By Elizabeth Mazmanian- Energy
After running into a few set backs the last few weeks, the energy team is ready to face any challenges this quarter will throw our way! The first set back occurred this week when we went to download the data from our light and motion sensors in the Physics and Astronomy Building. As we went around looking for our sensors we realized one of them was missing. After plenty of searching and asking the janitorial staff, we had to accept the loss of data (and also the loss of a $100 sensor). Fortunately, we were able to collect data from the other sensors we had set up around PAB. The energy audit portion of our project is well under way. We are now looking into implementing stickers near light switches to encourage people to turn off lights when they leave the room and also installing motion sensors (just in case the people forget).
The second component of our project, the solar powered phone chargers, is also going well. We met with Patty Zimmerman to discuss the best way to go about purchasing solar powered phone chargers to hand out to students. We plan to give about 30 students phone chargers as a test run on the feasibility of using the device in everyday life. We will ask the pre and post survey questions about the charger to determine how well the product worked. We hope to present the information to the student union to convince them that students are interested in purchasing more eco-friendly products. Our ultimate goal is to convince Ackerman to sell the product so more students will have access to them. On top of giving away solar powered phone chargers, we also conducted a general survey of about 100 students to gauge the interest in the product and knowledge of renewable energy practices in general.
Along with these two projects we also tabled at the Earth Day Fair! It was a huge success. Our team member Angela made beautiful signs and information sheets to decorate our booth and along with candy and stickers we had a steady flow of students asking about renewable energy. Many students expressed interest in purchasing solar powered phone chargers and were excited about potentially receiving one to test for free. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of students who wanted to take action and reduce the amount of energy we consume on our campus. We hope to keep this momentum going throughout the rest of the quarter!