WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL: PV / AC PIlot project
- Overheating classrooms upwards of 90 degrees
- 4th period (noon) in portable P-9 was too unbearable due to heat and was held in the band room
- Outdated electrical infrastructure not able to handle major electrical upgrades for A/C
- Uncomfortable classroom environments due to heat as well as accumulated noise from fans
- Broken window units were not very effective
- 2 x LEZETi Solar PV A/C's
- 6 x PV panels installed (1.5kW DC)
- Outdoor units mounted on the rooftop for security purposes
- No electrical upgrades required.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: Waianae High School was the first PV/AC pilot project installed on HIDOE facilities. In line with the Heat Abatement program, both passive and active cooling strategies were being vetted and tested. Greenpath was able to work with Waianae High School and the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) to pilot a hybrid solar air conditioning project to cool down the hottest portable on campus. Both the school principal and district Senators, Senator Maile Shimabukuro and Senator Michelle Kidani were supportive of a new solution to cooling the classrooms with a lighter carbon footprint. The classroom selected for the LEZETi solar PV/AC was a standard portable classroom that held anywhere from 12 - 25 students per classroom period. Alex, was the teacher at the time that Greenpath was going out to the school to take measurements on the daily temperatures of that portable. He stated that 4th period (noon) was always moved to the band room due to the unbearable heat at that time in the day. The project provided helpful data and performance valuation for the HIDOE regards to their heat abatement program as an option to cool down the classrooms in Hawaii's public school system.
There are over 1,000 portable classrooms across the state of Hawaii. With minimal construction and poor insulation, some of these classrooms have seen temperatures easily over 90 degrees. With the partnership of Waianae High School, Greenpath Technologies and the support of Senator Maile Shimabukuro, Senator Kidani and the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE), WHS was able to host the first PV/AC pilot project for the LEZETi Solar Hybrid A/C.
In early February of 2015, Fahrenheit73 was looking to integrate the same technology into a crowd funding "cool the schools" awareness campaign. Waianae High School leadership, the district representatives, Fahrenheit73, Greenpath Technologies and select DOE facilities personnel came out to take a look at the ideal "green" innovation in cooling that was already in operation for several months. The technology fit the cause and it was a perfect match. Fahreneheit73 worked with Hawaii 3R's and the HIDOE to identify which campus would be the recipient of this crowd funding campaign and James Campbell HS was selected for this Fahrenheit73 PV/AC project.
A few of the capstone accomplishments from this PV/AC Pilot Project at Waianae HS included:
- Piloting the first PV/AC project on HIDOE campus facilities
- Identifying an approach to cooling that matched short and long term concerns
- Raising awareness about uncomfortable classroom temperatures
- Addressing concerns for long-term sustainable utility costs for HIDOE
- Enhancing the classroom environment with a quiet and cool solution
This hybrid solar A/C was a perfect fit for this project as the standard hours of school between 6am - 4pm are the prime sun hours for the system to draw on FREE sunlight to power the cooling of the classroom. With an average of 20-30 students per classroom, the need for a highly energy efficient A/C with silent operation and minimal grid consumption was key in helping to maintain a comfortable learning environment as well as a sustainable long-term operating costs for the HIDOE.