Auburn Students Install Solar Panels

October 01, 2011 | Raschelle Casebier

Auburn Adventist Academy engineering students recently designed mounting hardware and adjustable linkage to install a commercial solar power three-phase electrical system on campus as a part of Engineering 121 and 123 class requirements.

"This new solar laboratory will give our students a practical example of harnessing a small portion of the clean power of the sun, and also demonstrate responsible use of renewable energy for the dynamic planet God has loaned us," says Tom Allen, AAA teacher and Walla Walla University adjunct instructor. "It is a great way to teach our students and community about the Great Provider."

Within the first month, the array generated 238,593 watt-hours of electrical energy with the eight solar panels, and measurably reduced the carbon footprint of the school.

The hope for this project is to offset a large portion of the academy's electrical needs and save up to a half million dollars per year.

If the Academy can demonstrate effective use of solar power from their region of the United States, they will have the necessary data to write a grant through the Department of Energy and Puget Power for a major solar array.

The project was funded by a grant from the Committee of 100 (Auburn's philanthropic organization), electricians and business professionals, and aided by Marshall Bain and Roger Bookter, Adventist electricians who are both Washington State licensed electrical contractors.