Q: What is the square footage of the CSF classroom building?

A: The CSF classroom building is 8,743 sq. ft. and the SEED House is proposed to be 3,600 sq. ft.

Q: What is the output of the solar array?

A: The combined output of the solar field and the roof top mounted arrays are approximately 69Kw (56Kw and 13Kw).

Q: Where are the batteries?

A: The CSF building uses a grid-tied system with net-metering. What this essentially means is that during the day energy produced by the solar arrays are transformed into alternating current that used by the building. Any excess energy that is not used by the building is “fed back” into the utility power lines. As the excess is “fed back” the electrical utility meter tracks this excess. This excess is used to create a form of a “credit” that the utility company uses to calculate the total electrical use. As electricity is used during periods when there is no excess production (i.e. at night, severe overcasts, etc.) the utility applies this “credit” to electricity used by the building. In this way a “net-zero” building produces and consumes over the course of a year an aggregate amount of energy to balance the consumed energy with the excess that is produced on any given day. This use of net-metering is generally considered a reasonably economic compromise between being fully “off-grid” (battery storage) verses a fully “on-grid” system ( no supplemental energy systems ).

Q: How does this translate into how many homes this could power?

A: First the solar arrays will produce a varying amount of energy throughout the day depending on a variety of conditions (i.e. Sunlight, Time of Year, Cloud Cover, etc.). On average for our location peak production will vary from 4-6 hours per day and the average home consumes about 1Kw-2Kw per hour. So on any given day for that peak production period anywhere from 30-60 homes for that 4-6 hour period could be powered.

Q: What can community members do to help out here at the CSF or participate in any way?

A: i.Can the community participate on advisory boards for the programs?
ii. Can the community volunteer on the CSF campus?
iii. Can groups hold meetings at the CSF site to utilize the building?
iv. How to go about creating new partnerships between community organizations and the LISD CSF site?

Q: How can I find out about the student findings in their independent studies?

A: Currently, we have no common place where we present student project findings or results from their science results. We would like to have website space available for community members to access where students could post blogs about their projects and what we are learning in the CSF school building.

Q: Are their classes that adults can take at the Center for a Sustainable Future?