. That was such a cool idea. I asked Mr. Freymuth why he added the qr bar code to the sign. “I kept trying to come up with something that would make our project different from the others. Then one night I remembered the qr code. There was a free app for it and we put it on the sign the next day. It was actually pretty easy.”
Let me say that the qr code may have been easy but this project took a lot of hard work from a lot of people and I want to congratulate them on their successful project.
April 19th, 2014
Here’s an update of what’s going on at Townline Elementary/School of Dual Language with the solar panels at that school:
4th grade: They are going to begin their unit on physical science about energy, which includes: solar energy and its conversion to other forms of energy such as electricity, which correlates to the Common Core Science Standards 4-ESS3.
1st grade: Is planning on using items found within the NEED Project Kit such as the Nature Print Paper and is contemplating showing them an example of the model solar house when they begin their unit on sun, moon, and Earth
This update was provided by two teachers at the school:
Marissa and Ame
Here are some pix of the 8th grade energy fair held at Hawthorn District #73