People have a common preset mindset that solar panels are only meant for residential and commercial structures. This “Go Green” concept is very popular in commercial buildings to be able to draw new business and in homes to reduce the total cost of electricity. However, schools and universities have now understood the benefit of switching to solar energy for meeting and many have been incorporating the same to meet their energy requirements.
Schools and Universities have high needs for electricity and solar panel installations helps in cutting down their operational cost by optimizing solar energy that is freely available. Students across the world have also been seen giving importance to eco-friendly schools and universities.
Unlike the roofs of residential structures that are pitched, the roofs of schools and universities tend to be flat and even the materials used in the construction of the same make it ideal for solar panel installation.
Solar panel installation gives education institutions a cutting edge and eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. Students all across the world have been seen giving importance to eco-friendly schools and universities which leads to an increase in enrolment.
To understand how many solar panels are needed to power a school depends on understanding the total number of energy requirement and dividing it with the energy generating capacity of each panel. To understand better, let us take an example:
A normal medium size enterprise usually uses about 25,000-kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year i.e 70kWh energy every day. On average, one solar panel can generate in total of 250 watts of peak power. This is also known as “nameplate rating” of each panel. Lastly, we need to calculate the total hours of peak sunlight in the area. For this example let us assume we will be getting on an average of 5 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Now let’s calculate an Actual number of Solar Panels required for a School:
By the above calculation, we can easily conclude that the daily requirement is 14KW. Solar panel generates DC current where businesses need AC current. During this conversion, on an average around 20% of energy is lost as the process is not very efficient. Thus, in order to be able to generate power more than 14kW, we will be needing around 17.5kW power to be able to match the complete energy needs of the business. (refer to image below for calculations)
Now when we divide the total daily kilowatts requirement (in our case 17.5kW) with the nameplate rating of each solar panel (in our case 250 watts i.e 0.25kW) we will be able to calculate the total number of solar panels required. (refer to image below
As per the calculations, in this case, to be able to fulfill complete energy requirement by the business we will be needing in total 70 Solar Panels.
Please note: the above calculations are made on assumptions and are indicative of the total requirement. The total requirement of solar panel is dependent on a number of factors and the above calculations will aid you with your calculations.
When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity. Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.