16 May 2012

Featured Projects - Solar 4R Schools

Our Featured Project series is a new blog series where we highlight what some of our customers are doing with our products. If you have a project you would like to have included please email us at admin@apogeeinstruments.com

{Photo from www.solar4rschools.org}
About a year ago, we were contacted by one of our customers to answer some technical questions about our pyranometer sensors. We talked to Craig Collins from Bonneville Environmental Foundation (http://www.b-e-f.org/) about a project they had developed called Solar 4R Schools (http://www.solar4rschools.org). The program works to put renewable energy technology in school buildings throughout the United States. The technology gives students a chance to learn about renewable energy as well as providing the schools with electricity.

Bonneville Environmental Foundation was founded in 1998, with a mission of “bridging the gap between different ideologies, the opposing views of political parties, environmental and business leaders to define common ground and solutions to our energy and water issues”. They work to “find innovative, high-impact solutions to some of the nations most pressing energy, carbon and freshwater challenges” (http://www.b-e-f.org/meet).

{Photo from www.solar4rschools.org}
Solar 4R Schools was founded in 2002 and has installed more than 100 photovoltaic systems for schools and community centers. It has also introduced more than 40,000 students to renewable solar energy. Through their outreach, they plan to educate more than just students. They hope to show parents, teachers, school administrators, city officials and even the installing contractors that solar energy is safe and reliable and can be a viable energy source for more than just schools.

Solar 4R Schools uses our SP-110 pyranometer and our free tool the ClearSky Calculator to monitor the solar panels they install in schools. The “About” page on Solar4RSchools.org says, “Solar 4R Schools educates students, teachers and community members about the science and benefits of renewable energy technology. The program provides hands-on activity guides, science kits and demonstration solar electric systems at no cost to schools, by working with local funding partners who want to show their commitment to renewable energy education. To receive a solar-electric system, schools must agree to own and maintain the system after installation. In turn, the school receives an exciting learning tool and all of the clean, renewable electricity it produces.“

Liberty High School in Renton, Washington features a solar panel with a dual-axis tracker and an Apogee SP-110 pyranometer. Solar 4R Schools is working on a new website feature called the Data Exploration Center where guests and students can see and share project data.

 At Apogee our ongoing goals include a commitment to creating innovative instrumentation for measuring climate change, improving sustainable food production and developing renewable energy. We are proud to have our sensors included in this great program. For more information about Solar 4R Schools, or to apply for a project at your school, please visit www.solar4rschools.org.

Whitney Mortensen
Marketing & Graphic Design

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