Case Study: Acalanes High School Solar Project - Shaping the Future with Renewable Energy
Located in Lafayette, California, Acalanes High School, a prominent institution in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1940. The school stands as a testament to the New Deal's ambitions, having been built using Federal government funds and labor from the Works Project Administration. In 2016, Acalanes High School took a monumental step towards a sustainable future by partnering with Maktinta Energy to install a solar project that harnessed the power of the sun to drive environmental and financial benefits.
Renewable Energy as an Educational Tool:
Acalanes Union High School District recognized the significance of renewable energy and initiated substantial solar projects at their comprehensive high schools. Beyond the potential to reduce their carbon footprint, these projects offered opportunities to make substantial savings in general fund operating costs. Moreover, they provide a real-world context for students to learn about renewable energy, fostering an environmentally conscious generation.
Solar-Powered Pool Heating:
The heart of this solar project at Acalanes High School is its pool heating system. A solar array consisting of 160 SunEarth Oasis PP 48 Collectors effectively harnesses solar energy to heat the school's pool throughout the year. An intelligent Solar Brain controller operates the solar pump through a variable frequency drive, ensuring optimal flow through the solar array to maximize heat production. Additionally, the system is equipped with self-monitoring capabilities, immediately notifying the installer and maintenance team of any deviations from the normal operating range.
Sustainable Impact and Savings:
The Acalanes High School Solar Project yields impressive results. It provides 20,000 Therms per year, contributing to substantial savings estimated at $30,000 annually. Beyond financial benefits, the project plays a pivotal role in reducing the school's carbon emissions, eliminating a significant 4,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
- Location: 1200 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette, CA 94549
- Installation Year: 2016
- Project Developer: Maktinta Energy
- CSI Thermal Rebate: $120,000
- Application: Pool and Locker Room's
- Solar Collectors: 160 SunEarth Oasis PP 48 Collectors
- System Format: Solar Pre-Heated Water
- Pool Size: 400,000 gallons
- Controller: Maktinta Solar Brain
- Metering Equipment: Maktinta Solar Brain
- Pump: 10 HP
- Variable Frequency Drive (VFD): Pentair
- Annual Energy Savings: 17,200 Therms
- CSI Rebate: $120,000
- Rated Power Output: 47.25 ft² * 160 = 7,560 ft² / 10.76 * 0.7 = 491.82 kWh
Shaping the Future with Renewable Energy:
The Acalanes High School Solar Project represents a remarkable stride toward sustainability, emphasizing the vital role educational institutions play in fostering environmental consciousness. By harnessing the power of the sun, the school not only significantly reduces its environmental impact but also demonstrates the real-world applications of renewable energy to its students. The project serves as a model for schools seeking to instill environmental responsibility and realize substantial financial savings through green initiatives.