Thanks to the donation of state-of-the-art equipment, students in our CTE Residential and Commercial Electrical program are making the sun a partner in their lessons. Earlier this year, the electrical students started learning about solar energy. They installed a roof-top system on the slanted roof located above the electrical lab space inside their classroom. The system is complete, but running on interior light sources gives a limited representation of solar energy.
One reason the initial system had panels installed inside was because it is not possible to install permanently-mounted solar panels to the roof of the school. However, a manufacturer named @IronRidgeInc makes specialized supports that allow solar panels to be installed without drilling. These are useful for a flat roof installation, such as at the WEMOCO building. Local solar distributor CED Greentech donated 16 photovoltaic panels and IronRidge donated the brackets to support these panels.
A bonus was that IronRidge trainer, Sue Stark, came to the school in person. She trained the electrical teachers Michael Schmitt and Mark Chase, as well as Andy Wright from the Monroe 2 BOCES Operations and Maintenance department, in all the details of the system. According to Stark, “Our country will need 900,000 workers to meet the demand for solar installations. It is valuable to us to train the teachers, so they can work with the students who eventually may be the workers meeting this demand.”
Student work on the system’s assembly is in the parking lot. Employees of the Operations and Maintenance Department will do the roof top work. Chase said, “This 5 kilowatt system will feed the school’s meters, generating usable power.”
Schmitt said, “This co-operative project, thanks to CED Greentech and IronRidge, creates another opportunity for WEMOCO students to be career-ready with skills in the latest technology.”
Feature photo: Some of the new solar panels awaiting installation at WEMOCO
This page: Trainer Sue Stark with donated solar equipment in the WEMOCO parking lot