Students at Junee High School got their hands on some seriously high tech equipment during an all-day energy efficiency workshop on Monday.
Junee’s Community Power Project recently teamed up with the high school to present a new multi-disciplinary subject that sees grade nine and ten students use infrared cameras to identify any air leaks in buildings – one of the main offenders in driving up power bills.
The project is based on a CSIRO trial in Adelaide that saved households an average of $400 per year in electricity bills.
Dennis Lambert is the chair of Junee Community Power Inc and the key driving force behind the project; he said the project is likely the first of its kind in an Australian school.
“This is lifting the kids to a whole new level of technology, and it's going to lift them to a new level of communication as well, because they have to communicate to our community to carry this out,” Mr Lambert said.
“Students will not only leak test Junee homes, but will also assess other energy saving measures that householders can adopt at little or no cost.”
The students visited the Junee Senior Citizens Club on Monday afternoon to test out their new infrared technology.
They fixed what they call a “blower door” to the building’s front door to suck much or the pressure out of the room, allowing the students to then use the infrared cameras to identify where the building’s major air leaks were hiding.
Mr Lambert said he has big hopes that the students, and the whole community, will soon be able to use this technology to bring Junee’s power bill down.
“We want the students to get this technology to a point where we can use it for the community at a minimal cost, because there's a lot of people, particularly pensioners, who cant afford big power bills,” he said.
“If we can do that for them, then we're looking after the whole community.”
Science teacher Andy Bedford said this was an integrated curriculum project that brought together science, English, and geography classes.
“Traditionally, you'd turn up to a science lesson and all you'd work on was science, but now we've got nine periods across the fortnight where we’re working on this project,” Mr Bedford said.
“Once we get the blower door device up and running, we can open it up to anyone who wants to get their house tested – the possibilities will be endless.”
Students are also working on their communication skills, advertising the project to the wider community through their own website.