Students take pride in solar | December 10, 2010 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - December 10, 2010

Students take pride in solar

Students at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools are beginning to learn a lot more about solar energy this year, and not just from textbooks. Instructors will soon be using the school's own solar panel installation to show students firsthand how energy is created from the sun's rays.

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Posted by Neal Nolans, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

> The panels will produce 1.27 megawatts of energy.
> That is enough to power 10 homes for an entire year

First, since watts are units of power -- rate -- not energy,
it doesn't make sense to say "for an entire year",
rather "for the lifetime of the panels".

Second, assuming the new photovoltaic panels produce electricity
at (a rate of) 1.27 megawatts and assuming there is sufficient
daylight 10 hours/day to do so, then the amount of energy
produced each year would be 1.27 MW * 10 hours/day * 365 days/year
== 4635 megawatt hours (MWH) . Ok.
My house uses on average 500 kilowatt-hours per month of electricity.
That's 6 MWH/year . The new school panels would power
4635/6 == 772 houses like mine. Not 10.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm

USA is a registered user.

Neal, thank you for adding a bit of math and science to this silliness. I also attempted to add some to an earlier article. Clearly, the people pushing this project could use some education.

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