Solar Powered Computer

Team: 71

School: Taos High

Area of Science: Solar Power


There are many issues with modern power. Power in the modern world is expensive on a large scale, it is also not as good for the environment. There are various ways to fix this, but there is often no incentive to do so. The solutions are expensive in the short term, but they make up for it later. People often can’t see this and don’t have the motivation to switch. The primary reason for this lack of motivation is a lack of knowledge, both of how much it costs and how it works.


The solution to this problem is knowledge and education. We aim to cut our school’s power bills and use that funding to further extend the solar project. This started with background research. The original idea was to create a solar calculator and use that to convince the school to convert. This evolved into large amounts of testing and eventually resulting in an actual model. This model is what we would hope to implement into our own school. This has given us accurate numbers and given us answers as to the issues associated with this project. With this in the works, we have created a calculator. This calculator is simple to use, and merely involves a school doing measurements, checking their power bill, and then plugging the numbers into the calculator. This is just the bones, as you can implement computers, printers, and projectors of any kind, but there are no batteries implemented into the program. This makes the numbers slightly inaccurate if there are large amounts of downtime. The problem we faced with adding batteries is math. When working with energy the math can get very complicated, and we have to work with storing variables when the numbers are not easily definable. While the math got complex, we eventually figured out how to implement it into Net Logo. This is an example of the math: Total KWH = 8(MTPC+MTR)+16(ITPC+ITR)+2(MTJ)

H 1000

We eventually finished our physical model. This means we can now measure more accurate values. We touched up our math, but are yet to implement the main issue, batteries. This is once again an issue, because of the math. NetLogo is a good program, but complicated. Math can become difficult for the program. With batteries we need to store values; for this, we need to convert the current Watts to mAh. This is paired with controlling power drain. This makes the math significantly more complex and causes us to have to recombined values. This all comes to the fact that the future of our code will be based on trial and error. We also have a graphics program. This program is separate from the main program and is simple so that people can understand how solar power works. This is a simple solar array with a weather monitor set up to create an accurate demonstration of the solar system. This will hopefully be a fleshed-out calculator within a short few months, we can distribute it and pair it with the graphical program to free up funding for schools, free up tax money, and help cut power usage for environmental purpose.

Team Members:
Liam Davis
Devin Medina

Tracy Galligan

Team Members:

  Benjamin Kalish
  Liam Davis
  Devin Medina
  Francisco Burns

Sponsoring Teacher: Tracy Galligan

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