April 3, 2023 – The Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department in Virginia commissioned 3.2kW Solar Edge Rooftop solar installation at a popular nature center in Ivy Creek Park. As part of an educational initiative aimed at fostering an early interest in renewable energy among local children, the project is one of the first to be funded by Lynchburg City Council’s Sustainability Fund, which was established in 2022 to promote renewable energy adoption among local families and businesses.
The Nature Center is located in a historic log cabin that has been a central part of community life in Lynchburg for decades. The energy produced will be used to offset a percentage of the cabin’s energy use and reduce carbon emissions. Inside the booth, an interactive wall-mounted exhibit provides a “hands-on” way for children to discover how to harness solar energy and convert it into clean, renewable energy for their homes.
The rooftop installation and interactive exhibit were designed, installed and will be maintained by local installation company, EarthrightMed Atlantic. The SolarEdge solution – which includes a Home Hub inverter and Power Optimizers – was chosen to provide the reliability and security needed for such a popular and popular attraction.
“We are very proud to be part of this initiative, which provides a fun and engaging way for kids to learn about renewable energy,” says Cory Argentino, CEO of Earth Right Mid-Atlantic. “Solar energy adoption in Lynchburg is lower than in surrounding areas, and we believe This is partly due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of the solutions available.So while the main idea behind the facility is to capture the imagination of local children, we found that it was their parents who tended to ask the most questions.”
Inside the cabin, an interactive exhibit displays key components from the rooftop system—including solar panels, SolarEdge inverter, and energy enhancers—along with an explanation of how each helps convert sunlight into usable energy. Animated lights show how electricity flows through each component before reaching the “end user”—in this case a model of Lynchburg City Hall that lights up when visitors turn on a power switch.
Alongside the gallery, a real-time screen displays how much solar energy the rooftop system is producing and the carbon offset. To make this information more compelling to children, carbon reduction is shown to be equivalent to the number of trees planted and the number of smartphones charged.
“The solar exhibit is designed to be as engaging for kids as possible, and we plan to offer more interactive elements very soon,” says Argentino. “We also plan to expand the project online by integrating live production data from the mySolarEdge app onto the Lynchburg Parks & Recreation Department website. In this way, we hope to engage more children and their families with the important topic of sustainability.”
Argentino says the number of visitors to the Nature Center has increased steadily since the Solar Show opened, especially during term time and on “Solar Saturdays.” The SolarEdge system helps ensure that the rooftop array remains operational at all times, while also providing peace of mind through advanced security features.
“While safety is a top priority on every project we install, it becomes even more so for a busy site like this. SolarEdge’s enhanced safety features, such as SafeDC, built-in quick shutdown functionality, and electric arc fault detection, were a big part of our decision to choose the SolarEdge system for this project.” Argentino concludes.