Solar Dash - Learner Activity

Overview

The Solar Dash interactively displays information about the total energy generated from sunlight by all the Schoolgen schools from the start of data collection in 2007.

Electricity is a form of energy. Solar photovoltaic panels transform light energy into electrical energy. Electrical energy is commonly measured in units of kilowatt-hours. Each unit of energy generated has the potential to be transformed into other useful forms of energy which can in turn make our lives easier and more fun and interesting! 

Learners can see how much energy has been generated from the sun in a certain period of time by clicking on time buttons above the graph, or on the graph columns themselves. Learners can get a feel for how much energy is being generated and what a kilowatt-hour is using the right hand panel widgets. 

Features

  • Graph - Use top buttons to look at different time scales. Click on columns to go down to finer levels (as far as half hour). Hover over column to see amount generated for this date. See total generation (measured in kWh or MWh) for the graph viewed in top right of graph.
  • Widget (top) - Compares the total generation, and CO2 avoided, for this period to real world things to make it more tangible.
  • Widget (middle) - Shows the highest generating school for the last hour, week and 12 months.
  • Widget (lower) - Shows some big picture stats of Schoolgen (a nationally distributed solar array).

Method

  1. Open the Solar Dash (opens in a new tab)
  2. What time of year and season are we in?
  3. How much energy has been generated so far today from all online schools?
  4. What units are being used to measure energy ?
  5. How much energy was generated yesterday?
  6. Click on the top right hand widget - find 2 interesting comparisons for the amount of energy generated today.
  7. Do the same for Last 7 Days, Last Month, Last 12 Months, Lifetime.
  8. What is typically the best/worst month for solar in NZ?
  9. What is the maximum day of generation in the last 7 days, last month, last 12 months?
  10. Compare a max day in June/July with a max day in December/January - what time of day was first data (~sunrise) and last data (~sunset) ? How many hours of daylight?
  11. What are the reasons for this change from winter to summer ?