Overview

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Green Science Projects - Overview Mic Jackson and Charlie Peck March, 2004


The principle goals of our "green science" project are:

  • Educate the community about "green science", i.e. conservation, alternative/renewable energy, and sustainable practices.
  • Reduce the environmental footprint of Earlham's campus.

In order to accomplish those goals we plan to implement the following initiatives in the near term:

  • Prototype wind and solar energy systems on-campus.
  • A system to record, display, visualize, and analyze all energy consumption data for the campus.
  • The Green Zone, an area on the first floor of Dennis Hall where students, faculty, visitors, etc. can see alternative/renewable energy gear in-use and learn about all the Green Science projects on campus.

Physical site overview

Dennis Hall photos is home to Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, and Geology. It also houses our weather monitoring gear and other hardware interfacing projects. The entrance and lobby of Dennis serve as the primary portal to the natural science complex (Dennis, Noyes, and Stanley halls) from the central part of campus. The Admissions Office tours typically walk through this lobby.

In the entrance hall lobby we plan to create the Green Zone. Here we will have a variety of displays and interactive learning stations highlighting Green Science projects around campus. The multi-panel data visualization system will be available for people to examine energy consumption/production, weather, and related data.

The roof of Dennis Hall is where we plan to situate the wind and solar based electrical generation equipment. The roof is currently home to our weather station, campus camera, and GPS receiver. Ray Hively, professor of Physics, has a solar telescope installed on the roof of Dennis and plans to install a radio telescope there in the future.

Each initiative in some detail Wind

  • Small tower on the roof. The difference in performance and ease of integration will make the extra cost and the fact that it won't be easily visible from the ground worth it.
  • Instrumented for real-time performance data collection.

Solar

  • Roof mount or anwing on South parapet. Should be visible from the ground if possible.
  • Instrumented for real-time performance data collection.

Energy Consumption Monitoring and Recording

  • This would be integrated with our existing weather station/database and the wind/solar systems. This combination would providing a comprehensive look at energy consumption and

The Green Zone

  • Signage and wall paint to distinguish an area in the Dennis entrance lobby lounge as the "Green Zone". One of the display cases on the North wall and the area where the glass cluster case is now.
    • Power Control Unit
    • Inverter
    • Batteries
    • Visual indicators for battery level, solar rate, wind rate
    • Emergency wall charge capability and indicator?
    • Arranged and labeled in such a way as to explain the function of each piece and the whole. Very neat wiring.

Data Visualization Tool

  • energy consumption, total, by fuel type (with cost?)
  • energy production, total, by technology
  • weather
  • network traffic, total, by protocol, by subnet
  • camera view of the wind and solar view on the roof
  • control box
    • choose data set, choose display panel or full
    • time scale adjustment: 1d, 1w, 1m, 3m, 6m, 12m, 24m, 48m,
    • mounted 6' or so back from the display, corded || wireless?

Displays - One poster panel for each of the Green Science projects, all using common framework/background, giving the highlights, some background, and where to learn more.

  • The Green Zone
  • Wind electric production
  • Solar electric production
  • Energy consumption monitoring and recording
  • Data visualization (with HIP URL)
  • Weather (with HIP URL)

Green Kiosk

  • Email and web browsing, built out of recycled computer components and a recycled plastic enclosure. Powered by the renewable energy plant.

Long Term Ideas

  • Green Kiosks around campus (Runyon, cafeteria, Carpenter, the heart, Wellness Center, etc.) Solar panels on top for outdoor installs (like MuniMeters), on the roof of the building for indoor units.
  • Wind turbine farm using the land Mike Nocton leases South of the horsebarn and West of Miller Farm. Some back of the envelope calculations indicate it might be financially viable over the long term.
  • Environmental House or Miller Farm "off the grid".
  • New construction at Earlham done to the best current thinking about green construction and energy sustainability.
  • Series of course modules on "green science" that can be dropped into existing science division classes; or just a separate course?

Questions

  • How about we setup another applied group, the "Green Science Group". This would give us a ready vehicle for keeping students involved during the summer and during the academic year when there wasn't a class or Ford-Knight going. It should be possible to find work-study money to support this.
  • Where is the interdisciplinary introductory green science course these days?
  • Who do we know that can put us in touch with someone that can do an artists rendering of the entrance hall space? This might make "selling" the idea to the powers that be easier.
    • Andy Chao