Valenzuela is leading the Philippines in utilizing solar energy. Last June 28, the Lawang Bato National High School was able to receive solar energy equipment and technology that has provided power for a furnished library building, making it the first solar powered library.
Even way back in June 2, 2010, the Sitero Francisco Memorial National High School (SFMNHS) in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City was the first solar-powered school in the country after the installation of six 1-kW photovoltaic solar arrays to light its nine-classroom building.
These were donated by the US-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) who is helping propagate the use of solar energy among public schools through the Wanxiang America Corporation throughout the world.
With the erratic electricity supply and the high cost of energy, Cesar C. Villareal, SFMNHS principal and the school’s science department head Jameson H. Tan found a way through the internet of contacting the donors.
The installation of the solar panels made both schools have a hybrid energy setup, like the so-called “green schools” in the United States which use solar energy and grid energy.
The solar panels can generate 1kW to 5kW of electricity per hour depending on the intensity of sunlight. Unused solar energy is stored in eight deep-cycle batteries which can be used after sunset. The panels also continue to absorb light from the night sky.
There are still questions if it is really cost effective to install more than P500,000 worth of solar panels compared to a monthly electricity bill and if it is easy to maintain such technology. But if the students from Valenzuela are able to benefit from it in the long run, isn’t it high time that other schools, buildings or even in our own homes also do the same?
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