Saint Francis University Tiny Classroom on Wheels
October 2 - October 3
In 2017, the Saint Francis University Institute for Energy turned a 160-square foot tiny house shell into a solar-powered classroom on wheels with the goal of educating students and the community about renewable energy, energy efficiency and producing a smaller environmental footprint. This mobile power lab features a 1.68 kW solar array on the roof and is connected to battery storage to allow for off-grid functioning. The building is wired like a traditional house and utilizes highly efficient lighting and appliances. A variety of insulations can be viewed through a see-through wall behind the white board and sustainable building practices, such as building with locally-soured wood, were employed. A biomass wood pellet stove is the main heating source for the power lab. Portable PV battery chargers, solar cookers, a small wind turbine, a biomass cook stove and a water wheel are some of the other renewable energy examples present in the classroom. As the classroom is on wheels, we’ve been able to take the unit to schools and community events around our region and across Pennsylvania.