Castro Valley High School's Solar Panels

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Austin Lew, Sabrina Ham, Yenah Shin, Winston Yang and Josh Lam, Castro Valley High School, Castro Valley, CA, United States
Solar panels are photovoltaic cells that are designed to convert the sun’s kinetic energy to generate usable energy in the form of electricity. Castro Valley High School has tried to offset the cost of electricity by installing solar panels, costing the district approximately 3.29 million dollars, but have been installed incorrectly and are not operating at peak efficency. By using trigonometry we deduced that Castro Valley High School's south facing solar panels were at an incline of 10o and that the east and west facing solar panels are at an incline of 5o. By taking the averages of the optimum angles for the months of September through May, roughly when school is in session, we found that the optimum angle for south facing solar panels should be roughly 46o. This shows that Castro Valley High School has not used it's budget to its full potential due to the fact that the solar panels were haphazardly installed.