The days of primitive portable classrooms are over, thanks to new solar powered school classrooms.
The ‘Hivve’ modular classroom is completely powered by solar energy, and it’s being trialled in two New South Wales schools.
The Hivve has the backing of the Federal Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Hivve Technology received $368,115 in ARENA funding to pilot their modular classrooms in a school environment.
Apart from electricity courtesy of solar PV, Hivve classrooms also have real-time energy metering, CO2 metering, data capture and communications. Hivve not only monitors its energy use, the classroom’s air quality is also measured and regulated.
But Hivve has more to offer schools than an environmentally sound teaching environment. In addition, each classroom has the potential to generate enough solar electricity to power itself plus two other classrooms.
More power to the classroom than needed
A regular classroom can consume on average 3,800 KWh per year. However, a Hivve classroom generates estimated net energy of 7,600 KWh annually.
As the 2018 school year begins, two pilot classrooms are operating at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy and at Dapto High School. Performance of the Hivve classrooms will be evaluated over 12 months. This is also the first time Hivve classrooms are operating in a school environment.
Hivve Technology Director David Wrench said the space was conceived and designed to deliver sustainable solutions to help meet Australia’s school infrastructure needs.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with ARENA on this exciting project,” he said.
“We have carefully designed every element of the Hivve classroom to create the best possible learning environment for students.”
Modular solar powered school classrooms across Australia
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said there was enormous potential for Australia’s public schools to not only educate on renewables, but also reduce their reliance on the grid.
“This is a great way to get the next generation involved in renewables at an early age and educate them as to what the positive benefits will be as Australia continues its shift towards a renewable energy future,” he said.
“The success of the Hivve project could lead to a nation-wide adoption of the modular classrooms, reducing reliance on the grid and even providing a significant amount of electricity back to the National Energy Market.”