6th November 2023

Solar Panels at CJS

Solar Panels at CJS

Pupils were interested to have an assembly this month with Solar for Schools (SFS) Solar for Schools – Education funded by the sun, who will soon be installing 392 solar panels on the roof of Churchfields Junior School. Solar for Schools is a community benefit society, which will allow the school to have solar panels without upfront costs and also covers the maintenance and management of the solar panels.


After a short presentation from Anna and Danielle from SFS, pupils asked some excellent questions. This is a summary of their questions and the answers they received:


How much electricity will they create?

This depends how much light there is but we can describe it is a 140 kWp (kilowatt peak) system. This is its peak capability. It can generate around 50% of the electricity that the school uses using 392 panels. It would be enough to charge almost 9,000 phones every hour. In terms of carbon, it could be described as being equivalent to the carbon capacity of 10,000 trees planted and cared for 10 years.


How long will they last for?

Solar panels last around 25 years.


What will happen when it is dark or cloudy?

The panels will generate less electricity – but don’t worry, the lights will not go out! The school will take more energy from the National Grid.


What will happen if it produces too much?

The solar system has a component called an inverter. It converts the energy from the solar panels into electricity that can be used in the school or, if it is not needed, it can be sold back to the grid. The money raised from this goes into the community benefit fund.


Is carbon generated in the process of making them?

Yes – solar panels have a carbon footprint. Within a couple of years, the clean energy production offsets the carbon used to create the panel.


Can the Sun ever be too strong for solar panels?

For some older types of panels, yes but not for the panels being used on the school.


When will the solar system be finished?

We are hoping for the system to be installed by the end of the year.