The first 4 School Power…Naturally lessons serve as an introduction to teachers and students, familiarizing them with the PV system and the data it generates. It also prepares them for the energy lessons that follow. A more complete description of the Data Acquisition System (DAS) software, and photovoltaic system is available. The DAS provides information on system operation within and among schools in real time and in archival form. The four lessons are below:
Lesson I [PDF] [DOC]
Lesson I is the first in a series of three tour lessons that make use of the Heliotronics SunViewer™ software application. It features a virtual array tour that includes screen shots and commentary. Topics include:
- Components and Function of a Solar Array
- Process of Scientific Inquiry
- History of Electric Power and Those Who Shaped It
- Monopolies: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Ohm’s Law and Its Uses
Lessons II and III include a projected set of images and pages that relate to data display.
Lesson II [PDF] [DOC]
- Methods of power generation
- Tradeoffs among the various power generation methods
Lesson III [PDF] [DOC]
- Impact of the Environment on Solar Power Production
- The Relationship between Power and Energy
- Energy Efficiency
- Energy Conservation
Lesson IV [PDF] [DOC]
- Using the computer skills of manipulation, presentation and understanding the purpose of data display
- Using online data to determine the temperature response of a solar module to temperature
- Exploring factors that determine solar array output, including seasonal and environmental factors
Lesson IV also covers portions of the software application that displays real time and stores operational data. This separate lesson makes use of inquiry teaching and learning, using the online School Power Naturally database [SunViewer.net™] developed by Heliotronics. This database presents and archives data from each school’s solar array and that of other participating schools throughout New York State.
NOTE: Since this lesson was developed, the performance data display has improved. You may find this lesson easier to follow using an earlier version of the Performance Data display.