At a time where we should all be taking steps towards becoming more sustainable, a number of schools are looking to solar powered canopies as a solution.
And following a host of enquiries on the matter, in this blog, we’ll explore how solar powered canopies can play a pivotal role in improving a school’s energy efficiency by discussing these six benefits:
- Energy generation
- Reduced energy costs
- Educational opportunities
- Retrofit opportunities
- Carbon footprint reduction
Understanding solar powered canopies
Firstly, we’ll quickly identify what a solar powered canopy is.
Solar powered canopies are structures that incorporate solar panels onto the roof surface. These panels, often made of photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
By capitalising on this renewable energy source, schools can significantly reduce their reliance on traditional fossil fuels and mitigate the impact of climate change.
So what are the benefits?
The most evident benefit of solar powered canopies is their capacity to generate electricity.
By tapping into the sun’s energy, schools can power various operations such as lighting, heating, blinds and electronic devices like whiteboards, effectively lowering their dependence on the grid.
Reduced energy costs
With a dedicated source of renewable energy, schools can save on utility bills over time. Excess energy generated during peak sunlight hours can be stored or sold back to the national grid, providing a potential source of revenue.
And with energy costs soaring through the roof in recent years, switching to a reliance on solar energy may just be the ideal step moving forwards.
Solar powered canopies offer valuable educational opportunities.
Schools can incorporate real-time energy production data into their curriculum, teaching students about renewable energy, sustainability and environmental practices.
Teachers and pupils alike may then follow the example set by the school and take these sustainable methods into their own lives away from the classroom.
Aside from the sustainable benefits, solar canopies provide schools with an incredibly versatile space.
Able to be used as a sheltered walkway between buildings, outdoor learning and experiment areas, storage rooms for lockers or socialising areas, canopies can be used in a variety of ways to enhance a school’s outdoor area.
Furthermore, accessories like zip blinds, side panels and post protectors could be included with the structure to further add to the canopy offering.
PV panels can be retrofitted to existing canopy structures to blend seamlessly with the school’s existing structure.
Carbon footprint reduction
By decreasing reliance on non-renewable energy sources, schools can contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, helping combat climate change on a local and global level.
Solar powered canopies represent a promising solution for schools aiming to enhance their energy efficiency while promoting sustainability education.
By harnessing the sun’s energy, schools can not only reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs, but also provide practical benefits such as shade and weather protection. The integration of solar canopies is a powerful step towards a greener and more sustainable future for educational institutions, setting an example for students and the surrounding community.
If you’d like to discuss a solar powered canopy for your school, contact us here and our expert team will be delighted to assist you.