Big Midlands solar array excites pupils

2014-02-10 00:00

A SCHOOL outing with a difference was aimed at making geography come alive for pupils from St Nicholas school in Pietermaritzburg.

The trip was organised by teacher Daniel Bailey who wanted pupils to understand the concept of solar energy was not just a subject in a school textbook.

He organised for them to visit one of the biggest solar arrays in the Midlands area. It is a collection of 14 solar panels combined to save sun energy. They are joined together and they all rotate as a single panel so they can track the sun, maximising their potential to capture the sun’s energy.

The solar array was built by the owners of a farm on the Curry’s Post road who were tired of the rising cost of electricity and frequent black-outs.

Bailey, who has a passion for sustainable energy, heard about the massive solar array and organised a school outing for his class. Bailey said: “On top of their solar array, they have a wind turbine that generates electricity at night. The array generates enough electricity to supply all their domestic needs and they never need to use any electricity from Eskom.”

The energy generated from the solar panels is stored in a massive battery bank. Bailey says the purpose of the outing was to show the pupils that solar energy and other means of sustainable living will be the way of the future.

As a teenager, Bailey often visited his uncle in Lesotho — he was a solar technician who installed solar panels in clinics and schools in rural Lesotho. Bailey believes that South Africa has to embrace alternative technology.

“These days, you get cellphone chargers with solar batteries and even backpacks with solar panels on them. Some of our street lights are powered by solar panels.”

For the pupils, the size of the solar array was impressive, as was the fact that it could be managed by two ordinary people who were not technically minded. But they were really impressed when they saw the farm’s bakkie also had solar panels on the roof that powered the farm’s power tools for cutting down trees or supplied power for the brush cutters.

Bailey said: “The pupils were all energised by the outing and it definitely meant more than a picture in a book.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.