The Solar Charging System was built by generating green energy from solar panels.
Solar Panel Grid: located at the roof of Dennis Hall.
- The 18 solar panels absorb sunlight through the photovoltaic effect and converts into Direct Current (DC), which comes into the transformer.
Solar Charging Station: located at the first floor of Dennis Hall.
- Charging Controller – a current regulator that keeps batteries from overcharging. It regulates the voltage and DC current coming from the solar panels going into the batteries.
- Battery system – consists of four 12 volt batteries linked together in series to form a 48 volt DC system. The energy produced is stored in these batteries, making it possible to use the charging station during the night as well.
- Inverter – Solar panels produce power in DC, which can be stored in the batteries but can not be used for everyday appliances. This device inverts DC from the batteries into 120 volts of Alternating Current (AC) allowing you to charge your gadgets.
- Kilowatt Meter – measures the total solar energy produced in kilowatt-hours (kWh). One kWh of energy is enough to watch TV for 10 hours, wash 12 lbs of laundry, work on a computer for 5 to 10 hours, or listen to WECI for 20 hours.
- Grid – The energy from the batteries that is not being used by the charging station is sent back to the main Earlham electrical grid.
- IMPA Richmond Solar Park – Approximately 4,000 solar panels on approximately 8 acres of land which could produce 1.0 Megawatts (MW) AC were set up in August 2014.