The Smart Grid Construction Set consists of two components: Smart Homes and Smart Grid. Smart Homes consist of actual Smart Home components including Smart outlets, thermostats, lights, sensors, Smart Meters, etc. Students are able to plug in and test the energy outputs of real appliances from home or the classroom. These energy outputs can be monitored from a tablet that is included or other computers or cell phones. The Smart Grid system allows students to experience the development of the power grid through a historical perspective. Students start with the discovery of electrical generation by Michael Faraday in the early 1800s and progress through the decades by adding capacity and complexity to their grid. Eventually students make their grid “smart” by adding special meters and switching devices. This is a hands-on activity with design challenges tailored to various grade levels. The SmartGrid Construction Set will be packaged in a few small boxes and delivered to the school via common carrier (UPS or FedEx). The previous school will be expected to report all damaged equipment and send the system to the next school on the schedule. Pre-printed packing labels will be provided.
Both the Smart Home and the Smart Grid systems will be delivered to the school building via common carrier. The Smart Grid consists of a large plastic tote and a medium-sized box. The Smart homes arrive in 4 boxes, each 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft. Each box is less than 70 pounds. The set will be carefully unpacked by the teacher and made available to the students. They will assemble the parts on large tables provided by the school. It is best not to set them up on the floor. The Smart Home system consists of a four small houses that contain “Smart” components. It includes a wireless router and a tablet, although student/school devices can be used to control the home. When the scheduled time is completed, the teacher will take inventory of the materials and package them up for shipment to the next school. Any broken or missing items should be reported to CeMaST staff so that replacement parts can be shipped to the receiving school.
The Smart Grid Interactive Display includes 3 life-size rooms which are contained in six large boxes and an appliance box which holds several different household appliances. Students select electrical appliances and plug them into outlets in the 3 rooms to discover energy use and how the Smart Meter can help them make better energy use decisions. The Smart Grid Interactive Display also includes three interactive tables which allow students to connect power lines from the power plants to several different customers. Smart Grid Interactive Display will accommodate up to 36 students at a time. Curriculum has been developed for grades K-2, G3-5, Middle school and High school. These instructions guide the student’s discovery of how electrical energy is generated, transported to the customer, and how it is used in the home. The entire display can be delivered and set up at individual schools each week by one of our drivers in a large trailer.
Due to the size and weight of the Smart Grid Interactive Display, there are a few building and staffing requirements that each school must assure prior to taking delivery. All components of the interactive display must be kept in an enclosed and secure space when not in use. The receiving school must have a double door with a removable mullion in order for the units to fit into the building. Also, the units cannot navigate stairs nor will they fit in most elevators. The boxes are 6 ft 3 inches in height, 3 feet in depth and vary 3-6 ft in width so they cannot move around sharp corners. The three tables stack and are about 8 ft long and 3ft wide. The entire system requires a room about the size of half of a basketball court (1200 square feet). Finally, we require that each school provides 2-3 people to help our staff unload and pack up the program into our trailer.