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Solar Demonstration At Camp Be Aware

On Monday, July 16, 2012  local solar installation company, Comet Systems, gave a demonstration of solar system components to 45 campers and 17 counsellors at Camp Be Aware’s annual camp. Comet Systems owners, Jo-Anne and Chris Mason, brought a complete solar system to the camp classroom to show the participants how solar works to produce electricity.

The talk included background information on the history of energy, the discovery of oil, how oil and therefore electricity changed our lives, and the challenges the campers will face in the future as fossil fuels become more difficult to extract.

The Mason’s constructed a solar display kit comprised of solar panels, a controller, a battery, an inverter, and various examples of loads. The campers were shown how clouds affect solar output, how the storage battery solves that problem, how DC is changed into the AC current used in households, and how a controller manages the system. Many questions were posed to the campers as the system was assembled to test their comprehension of the solar system. The campers were able to grasp the concepts and quickly understood what each piece did to make a complete system.Campers also took a pictorial quiz on renewable energy which earned four sharp individuals a children’s book by Jo-Anne.

“I was very impressed by the speed at which the children understood the solar system components and asked intelligent questions. There was always plenty of answers to every question we asked and lots of hands ready to help us put the system together” said Chris Mason.

As  part of the demonstration, a small pump was immersed in coloured water and the children saw how a solar system could pump water for a house or farm.

This kind of hands-on experience quickly helps the children understand  what is becoming a critical part of their future and gives them an appreciation of the role renewable energy will play in their lives” said Chris Mason. “We put together an actual working solar system that was small enough to be carried into the classroom and could be quickly assembled without tools,  but was a real working system”.

Camp organiser Linda Gratton, who invited the Masons to participate in this year’s camp, said “There’s nothing like a visual, hands-on teaching aid, to truly drive the message home. The campers were very eager to volunteer as assistants and this showed how interactive Chris and Jo-Anne made the session for the children. Their faces lit up when they saw the end result of the experiment. My hope is that the campers now have a better appreciation for the challenges presented by fossil fuels and their staggering costs to a small island nation likeAnguilla, which has a great potential with solar energy. This is their future and they are now better equipped to make smarter and more environment-friendly choices.”


Comet Systems is an Anguillian solar company providing residential and commercial installations and participating in the effort to bring solar power to Anguilla.

– Contributed

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