Portable classrooms powered by renewable energy
Thursday, 01 February, 2018
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $368,000 to Hivve Technology to trial its renewable-powered classrooms in two NSW schools, just in time for the start of the 2018 school year.
Hivve Technology’s modular classrooms, which are fully air-conditioned and have abundant natural light, incorporate solar PV generation, real-time energy metering, CO2 metering and air quality monitoring. Data, collected in 15-minute intervals from a network of meters and sensors installed in each classroom, will enable schools to actively manage energy demands and control indoor environment quality via a user-friendly dashboard.
In addition, each classroom has the potential to generate enough electricity to power itself and two other classrooms in the school. A regular classroom can consume on average 3800 kWh per year, but a Hivve classroom has an estimated net energy generation of 7600 kWh per year.
“These trial classrooms have the potential to reduce both energy consumption and costs in our schools,” said Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.
The ARENA funding enables Hivve Technology to build and install prototype classrooms at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy and Dapto High School in Dapto. This will be the first time the Hivve classroom and technology has been trialled in real schools, following successful demonstration of their functionality in a controlled environment.
Hivve Director David Wrench said the Hivve Technology was designed to deliver sustainable solutions — both environmental and economic — to help meet Australia’s growing school infrastructure needs. He noted, “We have carefully designed every element of the Hivve classroom to create the best possible learning environment for students.”
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht clearly agreed, saying the trial is “a great way to get the next generation involved in renewables at an early age and educate them as to what the positive benefits will be as Australia continues its shift towards a renewable energy future”.
“The success of the Hivve project could lead to a nationwide adoption of the modular classrooms, reducing reliance on the grid and even providing a significant amount of electricity back to the NEM,” he added.
The prototype classrooms will be monitored and evaluated over a 12-month period.
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