Trialling renewable energy powered classrooms

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A new classroom powered entirely by renewable energy is being trialled in two NSW schools.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing Hivve Technology with $368,115 in funding to pilot their modular classrooms in a school environment.

Known as the ‘Hivve’, the portable classroom incorporates solar PV generation, real-time energy metering, CO2 metering, data capture and communications to actively manage energy demands and control indoor environment quality.

Each Hivve classroom has the potential to generate enough electricity to power itself and two other classrooms in the school.

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.

The two pilot classrooms are being trialled 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 the Hivve classrooms will be monitored and evaluated over a 12 month period.

A prototype building built by Hivve Technology has successfully demonstrated the functionality in a controlled environment and this will be the first time the Hivve classroom and technology has been trialled in a real school.

ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said there was enormous potential for Australia’s public schools to not only educate on renewables, but 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,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The success of the Hivve project could lead to a nationwide adoption of the modular classrooms, reducing reliance on the grid and even providing a significant amount of electricity back to the NEM.”

Hivve Director, David Wrench, said the Hivve Technology was conceived and designed to deliver sustainable solutions – both environmental and economic – to help meet Australia’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. 

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