Over 90 schools in the UK now have access to a specially designed on-line portal to educate children about renewable energy and climate change. This portal has been developed by the UK’s leading solar energy generator, Lightsource Renewable Energy for use in schools where it has installed a rooftop solar plant.
Mobile SIM cards installed in components of the solar plant (like meters and inverters) automatically send regular data through to Lightsource’s new bespoke asset management platform. By logging into the schools portal via a password-restricted link on the Lightsource website, teachers can show pupils how much ‘green’ energy is being generated by the panels on their own school roof.
Readings can be displayed in graph form showing day, week, month or lifetime view, with the total amount of energy being produced displayed at the top of the screen. The ‘green’ energy production is then put in context of how many tonnes of carbon has been saved, how many trees would have to be planted to offset that amount carbon and how many households or cars that amount of ‘green’ energy would power.
Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource comments, “We have invested considerable amount of time and resources into developing our new asset management platform. Our school partners can now provide a tangible presence of their own solar plant generation in the classroom. Involving children in monitoring, analysing and interpreting the output of their panels and what that means in terms of measurable environmental impact, gives real meaning to the importance and value of renewable energy.
The schools portal is a key element of a new teaching resource pack which Lightsource rolled out to participating schools in partnership with SolarAid at the end of 2012. The pack aims to educate pupils about all types of renewable energy, including solar, and what the implications for the planet could be if these types of power are not increasingly used to replace fossil fuels. Boyle adds, “Education on these crucial matters starts with our children — they are the next generation and the ones who will need to push forward the use of renewables. We hope that by enabling them to understand the positive impact their own rooftop PV panels are making, we will encourage them to put renewable energy generation high on the agenda for the future.”
As well as providing all the data for the schools portal, the asset management platform also serves an important primary function for Lightsource. Output and weather data gathered from each one of the company’s current portfolio of 220 assets will be analysed in-depth to ensure each plant is maximised to optimum performance.
Schools interested in gaining access to the Lightsource Teaching Pack which is free of charge should phone 0333 200 0755 or visit www.lightsource-re.co.uk