Students take on energetic role with the school’s new solar array
Three Hamilton County schools benefit from new ground-mounted solar PV systems
Three schools for Hamilton Heights School Corporation have new solar array systems designed by R.E. Dimond and Associates.
Hamilton Heights High School now includes a 680 kW AC, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic PV system. Hamilton Heights Middle School has a 520 kW AC, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic PV system, and Hamilton Heights Elementary School features a 400 kW AC, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic PV system.
“We reviewed the electrical bills from the last three years so we could size the solar array to meet most of the needs at usage because we don’t want to produce more than the school needs. …and as utility rates keep going up, the payback could increase annually.”— Aaron Schipp, electrical engineer, R.E. Dimond and Associates
$270,000 saved in electrical costs and priceless learning opportunities
In addition to saving the district over $270,000 a year in electrical costs by reducing their electrical usage by 70%, all three Hamilton Heights Schools are excited to use the solar arrays in their science and math curricula. The program will help teachers educate students about the latest innovations in renewable energy and the importance of sustainability.
At the elementary level, teachers introduce students to the sun’s intense energy in our solar system and how people have harnessed the sun’s power. At the intermediate level, teachers are guiding students through ways electricity, energy storage, and wattage works. High school teachers show students how electrons and protons work, how photovoltaic cells interact with energy and its efficiency, and more.
In science, engineering, and math courses at all levels, students get real-world experience measuring energy, understanding its uses, the engineering behind the solar array, and practical benefits for sustainable engineering and building design.
Watch a presentation about the real power and benefits behind their new solar PV system
Aaron Schipp, the electrical engineer for the project, gave a presentation in late 2022 on the benefits of a solar photovoltaic system for AIA Indiana and its history.
“Solar panels don’t have moving parts. Cleaning comes from the weather, and while we do need to keep looking at the panels and monitor them, and they do take up a lot of space, solar panels should last over 25 years…once you’ve paid back the initial cost [over 12 years], you’ll save a lot of money.”— Aaron Schipp, electrican engineer, R.E. Dimond and Associates
Watch the whole presentation to learn more about the history of solar, the fundamentals of solar systems, and the cost/payback options.