The Upper Elementary School utilizes two sustainable energy systems: a geothermal system to heat and cool the building; and solar panels to produce electricity. Both systems not only reduce the dependence upon fossil fuels, but also greatly reduce energy consumption.
The geothermal system was installed during the construction of the building and has been fully operational since May of 2007. The system consists of wells and pipes buried beneath the parking lot of the school. A heat transfer fluid, propylene glycol, is pumped through the pipes from the mechanical room of the school and absorbs the thermal energy of the Earth. In winter, the temperature below the surface of the Earth is warmer so heat is absorbed; in summer, the temperature below the surface of the Earth is cooler.
The solar panel system was installed in 2010. The system consists of 1,339, 240 volt, panels containing photovoltaic cells installed on the roof of the Upper Elementary School. The positioning of the panels are engineered to optimize performance of the system. The cells absorb the light of the sun and with the use of an inverter converts that light into electricity. Visit the following website to view the amount of energy generated in kilowatts on a daily, monthly, and annual basis, as well as since the system became fully operational in April of 2011: