Orcas Island Community Solar

Location:
Eastsound, WA
Grade Level:
9-12
Technology Type:
PV System Size:
11.40 - kilowatts

The San Juan Islands Conservation District is partnered with Orcas Power and Light Cooperative (OPALCO) and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to install solar electric systems at the public schools on Lopez, Orcas, San Juan, and Shaw Islands in 2015. This exciting community solar project will deliver renewable energy to our public schools, reducing their electricity bills, and provide renewable energy education for our students. Participants receive... Read full project narrative >>

Integrating Solar Power

Basic Stamp Microprocessor
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
electronics
computer science
applied physics
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will create voltage regulator and construct a solar battery charger.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

At this point students should have a working robotic sunflower that will track the sun with 2 degrees of freedom. This next lesson powers the whole system with a photovoltaic module. A Zener diode is used to charge a 6V motorcycle battery which then supplies a voltage regulator which in turn supplies the 5V needed by the microprocessor. View full description >>

Dual Axis Light Tracking

Basic Stamp Microprocessor
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
electronics
computer science
applied physics
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will create a solar tracker with two degrees of freedom.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

Students will take the previous lesson and apply them in creating a light tracker with two degrees of freedom. The axis of rotation will be about the horizontal and vertical. Teams will have everything they need to make this build work. They have already created a tracker with one degree of freedom, so adding a second is a matter of replication... View full description >>

Creating a Light-Tracking Servo

Basic Stamp Microprocessor
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
electronics
computer science
applied physics
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will synthesize the previous lesson for light metering and servo control to design a servo controlled by two photoresistors that will track a light source.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

Students will learn how to program the Basic Stamp to use information from two photoresistors to point a servo at a light source. This will be the first degree of freedom for the flower head. View full description >>

Controlling a Servo

Basic Stamp Microprocessor
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
electronics
computer science
applied physics
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will be able to apply the pulse width modulation to a servo from a Basic Stamp. Students will synthesize two circuit designs using one to control the other through the Basic Stamp.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

In this lesson students will learn how to control a servo using the Basic Stamp. Then students will combine the photoresistor from the previous lesson with the servo to create a light controlled servo. View full description >>

Measuring Voltage Using a Microcontroller

Basic Stamp Microprocessor
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours 30 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will apply Ohm’s Law. Students will use a multimeter to measure current, voltage, and resistance. Students will use a breadboard to set up a series circuit. Students will read circuit diagrams. Students will calculate times for an RC circuit to change state. Students will prove that resistors in series have an equivalent resistance equal to their individual sums. Students will program the Basic Stamp to measure voltage levels in a voltage divider and RC circuit.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

In this lesson students will be introduced to series circuits, resistors, a photoresistor and a microcontroller. There’s a lot here, but it boils down to making a voltage divider circuit and measuring the voltage at different points. A second circuit includes an RC component. Teachers can edit this down to just a photoresistor if time and/or... View full description >>

Simple Solar Tracker

Solar Tracker
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
4-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
physics
electronics
solar power
Engineering
engineering design process
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Learning Goal(s):

Students observe and replicate a simple solar tracker. Students will learn basic electric circuits and terminology. Students will reflect on possible improvements for solar tracker. Students will reflect on how the engineering design process is used daily.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

Students will be shown a working example of a solar tracker and asked to replicate the design based on their observations. The design incorporates four solar cells arranged in two arrays with each array reverse biased such that they generate a voltage that opposes the other. Whichever array receives the most light will generate more voltage... View full description >>

Solar Panel Construction, Orientation and Use Unit

Constructing Solar Panels
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
applied physics
physics
principles of technology
Engineering
applied math
research to build and present knowledge
statistics and probability
modeling
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Modeling and data analysis

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

For this extended task, students will track the sun's altitude and Azimuth to determine the best position for their hand-built solar panel, learn solar cell operation basics, solar panel construction, series and parallel circuitry and basic array sizing. View full description >>

Solar Site Assessment

Solar Rooftop
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
solar energy
renewable energy
design
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 50 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will be able to use a Solar Pathfinder to determine the amount of solar resource lost to shading from nearby trees, buildings, etc. Students will be able to calculate the number of kWh of electricity that can be produced in a specific location and in a specific sized area. Students will be able to calculate the amount of carbon emissions that can be offset due to installing photovoltaic panels of various sizes. Students will be able to calculate the size array needed to offset all electricity use for the high school.

Students will do an actual site assessment to determine the available solar resource for a chosen location. 

View full description >>

Solar Pathfinder Tutorial

Solar Rooftop
Average Rating:
0
Intended Grade Level(s):
9-12
Subject Area(s) Covered:
solar energy
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will be able to properly assemble and orient their solar pathfinder. Students will be able to properly record the information provided by a solar pathfinder. Students will be able to accurately analyze the information provided by the solar pathfinder to calculate the solar potential (kWh/m2/day) taking into account variables such as shading, climate and weather.

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

This lesson is designed to allow the students to practice assembling and using their Solar Pathfinders, along with analyzing the data. The students will take a single measurement and digital photograph at a location near the classroom designated by the teacher. 

... View full description >>