Renewable Energy World
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In one 50-minute period last month, the Intro to Engineering students at Chatfield High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, charted the strength of solar panels at their desks, then climbed through a trap door to examine the 100-kilowatt solar array on their school's flat roof.
"You see a couple of panels that have been shattered by last year's wind storm," teacher Joel Bertelsen told the 32 students, who were peering intently at the panels when not testing the springiness of the roof. "It hasn't affected the efficiency of the system much so far."
As more and more schools install solar panels on roofs, more and more students inside are getting a wide spectrum of knowledge about solar energy — thanks in part to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).