Try These Cool Solar School Projects

Our San Diego area solar experts gathered two great projects for students of all ages to learn more about solar energy.

MAKING A SOLAR POWERED ELECTRIC FAN

This solar project seems simple but does require some special equipment and the supervision of an adult.

How to do it: How to Raju has a great video to help you create this project with few supplies and in a short amount of time. GaspGroup also typed up a supply list and wrote directions for those who learn best with step-by-step instructions.

Level of difficulty: Intermediate. Best for older students or younger students with adult supervision.

What you’ll learn: This is a great project for an introduction to how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Cover the solar panel, and the fan stops rotating.

BENEFITS VS. COST OF SOLAR PANELS

This is a great project for the researcher who wants to answer the question, “Are solar panels really worth it?” This experiment asks your student to analyze a specific structure (maybe their school or home) and determine:

  • What kind and how many panels are needed to meet the energy requirements of the structure?
  • How much will the installation cost?
  • What energy savings will affect utility costs after installation?
  • What are the best and worst-case scenarios for future energy and electricity costs?
  • How to do it: Science Buddies provides a step-by-step guide complete with tips, tricks, and citations to help your student complete this project.

Level of difficulty: Advanced. Best for older students and may require assistance from an expert in the field.

What you’ll learn: Through this project, you’ll get real-life mirrored experience to a question many engineers have to answer in their work. Do the costs of renewable energy outweigh the benefits and long-term savings?

Here at HES Solar, we believe that changing the way the world is powered benefits everyone. We have several great resources on our blog that can help you or your student learn more about solar energy and its many benefits.

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NET ENERGY METERING 3.0 INFORMATION

Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) is the incoming law created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The new tariffs and fees will impact both residential and commercial solar systems built in California. 

As this notice is posted in November of 2022, the Proposed Decision from the CPUC outlining the proposed NEM 3.0 terms is expected soon. This comes after a year’s delay. Once the new agreement is finalized and passed into law, there will exist a designation of the deadline under which new systems will continue to qualify for NEM 2.0 rates. 

The new NEM 3.0 rates will be designed to lower the value of electricity during the daytime hours, when solar is producing, and increase the value of electricity during the evening hours, when solar homes and businesses purchase electricity. In short, NEM 3.0 will create a “sell low, buy high” proposition to new solar system owners. 

To Californians looking to install a solar system on their home or commercial building, the NEM 2.0 rates will be preferred. As of this post, the solar industry does not know the details of how different the NEM 3.0 rates will be from the NEM 2.0 rates. 

Please use the HES Solar website as a resource to learn more, and please take our offer to speak with an HES Solar Energy Consultant at no obligation.

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Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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