Having a completely green school infrastructure is a scenario that may be not so far-fetched for Australia. For a start, modular classrooms completely powered by solar energy developed by New South Wales company Hivve Technology Pty Ltd were launched at two schools earlier this week as part of a pilot program, which had locked in $368,115 in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Aiming to move away schools from the grid, the Hivve classrooms are fully equipped and incorporate solar PV generation, real time energy metering, CO2 metering, data capture and communications to actively manage energy demands and control indoor environment quality.
A single Hivve classroom is said to have the potential to generate enough electricity to power itself and two other classrooms in the school.
On a yearly base, a Hivve classroom is able to generate double as much electricity as a regular classroom can consume, which is on average 3,800 kWh per year.
“The success of the Hivve project could lead to a nation-wide adoption of the modular classrooms, reducing reliance on the grid and even providing a significant amount of electricity back to the NEM,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht, noting that there was enormous potential for Australia’s public schools to not only educate on renewables, but also reduce their reliance on the grid.
The the two pilot classrooms tried at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy in Sydney’s south western suburbs and at Dapto High School in Dapto will be monitored and evaluated over a 12 month period.