Classrooms in Australia could soon be entirely powered by renewable energy by off grid solar kits as a result of the innovative ‘Hivve’ modular classroom, now being trialed in two New South Wales schools.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided Hivve Technology Pty Ltd with $368,115 in funding to pilot their modular classrooms in a school environment.
The portable classroom known as the ‘Hivve’ incorporates solar PV generation, real-time energy metering, CO2 metering, data capture and communications to actively manage energy demands and control indoor environment quality.
A regular classroom can consume on average 3,800 KWh per year, but when a HIVVE classroom is in use, there is an estimated net energy generation of 7,600 KWh per year.
Each Hivve classroom has the potential to generate enough electricity to power itself and two other classrooms in the school.
Two pilot classrooms are being trialed at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy in Sydney’s south-western suburbs and at Dapto High School in Dapto, the performance of these classrooms will be monitored and evaluated within a 12 month period.
There was enormous potential for Australia’s public schools to not only power it with renewables, said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht, but to 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,”
“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 NEM.” Mr. Frischknecht said.
Hivve’s David Wrench said that the technology was conceived and designed to deliver sustainable solutions – both economic and environmental – to help meet the country’s growing school infrastructure needs.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with ARENA on this exciting project. We have carefully designed every element of the Hivve classroom to create the best possible learning environment for students”, Mr. Wrench said.