Monday, March 21, 2011

Sun Heats Water at Topeka West


Solar power is now being used to heat water at Topeka West High School. Members of the media got a chance March 18th to see and hear about the solar water heating system at the school. Most of the funding for the project came from the city’s federal energy efficiency and conservation block grant.

On the roof of the school’s cafeteria are 20 solar panels which help heat water through a heat exchanger. The hot water is stored in a 500 gallon tank. The water is then used throughout the campus in the kitchen, restrooms and gym showers.

A display screen set up next to the Topeka West office will allow students and visitors to monitor the solar water heating system. It will display such information as water temperature, where the water is going and how much water is being used. Science teachers throughout the district have already attended a meeting to learn more about the solar water heating project and how they might use the information to help teach students about renewable energy.

It is hoped that information from the solar water heating project can be tied in with information from the wind turbine at Hope Street and the planned wind turbine at the Kanza property to allow even more information for students about renewable energy.