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NSW PILOTS SOLAR MODULAR CLASSROOMS

A NEW TYPE OF MODULAR CLASSROOM POWERED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY IS BEING TRIALLED AT TWO SITES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.

Known as the ‘Hivve’, the classroom uses solar PV generation, real-time energy monitoring, CO2 monitoring, data capture and communications to track and manage energy demands and optimise indoor environment quality.

The classrooms are designed to reduce energy consumption and running costs for schools. NSW Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenburg reportedly said the Hivve had the ability to not only power itself, but to generate enough power for two additional convention classrooms, totalling approximately 11,400kWh per year.

Hivve Director David Wrench confirmed modules were designed and engineered on a 3 metre x 3.6 metre grid to be fully interchangeable, with multiple configurations to suit a wide range of school sites and local requirements.

It is understood Hivve collaborated with partners Arup, Eastern Portable Buildings and Arco Consult for structural engineering, environmentally sustainable design and architectural expertise.

Hivve classrooms are being piloted at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in the Sydney suburb of Holsworthy and Dapto High School in Dapto, a suburb of regional centre Wollongong. Their performance will be monitored over the next 12 months. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided Hivve Technology with $368,115 to fund the pilot.

“The success of the Hivve project could lead to a nationwide adoption of the modular classrooms, reducing reliance on the grid and even providing a significant amount of electricity back to the National Electricity Market,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said.■


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