Summer’s here, and that means it’s time for my annual trek to the Naples Botanical Garden Summer Camp. Fafco Solar installed 164 solar panels at the Garden’s education facility a couple of years ago, and I’ve volunteered each year to speak to the summer camp classes. Each year I get some chuckles out of the kids’ questions. Here are a few from today:
- Why doesn’t everyone have solar panels?
- How do you get your hair to be spiked up like that?
- How many solar panels does a robot take? (My answer: “Five”)
This time around I brought a couple of 40W solar panels, a small 12Vdc pump, and a bucket of water to show how solar panel orientation and shading affects electrical output. I also brought a solar attic fan with a remote PV panel. The kids were fascinated at how the speed of the fan changes as the angle of the solar panel to the sun changed. It also showcased how shading and clouds affect solar electric panels. One of the highlights was explaining how much power common household appliances use in terms of the number of solar panels required. Who knew an iron uses more power than a refrigerator?!