Pittsburgh, PA – Reading, writing, and… solar energy. West Allegheny Middle School students are getting hands-on experiences into the world of energy, after a solar panel was installed at their school.
“West Allegheny Middle School is excited to be partnering with AYA Instruments to bring a sustainable energy program to our school,” said Megan Huchko, Assistant Principal at West Allegheny Middle School. “The installation of the solar panel was a collaborative effort with our local Career and Technology Center.”
Students from Parkway West Career and Technology Center (CTC), another of AYA’s Energy Education Community members, were also key in installing the solar power station. During the two-day installation, the students learned how to install the solar panels; how to wire the system’s internal components; how to better understand the ways in which the panels create energy; how the energy is stored; and how the energy is distributed as usable electricity.
The students spent the first day digging a 3-foot deep hole and a 2-foot deep trench. They also learned how to bend PVC plastic pipe correctly, which was used to bring power and other cables safely through the trench to the solar panel.
The second day CAT-5e cabling was run from the tele/data room inside the school through the PVC to the closed solar panel cabinet. The students learned how to mount the solar panel by cutting pieces of strut and attaching them to the panel frame and mounting pole. Next, a large group of students had to lift the panel, while another confirmed it was level. Finally, screws were installed to secure the panel.
The installed energy system produces electricity for use inside and outside the school building. It is also connected to real-time software that allows students to compare energy use around the world, while gaining experiential learning with high resume value.
AYA Instruments has spearheaded the energy community’s efforts in order to bring a greater awareness of energy’s importance, by providing students the tools to measure, meter, monitor, and analyze scientific data from the world around them. AYA Instruments and other industry professionals expect the energy education community to further expand, as grant money is raised to support electrical studies at additional schools in 2020.
About the AYA Instruments
Since 1990, AYA Instruments has supplied the conventional and alternative electrical energy industry with measuring instruments. The Pittsburgh-based company provides an extensive range of electrical measuring transducers, signal conditioners, and metering transformer to a diverse customer base, including the solar, semiconductor, and process control industries.