The Hivve at Bracken Ridge State High School in Queensland is Australia’s first totally off-grid classroom. The Australian-developed technology is also a world-first, according to Hivve.
The classroom is powered by a combination of solar and a Tesla Powerwall battery, making it self-sufficient year-round with the capacity to inject energy back into the electricity grid. Not only does it dramatically slash the cost of running a classroom, but it also removes more than 7.4 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.
Hivve has been trialled in three schools this year - Bracken Ridge State High School in Queensland, Dapto High School and Holsworthy Catholic Primary School in NSW - but at last it has become a commercial reality.
“[Hivve is both environmentally responsible and economically compelling, with the potential to reduce power bills for each classroom by $3,000 per annum and eliminate the high costs of connection to the electricity grid as well as reducing the overall pressure on the electricity grid,” says Hivve CEO David Wrench.
“Hivve’s smart technology gives students and teachers real time access to its living systems – including how much energy is being generated and used plus temperature and air quality data – enabling students to enjoy practical, real life lessons in caring for our planet, and making it easy for teachers to control the classroom environment.”
THE CASE FOR HIVVE AT BRACKEN RIDGE
At Bracken Ridge, the cost of upgrading the power supply to provide electricity to a new classroom was going to be prohibitively expensive. The school was able to save thousands of dollars with the Hivve model, which has been operating entirely off-grid since it was commissioned in June 2018.
“The cost of Hivve’s off-grid power supply was significantly lower than the cost of connecting the classroom to the school’s power supply network. Better still, there are no ongoing operating costs because the classroom uses its own zero carbon emission solar energy,” says Hivve CEO David Wrench.
HIVVE FAST FACTS
- Classroom has been 100 percent self-powered since June 2018, no grid connection or back-up
- Over 3,576 hours of continuous operation (149 days)
- Power connection cost avoided $40,000
- 1 tonne of CO2 saved each year
OTHER SUSTAINABLE DESIGN FEATURES
- High ceilings with large opening windows to maximise natural lights and cross-ventilation
- High R rating insulation to maintain a stable indoor temperature and minimise energy use
- Energy efficient heating and cooling via a 12kW reverse cycle, 360 degree air circulation air conditioning unit
- Recessed, low energy LED lights
- Energy efficient windows
- Shading from covered veranda, rear fins and eaves