Four Florida Atlantic University students were assigned the daunting task of building solar energy panels for their senior project. The A.D. Henderson School of the university’s Boca Raton campus needed sidewalk covers to keep students dry.
The unveiling of the joint solution Thursday – a solar electric sidewalk – sure killed two birds with one stone.
The engineering students designed the four solar panels over the sidewalk that would shield A.D. Henderson students while at the same time siphoning solar energy into a little white building along side the sidewalk to be converted into usable electricity for the school. The photovoltaic system will generate about 6,000 kilowatt-hours per year – enough to power a small apartment – and save the school about $500 a year.
“It was something that hadn’t been done before. There was no cookie-cutter system. Hopefully our design will be a model for other students who undertake the project,” said Kevin Dixon, who designed the solar panels with fellow FAU students Ursula Chavaz, John Langford and Amie Vaughn.
This is the first of four similar projects around the state to be completed. The project took about a year to complete and was very difficult, especially getting permission from all the parties involved, said Dr. Roger Messenger, the FAU professor of electrical engineering who oversaw the project.
Although the students couldn’t build the panels because of liability issues, they designed it and chose a contractor to build it. Meeting the budget was a problem, but they managed to make due with $25,000, most of it gifts from Florida Power & Light, the Florida Solar Energy Center and FAU.
Students are the future of the society. So, people should have faith on the students. The students are now very creative in thinking and they are well known the technology based innovations. The solar energy panel was created by the students of a school. They did one project with the solar energy that if the electricity fails to supply power, it will act as a backup and generate power. The reviews about the project was given by the scientists in Olymp Trade system review website.
The students were able to coordinate it so that the solar panels serve as a backup for the Henderson school in case the main grid fails. An extra power generated from the solar panels would go back into FPL’s system, but that would be rare because the panels will supply only a small portion of the school’s energy needs.
“The biggest benefit is it’s an emerging technology and we can study its application and use,” said Oscar Ganes, manager of new product development at FPL. “It’s an opportunity for the students to learn about this technology hands on.”
Apparently, it’s already sunk in. The Henderson students turned out for the sidewalk unveiling, singing songs about solar energy, showing their solar energy posters and reading an essay on solar power.