Small Solar Panels

Stella Said:

How can I get the point across to people about putting solar panels on top of a small town school?

We Answered:

Some companies have special programs for schools that combine cost savings with education. Rather than buying the equipment outright, they install the equipment on the school and sell the power to the school at a set rate, less than they currently buy it from the electric company. This is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement or PPA. Therefore there is little to no capital output to install. They also provide a curriculum to help teach the students about solar.

Check out Borrego Solar at http://www.borregosolar.com/schools/ or SunEdison at http://www.sunedison.com/

Marsha Said:

can small firefly RC plane be outfitted with solar panels so it can fly forever?

We Answered:

There’s not enough wing area on a firefly to keep it in the air on solar power alone, even in direct sunlight.

Want to do the calculations? Think of it as about a horsepower (746 watts) per square yard (or meter). Imagine you have 50% efficient solar cells. Compute the usable area. Then figure out the current power requirements. And you should note that the solar cells will weigh something.

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be really cool.