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Bathing in Sunshine: West Washington School Students Enjoy Solar Hot Water October 10, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.


Campbellsburg, IN – Faculty may not mind if the students of West Washington High School take a few more moments when washing their hands from now on as they will be washing with water heated from the sun. Students and faculty at West Washington High School will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their two new solar hot water systems installed at the beginning of the school year. The two systems have supplied the school with clean, energy efficient hot water ever since.

The unique system is the first of its kind for an Indiana public school, and features a two-panel and a three-panel system located at opposite ends of the building to supply hot water to each end. The solar hot water systems will provide up to 70% of the hot water needed by the school over the course of the year, saving tons of greenhouse gases linked to climate change and saving many thousands of taxpayer dollars in energy savings over its projected 30 year life span. The design of the system into two loops allowed the existing large hot water recirculation loop to be reconfigured so that hot water doesn’t have to travel from one end of the school to the other, resulting in even more energy savings.

“We were spending hundreds of dollars every month just to keep hot water circulating in that loop, even when the school was empty,” said Tim Reinhart, Facilities Manager for the school, “I‘ve been looking for a way to increase our efficiency and reduce our expenses, and the solar hot water systems are doing just that, plus providing our students with a unique and valuable learning tool.”

The project was made possible through collaboration, teamwork and a generous grant of $25,000.00 from Hoosier Energy and Jackson County REMC. Officials from both utilities will be on hand at the event to present a ceremonial check to the school. “We are thrilled to help West Washington School with this grant. We wanted to distribute the grant money to the renewable energy project that would have the most impact, both short term and long term, and we knew that the school had high electric bills,” Said Brian Wolka of Jackson County REMC. “We put a monitor on their hot water system and found that the recirculation loop and their aging 600-gallon boiler were the culprits. We approached Tim with the idea of solar hot water and he was all for it. The energy savings, plus the great educational opportunity for the students, faculty and community make this project a winner for everyone.”

The ribbon cutting will be held on Monday, October 19th at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at West Washington High School, located at 8028 West Batts Road, Campbellsburg, IN 47108. Refreshments will be provided, followed by the ribbon cutting and presentation of the grant money, and brief statements from key players in the solar project and local officials and community and school leaders from around the state. Educational information about the solar hot water system and solar energy in general will also be provided and time will be available for photos and questions from the media and community.

For more information please contact:

Carol Hoar,
West Washington School Corporation
9699 West Mt. Tabor Rd.
Campbellsburg, IN 47108-9454
Phone 812-755-4872
FAX 812-755-4843

The system was installed by InREA member Mann Plumbing of Bloomington.


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