Solar for Schools

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Solar + Schools = Power to make students brighter

Gulf Power is pleased to provide schools in our service area solar energy resources as well as professional development and materials to enhance the classroom experience and teach students about solar power and energy resources.


Photovoltaics
(foh-toh-vohl-tey-iks)

What does the term photovoltaic mean?
Each year thousands of local students are adding this term to their vocabulary and learning how the sun can make electricity by using the generation of a direct current (voltage) when electromagnetic radiation or sunlight falls on the boundary of two dissimilar substances (semiconductors) to create a charge that travels to a contact.
So how much power does one typical solar panel create?
A standard panel in today's market is around 250 Watts DC in optimum conditions and will produce about 1 kWh of electricity per day on average.
But how does that apply to a student, and what does it mean to them?
Students relate to values that they can hold in their hands or feel from their actions. Most students have direct involvement with a computer every day at school.
A typical desktop computer or laptop during the school day consumes about 1kWh of electricity. Therefore, each solar panel installed on a school provides enough power for a computer in the classroom! Similarly, one panel can generate enough electricity to offset the power needed to run a gaming console throughout the whole day. Now that's a lot of game time!

Local schools with solar installed = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5

Recently, Gulf Power has participated in two initiatives to bring photovoltaics closer to the classroom. Gulf Power has provided funding and project development support in the installation of several photovoltaics systems at local schools.

SunSmart E-Shelter Schools

One program, led by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), was designed to promote solar across the state and collect valuable solar data, as well as provide backup power in times of emergency. Schools with these grid-tied battery backup systems were classified as SunSmart E-Shelter Schools. Gulf Power provided resource support for 9 of these schools in the Gulf Power service area.

Solar for Schools

Additionally, Gulf Power has also developed its own program, “Solar for Schools,” which has successfully installed photovoltaics on 6 more schools. These photovoltaic systems are used primarily as an educational tool, but do provide some energy benefit as they are also grid-tied. Each school’s system is unique as each incorporates different installation or mounting methods!

Gulf Power has installed data acquisition equipment at each school site. See the dashboard below for “Solar for Schools” cumulative totals:

source

Connect the dots, plot the watts

There are 15 Schools in the Gulf Power service area that have solar photovoltaics present.

School County Address Kilowatts Installation
Global Learning Academy Escambia 100 N P St, Pensacola, FL 32505 5.04 KW DC + 22.68 KW DC Apr-2011
Bay High School Bay 1200 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL 32401 3.96 KW DC Feb-2012 Remodel
Longleaf Elementary Escambia 2600 Longleaf Dr, Pensacola, FL 32526 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Mar-2012
R.C. Lipscomb Elementary Escambia 10200 Ashton Brosnaham Dr, Pensacola, FL 32534 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Mar-2012
Freeport High School Walton 12615 U.S. 331 Bus, Freeport, FL 32439 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Mar-2012
Jinks Middle School Bay 600 W 11th St, Panama City, FL 32401 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Apr-2012
Cedar Grove Elementary Bay 2826 E. 15th Street, Panama City, FL 32401 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Apr-2012
Meigs Middle School Okaloosa 150 Richbourg Ave, Shalimar, FL 32579 3.96 KW DC May-2012 Remodel
Avalon Middle School Santa Rosa 5445 King Arthurs Way, Milton, FL 32583 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Jun-2012
Bennett Russell Middle School Santa Rosa 3740 Excalibur Way, Milton, FL 32583 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Jun-2012
Florida Panhandle Technical College Washington 757 Hoyt St, Chipley, FL 32428 10 KW DC Jul-2012
West FL High School Escambia 2400 Longleaf Dr, Pensacola, FL 32526 3.96 KW DC Aug-2012 Remodel
Chipley High School Washington 1545 Brickyard Rd, Chipley, FL 32428 10 KW DC Grid-Tied Battery Backup Oct-2012
Gulf Coast State College Bay 5230 US-98, Panama City, FL 32401 10 KW DC Jan-2014
Blue Angels Elementary Escambia 1551 Dog Track Rd, Pensacola, FL 32506 10.2 KW DC Oct-2015

Test time!

Gulf Power provides solar curriculum materials to participating schools and hosts teacher professional development programs in conjunction with the NEED Project. NEED Curriculum Materials incorporate both a foundation of energy knowledge and photovoltaics too.

Source: http://www.need.org/solar

The NEED Curriculum Kit


Energy From the Sun Teacher/Student Guide

Intermediate students learn about solar energy through investigations that explore radiant energy transforming into thermal energy, kinetic energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Energy From the Sun Teacher Guide / (e-publication)

Energy From the Sun Student Guide / (e-publication)

Exploring Photovoltaics Teacher/Student Guide

Secondary students learn how solar energy is used to generate electricity. Students are introduced to photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and developing solar technologies. Activities explore how photovoltaic cells work and what variables affect their electrical output.

Exploring Photovoltaics Teacher Guide / (e-publication)

Exploring Photovoltaics Student Guide / (e-publication)

The Sun and Its Energy

Primary students are introduced to solar energy with a read-aloud book and classroom-based activities. Students will learn that the sun’s energy produces light, transforms to heat, powers the water cycle, produces wind, and that solar cells convert radiant energy into electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

The Sun and Its Energy / (e-publication)

Wonders of the Sun Teacher/Student Guide

Elementary students develop a basic understanding of solar energy through background reading and classroom activities. Hands-on activities demonstrate solar energy transformations into kinetic energy, thermal energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Wonders of the Sun Teacher Guide / (e-publication)

Wonders of the Sun Student Guide / (e-publication)


What grade level of photovoltaics are you scoring at? If you need a refresher, NEED has summarized solar in four levels.

4 Levels of Photovoltaics


Primary

Elementary

Intermediate

Secondary

The comprehensive NEED Schools Going Solar Guide provides lessons and activities to support and incorporate installed photovoltaic systems into the classroom learning environment.


Study some more with Gulf Power’s library of resources!

Other Resources

General Information

Calculators