Weather Data Helps Students Learn at a Wind and Renewable Energy Lab!
Our community college in New York State has a robust Renewable Energy program designed to prepare students for employment in solar and small wind-based renewable energy related areas by educating them in the fundamental concepts, knowledge, and practices in electricity, electronics, and renewable power generation with an emphasis on equipment and system maintenance. It is essential for the students to understand the strong connection between weather data and wind energy and solar power potential.
We’re Learning with Two Weather Stations!
With our Mobile Fab Lab, we take to local schools and events to educate and publicize the benefits of coming to our college. With the AcuRite weather station, we’ve mounted the bracket permanently on top of our mobile fab lab’s ladder. When we arrive at a high school or event, we climb up and install the weather station and set up the display for the public to view. It certainly has been a big hit, and many families want the same setup for their house. It helps engage the prospective students in entertaining the idea of a career in Renewable Energy.
Back at the school, we have installed an AcuRite Atlas with the solar data, UV information, and light intensity, which is important for our solar program. The second wireless weather station is permanently installed on top of our technology building, where our Wind and Renewable Energy classes are held. Various classes will study how the weather station works, analyze the data in real-time, and learn to understand how weather patterns affect renewable energy potential.
What We’ve Learned:
So far, the students have used the My AcuRite website to look at the charts and try and predict the UV and weather for their simulated solar panel farm. The students had to “purchase” and “build” their solar farm and determine with current weather, from the weather station that was donated, how efficient their farm would be. It was a very neat learning exercise that the students thoroughly enjoyed, which would not have been possible without the AcuRite Weather Station!
Another Way We’ve Learned with Weather Data:
We had a severe storm last week, and the Wind and Renewable Energy students viewed the data and estimated how much of a decrease in power the solar panels would produce on a day like that and the impact on wind turbines with 50-60 mph winds.