Denver Solar Power Doubles As Learning

All over the country, it seems, public schools systems are going solar in formats both large and small. The Denver Public School District’s build out of 1.8 megawatts-worth of solar PV panels on the rooftops of 16 schools goes in the latter category, but the effects, in terms of renewable energy education, could be significant.

The Denver Public School system and installation partners Namasté Solar, Oak Leaf Energy Partners, and MP2 Capital worked together to develop an in-class curriculum with DECK Solar Monitoring. This technology, according to Lauren Coyne, Co-owner and Education & Outreach Manager at Namasté Solar, “allows students to really take advantage of the educational opportunity afforded by a solar PV installation on a school.”

Deck Solar Monitoring

image via DECK Monitoring

The DECK Monitoring system provides ongoing data in a user-friendly interface navigable by teachers and students, granting them access to basic information about system components as well as the ability to compare various data sets over several different intervals. Over the last year, DECK Monitoring has been implemented in conjunction with solar systems in schools from Hawaii to Massachusetts.

“It provides a wealth of ongoing data that can be used to enhance student understanding of how the technology works, what factors affect production, and what the benefits are of the system over time,” added Coyne. “They can access basic information about system components on the ‘How Solar Works’ screen. The information is presented in a way that is easily understandable by many ages of students.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.