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So WATT! An Illuminating Look at Energy

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Oct 10, 2010

San Diego, CA – “So WATT! An Illuminating Look at Energy” is a new hands-on exhibition at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center focusing on electricity production, alternative sources of energy, and basic conservation strategies you can try at home and at work.

“So WATT!” features five interactive exhibits, including a touch-screen interface where you can monitor electricity being generated by 10,000 square feet of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Science Center. Owned and operated by SDG&E, the PV system is capable of generating more than 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity at peak production for San Diego’s power grid.

Generate your own electricity at the “Make a Watt” exhibit and learn how much energy it takes to produce a watt. At “Watt’s the Difference?” you’ll will learn more about the six most common ways electricity is produced – fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and solar – then find out where most of California’s power comes from. Every form of energy production has pros and cons, and after learning a bit about these impacts, you’ll have an opportunity to vote for the energy source YOU think should be used most for generating electricity in the next 20 years.

Ever wonder how solar panels work? At the “Watt’s in the Sun?” exhibit, solar power is demystified with a down-to-earth explanation of how photovoltaic (PV) panels produce electricity from sunlight. You can be a solar engineer at this exhibit by adjusting a small photovoltaic (PV) panel, lining it up with a light source and creating enough electricity to power a small fan. Nearby, an interactive touch-screen exhibit called “Watt’s on the Roof?” lets you investigate real-time and historical data on how much electricity is being produced by the Fleet’s rooftop PV system.

“Watt about Me?” is an interactive exhibit that demonstrates a wide variety of simple ways to conserve electricity at home and at work. By flipping switches on a scale model of a “typical house,” you’ll discover how the energy consumption level changes as you implement various conservation measures.

Produced by Reuben H. Fleet Science Center staff, “So WATT! An Illuminating Look at Energy” features a bilingual exhibition brochure, with exhibit descriptions and scientific explanations presented in Spanish. Made possible by grants from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Shell Trading with additional support from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the “So WATT!” exhibition will remain on display at the Fleet Science Center indefinitely.

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