Farrel Cottage: Ella and AnnMarie

Hot water check 2016:

In Farrel's hot water cottage closet we noticed that it is wet and its not supposed to be, and all of the components are broken.

Maintenance should be coming to fix it though so don't worry.

The important pieces are broken and do not work so we can't measure the change in temperature.

Although the time meter for when the water will go on and go off are fine and are believed to work well.

~ 5:00 AM - 8:00 AM
~ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

This is the whole closet

This is the Delta T which monitors the temperature

This is the time monitor

This is AnnMarie and I with the closet


energy lab tips

Tennis center Lightning

Good idea, try to cooperate with Dyllan's lab with different lamps etc...

I think this person should add more detail to the procedure, such as how to measure the lights and with what tools, so list the materials.

Well nakoa is definitely not done, but he is on the right way

measure the natural light in the tennis center during different times of the day

Starbucks cost per cup:
If they have time over add another cafe or restaurant that uses another amount of energy and see what the cost will be.

Dude, please give the idea of going to starbucks to do the lab, that would be really cool.

Also you could make another question, like how much does the electricity cost in starbucks and why is that a reason they could charge a little bit more expensive

this could use more photos and something that is eye popping and fun!

Very nice you have a lot of information, but it seems bland (haha get it), throw some color in it maybe a couple pictures.

I think the lab is overall good, there is a good line spacing, I mean there in no complaining.

he might ad a few pictures but even if he doesn't it's still fine

Lab Starbucks: find out how much the coffee grounds cost

Replace Go with go, in the instructions. Center title text.

Have a bit more information or excitement on your page, seems a bit boring

add some tables or humor maybe even some pictures

Have a bit more information or excitement on your page, seems a bit boring

add some tables or humor maybe even some pictures

find out how much star bucks coffee grounds cost

find out how long star bucks cups retain heat

Power Factor:

Use the meters and measure how much energy is being used by different objects and adapters.

This is a great work in progress! he told me that he is not finished. i think that this is great so far and that there do need to be a few photos on here.

Explain more in depth what watts and amps are. Explain how to find them using the device. Delete the 'edit this page' at the bottom

Energy cost per shower:

If you want to you can add (if you have the measurements) from one or two teacher cottages, and calculate the cost.

this is cool. however, there need to be photos if possible to just make it more appealing and fun

Jacob did a great job on his lab with specific word bold, no suggestion

Energy cost per shower: Find out how much it cost to shower in other dorms.

remember to include the HELCO rate of $0.50 per kWh

maybe include a few screenshots of graphs and where to find info?

find the cost of taking a shower in Carter and Robertson

make a chart showing how much the cost for heating water changes with every 5 degree change in the water temp

Solar Cookies:

I think she should make it more organized and maybe put the actual link in case they only have the lab on paper. Also, put a picture of the screen shot instead of the download.

Don't write too much, keep it simple.

Instead of writing that much put more pictures of the things

i think that it is really well planned out and has a good flow to it. it is a bit much however. there is a lot of info and that might make it a little to confusing and long. it is really well done however!

Explain what kW are to people

Explain how you converted minutes to hours

For under caution have the purpose of the lab to be what they learn, not what they know. Replace Cookies!!! with Cookie dough.

Maybe you have a bit too much on the page and is slightly overwhelming

I really like the friendly, but it seems like a bit much (for instance all the "!")

Energy Cookies - some of the directions are confusing. Maybe you should list steps and be more concise with directions

Lighting Efficiency:

I like this lab. There is no actual lab that can be done for this and he did a good job with this lab. Just check for typos

I like the idea of using the actual photos with the different lights. Its very clean looking and your information is simple.

I don't know what you could do better, maybe add color and effects? .

Lab Lighting efficiency: find out how much light each bulb produces

find out how much light each bulb produces

PV Efficiency:

I like this but there needs to be more room for data. she could make boxes for data.

I love how she made everything short and simple but I would' find it interesting if it was more out there how things stuck out, its not just about the information its about making it interesting so that people want to do it.

Lab PV efficiency: don't change a thing but if you do try to make it more user friendly

What is the purpose of Lab: PV efficiency, put why they should do this. Put material list.

Elab2 Telemetry

I think a good idea would be to ask them for more questions than just two.

A good question would be to ask them the example of when did the water kettle was used

Very simple and clear. I love how she uploaded photos for every step that she did.

Have a link that leads to kW and have people compare kW to kVA

Tie into power factor

I like the pictures, but there's not a lot of words, maybe get some more information in there like a background

do some more explaining too like explain more of what the end goal to get some excitement into the people

Something that she could do was add color, by using emphasis and important as it changes the color of your font . :)

Wind Turbine

Put pictures, we need pictures. please.

I think would be good to have questions about it

Terin did a good job, there is plenty of information, and even added a table, no suggestion besides maybe bold key words

Have them make a small wind turbine

Have them compete which wind turbine is the best


Remove the text "Purpose:". Remove the test "Background:"

- ask them some questions about the experiment

Renewable energy:

Spread the lab out a bit - all the words is alot to take in. LOVE the photo though!

Tea maker:

Make them make different types of tea

Have them use different types of heat

Electric Vehicles:

Have them make a mini prototype with a solar panel

have them find an EV and test it

Solar Thermal:

Have them heat things with the water

Have them clean the panel


LAB: campus energy

Title: Campus energy

Background: Using the website you can determine how much energy specific building all around campus are using and how much energy the solar panels are producing.
Purpose: Find out how many kW the school produces each day and how much money that is equal to.

Materials: Computer (to view data)
paper (to record data)
Pencil (to record data)

1) Go to the website
2) Click on campus energy

3) Look for the total pv widget
4) record how many kW it is producing.

5) Multiply the number by .50, because each kW is worth 50 cents, that is the value of the energy produced.


Energy notes 15

PHEV - Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles
HEV - Hybrid Electric Vehicles
EV - Electric Vehicle

to know the miles per gallon

245 miles / 73 kWh = miles per kwh which is 33.33



NIMBY= Not in my backyard

Solar= 5 hour/day
Wind= 24 hour/day

750 kW


In class

Today, we began to create a solar oven using the dish and tinfoil tape. This creates a reflective surface and heats up quickly, getting hot enough to light paper on fire eventually. We also used mirrors to magnify the sunlight and create molten rock.

Storage Is different prices for different types. Lead-acid batteries is $300 per kWh to store, and lithium is predicted to be $150 soon with new invention. Lithium batteries are the best. They can be taken down to 95% and last 20 years while led-acid batteries can only be taken down to 50% and last two years. The school uses lithium, but we pay $1000 per kWh. This is extremely expensive and they are only able to store about $40 worth of solar energy from the (student union) solar trees every night.


energy notes 14

$300/km lead acid old battery 50% last about 3 years
$1000/km lithium current battery 95% last about 20 years r

1/2H2 + O2 -> H2O + heat or + elec

I've also work on my solar oven and we are done we with it.

You can see in this picture me and Dr.Bill are looking the focus where the sun will burn your skin or paper
Next thing up is to find how to hold a rock and make it burn.


Energy challenge Physics

Challenge the physic class
Find two or three really hard question about your dashboard.


energy notes 13

.93 Length
1.58 Width
1.47 = area
we have a bout 512 panels
about 1000w/m2



Download file "IMG_0386.JPG"



old lightbulb: 63 watts, 1 PF, 940 lux
LED: 5 watts, .63 PF, 240 lux
CFL: 14 watts, .58 PF, 230 lux
old lightbulb2 : 80 watts, 1 PF, 500 lux
LED2: 12.9 watts, .74 PF, 580 lux
CFL2: 240 watts, .57 PF, 440 lux


dashboard choices

Frida-pool conservation
Taryn-carter ST storage
Andres-IT complex
Annaliese-Art PV
Dylan-tennis lighting
Nakoa-PPA array harvesting
Sebastian-PF dorms collection
jacob-GPAC conservation
AnnMarie-wind turbine harvesting
Cerro-PF storage
Austin-student union complex
Amelia-elab solar harvesting
Teah-cafeteria solar thermal/PV
Lyons-carter solar thermal harvesting



Download file "IMG_0497.JPG"
Download file "IMG_0837.JPG"Download file "IMG_0838.JPG"Download file "IMG_0839.JPG"Download file "IMG_0840.JPG"Download file "IMG_0841.JPG"


Energy Primer

Energy primer

Energy and power units:

kW means kiloWatt, kilo = 1000 Watt named after a person, so capitalized

1000 Watts = 1 kW (note spelling)

kW is a rate, like miles per hour or gallons per minute

To get total energy (or miles or gallons) we multiply by time:

1000 Watts for one hour = 1 kWh (“one kiloWatt hour”)

Example: a 1000 Watt hot water maker is on for one hour

1000 W = 1 kW times 1 hour = 1 kWh

KVA is another unit similar to kW, but it includes what is called the power factor.

For simple things like hot water makers or toasters, PF (power factor) = 1.00, meaning 100% of the electrical energy goes to work.

Motors, compressors, refrigerators, computers and pumps can have power factors as low as 50%, meaning if you think the device is using 1000W, you are really paying for 2000W.

HELCO charges us a premium if our campus total PF is less than 90%

HELCO charges us about $0.40 for every KVA, so if you have an energy number, you can round to about half of this number to convert to dollars (neat tip).

Note on units: Watts, Volts, Amps (Amperes) are all capitalized. Don’t capitalize meters, hours or gallons.


We are in the 4th generation of lights in this country.

~1850 incandescent lights (Edison and his gang)

Most energy goes to heat, not efficient, simple to operate, PF 1.00

~1950 Fluorescent lights (note spelling: flUOrescent, like FlUOrine)

More efficient, contain mercury, need a transformer (hot, noisy)

Related: mercury vapor (white) and sodium vapor (yellow) lamps, also known as metal halide lamps, often found in streetlights, gyms, tennis centers. PF is about 80%.

All of these create an electrical arc through a vapor of metal (even fluorescent bulbs, which contain mercury and a phosphorus inner coating to transform the harsh mercury light into visible light)

~2000 Compact Fluorescent bulbs (CFL)

Similar to traditional long or circular bulbs, but able to screw into 1850 era light sockets (yes, they are that old).

Contain mercury and phosphorus, 3-5 year lifespan, PF ~80%

~2010 Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

Very efficient, can be many colors, little heat, long lifespan, PF close to 95%, uses about 65% less energy than traditional bulbs, relatively expensive, but long lifespan makes for excellent ROI and TCO (return on investment, total cost of ownership).


Every dollar spent on conservation is worth about $8 in new energy sources.

Monitoring is key, to determine energy flows, leaks and so on

This can be electrical metering, infrared cameras, flow meters, propane meters, water meters, temperature sensors and so on.

Key targets are refrigeration, water pumps (e.g. pool), lighting, water heating and timing-when these resources are used relative to energy harvesting.

Especially important at night, when PV and solar thermal systems are dependent on storage

Solar thermal:

Goal: turn solar radiation into hot water

Active systems: Sun—>solar panel—>pump—>tank—> users

Passive systems: Sun —>solar panel/tank —> users (no pump needed, uses convection)

HPA systems are of two types:

Carter dorm has the active system, while Perry-Fiske and cafeteria have passive Solahart systems

Propane is used to finish these systems, making sure that users always have hot water at about 120°F

Hot water is stored in tanks, with about 10-15 kWh energy in each Solahart tank. Each Solahart system costs about $6K installed (panel and tank). To store 10 kWh using batteries would cost $13,000.

Solar thermal panels are about 90% efficient at converting solar radiation into hot water. PV panels are about 15% efficient in converting solar radiation into electrical energy.

Propane is competitive with electrical energy at about $0.25 per kWh equivalent in our hot water heaters.

PV (photovoltaic): light to DC electrical energy

If solar thermal captures solar radiation as heat, PV systems convert this radiation into electrical flow in one direction (direct current, or DC, like batteries). This is convenient for battery storage, but to be used in most homes and businesses, AC (alternating current, 60 Hz) is needed. Inverters are electronic devices that turn DC from PV and/or batteries into AC for use.

Since HPA is on one meter with HELCO, we are essentially a “micro-grid” meaning any electrical energy harvested from PV (or released from batteries) goes to slow down the HELCO meter. Since we do not presently get any credit for energy out, we want to make certain we can store any excess energy on campus for night time use.

Since the sun is brightest at noon, PV engineers use an estimation of a PV array output called “solar hours”, meaning the equivalent amount of energy harvested if noon lasted that many hours.

For example, our PPA (purchase power agreement) array behind the elab produces about 100 kW maximum. This is true at noon, but less so either side of noon, so we use “solar hours” to estimate energy harvest each day. For us, this is about 5.5 solar hours, depending on season:

100 kW x 5.5 solar hours = 550 kWh or about $200 saved each day.

PPA arrangements usually charge us a fraction (about $0.20 per kWh) of the HELCO cost, but we have to pay for what it produces, not what it uses. If we are pushing energy out the door to HELCO using the PPA array, we are in effect paying to give this energy away.

Net zero energy is when we have effectively stopped the HELCO meter, meaning we are producing exactly how much we are using.

We hope to harvest enough to reach net zero around 10AM each day until about 2 PM each afternoon. The extra energy during that time we hope to capture using battery and other storage systems (pumped storage hydro, hot water activation, etc.)

Energy Storage:

Batteries for large scale systems are usually either lead acid batteries dating back to around 1800, or lithium batteries from this century:

~1800 lead acid batteries

lead and sulfuric acid

environmentally nasty

3 year lifespan

shorter if used more

only 40% of capacity is usable

slow discharge and recharge

about $300 for each kWh stored

example: our overnight campus use is about 100 kW for 20 hours or 2000 kWh (or 2 mWh). At $300/kWh this would cost us $600,000 and would last 3-5 years at max capacity, but in actuality it would be 2.5 times this because these batteries cannot be discharged all the way, so $1.5M.

~2010 lithium batteries (LiPO, Lithium iron phosphate, etc.)

used in prius and other cars


fast discharge and recharge

20 year lifespan at 80% capacity


expensive ($1300 per kWh)

The same example above would cost more, last longer, and require fewer batteries. It could also discharge faster to maintain our microgrid, and recharge faster when used as backup power for the IT building.

Pumped storage hydro:

Water tanks low on campus have a pump and a generator. When we have extra energy, we pump this water uphill to a similar tank where it is stored for use later on. When needed, the system activates the generator, which provides power for the campus. This is green, cheap, renewable, lasts 50 years or more and can be safely integrated into other water systems (e.g. fire suppression) as needed.

Net neutrality:

We have three ways we can claim neutrality:

  1. Net energy neutral: We export the same amount of energy around noon that we use overnight, so as far as the HELCO grid is concerned, we have a net zero energy profile. We still pay for what we use at night, though)
  2. Net money neutral: We capture any excess energy during the noon hours when the HELCO meter would be spinning backwards, and use this at night from our batteries or other storage)
  3. Net carbon neural: We measure all carbon used on campus, including transportation, heating and other carbon impacts and offset with energy produced via solar thermal, PV, wind or other means (not nuclear, don’t worry). This is the most current global metric used, and relates well to our sustainability misssion.

Each has certain PR and moral aspects, but we are in a uniquely resource dependent environment, so any of these would be an excellent case study for student research, internal and external relations, or grant opportunities.


Friday after quiz

If you have time:

After the quiz:

  1. Measure the area of the solar thermal panel downstairs in meters. Using 1000W/m2, calculate the ideal yield for this solar thermal panel.
  2. If this panel costs $1000, what is the ROI?
  3. If it lasts for 30 years, what is the TCO?
  4. Measure the area of the PV panel pictured below, rated at 240 Watts. Using the same solar radiation numbers, what is the % efficiency for this panel?
  5. If it costs $400, what is the ROI for this panel?
  6. If it lasts for 20 years, what is the TCO for this panel?
  7. Which would you choose for your home first, and why?
Download file "PM240P00-review.png"

Values are in mm and (inches). Make sure to convert to meters for your calculation, you might want to try using the calculator on your computer, look under "convert" in the pull down menu.



9.7.16 Wednesday plan

ROI (return on investment)
TCO (total cost of ownership)

PV panel
120 Watts

Solar thermal
3 kW



9.2.16 plan

quiz 10 min
wx console: solar radiation and wind speed
KHIKAMUE2 young (wind)
Three things:
1. your background in energy, science
2. what you'd like to learn here
3. tell me something most folks don't know about you


8.26.16 notes

First, some fun:,-155.658,9

Here's what we have learned so far:
Campus walk around:
  • PV installations: PPA array, elab, commons (not the trees), IT building complex (IT, art, CLH, english)
  • Solar thermal installations (elab), Perry-Fiske, Carter, Cafeteria
  • Modes of solar thermal (passive Solahart and active)
  • Return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO)
VOM party:
  • Volts is capitalized since it is named after a person (usually dead)
  • Vdc means direct current (V= on the meter)
  • Vac means alternating current (V~ on the meter)
  • CPR/defibrillators can kill nurses if they don't yell "clear!" and why
  • Ohm is a dead German dude
  • Ω can be spelled with option-z on your computer (new one!)
  • Ohms is a measure of resistance to DC current
  • Kumbaya is a fun song
  • Very small currents can be measured by the VOMs (Volt ohm milliammeter, the pretty yellow things)
  • Ohm's law says V-iR, where V is volts (not bolts, they run very fast), I is current in Amperes and R is resistance in ohms (not the meditation kind)
  • Joule's law (never told you the name, so here it is) says that P = Vi where Power is in Watts (yes, another dead dude), i is in Amperes (yet another dead dude) and V is in Volts (last dead dude in this formula)
  • Another version of this is P = I2R, which we will cover later. Physics people can also show off with P = V2/R
Hot water and killing Watts:
  • We measured power, which is the rate of using energy, measured in Watts
  • 1000 Watts is one kiloWatt (kW)
  • 1500 Watts would therefore be 1.5 kW
  • We checked to see if our meters worked well, they did: Power = Voltage x Current
  • 1 kW running for 1 hour is 1 kWh or kiloWatt-hour. It is a measure of energy used
  • Think of bucket analogy: you pay for the water (kWh), not how fast it comes out (kW)
  • 1 kWh here at HPA costs about $0.45 which we round to $0.50 or fifty cents.
  • Next: power factor fun, measuring other things, and watching elabTV (
Friday (today):
  • quiz on what you see above first
  • wind fun (see link above)
  • review of power and energy (kW and kWh)
  • using to measure power used or produced
  • using to do this on the entire campus (insert evil laughter here)


Course notes

Course description:


Semester course, 2016

This hands-on course is for any student interested in renewable energy, energy monitoring and conservation. We begin with terminology and basic monitoring using the Energy Lab as our home base, then extend to energy production from solar PV, solar thermal and wind sources, then on to measurement of the HPA campus energy to detect waste and promote conservation. Students will have the chance to create their own projects which they will then present to the team. Basic math and science concepts will be used, and will complement any current math or science course at HPA. This course is an excellent preparation for future work on this important topic.

Pre-req: Grade 9 and permission of instructor

Class size limit: 12

Entry skills: basic algebra, freshman science skills

Exit skills: meter measurement, energy calculations, remote sensing and control skills, ability to calculate ROI and TCO for energy systems, infrared camera skills.


Energy Course Syllabus


Our goal in this class is to develop energy literacy through ownership of projects. Our topics include energy terms, sources, conservation and storage. We will work on proejcts including energy measurement, energy audits, super thermos creation, and a collaborative project on energy storage. Students will record notes after each class on a course weblog, create wikis for each project, and individual energy dashboards on our energy monitoring system.

Class Format

Our class meets in the energy lab on assigned days, with access to the lab for projects over lunch and after school on arrangement with the teacher. Our class will be largely hands-on, and students are expected to take notes and complete daily weblog entries, as well as weekly wiki summaries.


We will use advanced, expensive tools in the energy lab, iPads and laptops for our course. You are expected to use these with care, and abide by the acceptable use policy of the school, which says among other things that these tools are to be used only for class related activities.


Students are expected to bring their own laptops, paper notebook, calculator and writing tools to every class, with no exceptions. Phones are not permitted in class, except for calculator use. Any phone use during class will result in the phone being collected and turned over to the Dean of Discipline.

Work is expected to be turned in on time, and there is no credit for late work. This is partly out of respect for those who take the time to turn in their work, and also because we often review assignments as part of our classwork together.


Grades will be based on weblogs, wikis, tests and homework assignments. Due dates are expected to be met, and there will be no credit for late work.


The best way to reach me is before or after class, but any questions about grading has to be taken care of outside of our class time, out of respect for others in the class as well as your privacy. My email is, and I can answer your responses up until about 7 PM most evenings.


Energy Cookies!