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The Aviator

December 4, 2016

What better way to teach students about sustainable power than to build a power source, store the energy and then power something the students use? That’s exactly what a handful of AVS parents from the STEM Committee have done, using seed money from one of the past AVS Galas: they’ve built a wind turbine and solar panels over the “hangars.” The system is full of teachable moments and questions for both teachers and students.

First, the group purchased a Blue Pacific Solar wind turbine kit. It’s a 520-watt, DIY system, available online. It’s the kind of thing people use to power cabins in the mountains for weekend visits.

The first teachable point: sometimes it’s windy, sometimes it’s not. The parents wanted a system that generated reliable power and also stored it. So, they diversified the project, combining the wind turbine with two 260-Watt Trina photovoltaic panels. This way, if there’s sun or wind, AVS gets electricity. Storing it involves two sealed lead acid batteries (two 12-Volt...

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