A mobile interactive tool, Interactive Satellite Solar Lab, is being developed for the purposes of expanding the venue of learning beyond the classroom. Tethered wirelessly, the satellite lab will empower students to examine the real-time performance of solar energy systems in real world settings. Using the interactive lab, a team of students will field-test energy production from photovoltaic systems located at outdoor sites. While the experiments are conducted, collected data and a live video stream will be transmitted to the instructor and students in the classroom via the Internet. Alternatively, the instructor could be located at a field site and demonstrate experiments remotely to students in the classroom. The visual images from field experiments will be simulcast to the students in the classroom. The data gathered from the field will be transmitted to the students’ computers in real-time. The field team and the classroom group will be able to discuss field conditions, make decisions, and evaluate the collected data interactively. The experimental setups and energy performance data collected from field-tests will be catalogued and stored in a database. The Interactive Satellite Solar Lab will be used in teaching two building technology courses offered by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Fall 2016 - Summer 2017