Solar Energy at Drumlin Farm

solar array on Drumlin Farm nature center roof

Drumlin Farm demonstrates the possibilities of solar energy in a variety of ways. Three buildings have solar roof panels, there are four solar powered trash compactors, a solar heating wall, and a solar sculpture.


Nature Center

Drumlin Farm's Nature Center has 48 photovoltaic roof panels (7.9 kW), which supply an amount equivalent to 25 percent of the Nature Center's energy needs. Drumlin Farm received a state rebate to assist with the purchase and installation of the panels.

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Farm Life Center/Sheep & Goat Barn

Sheep and Goat barn with solar panels at Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

The 10.3 kW solar array atop Drumlin Farm's Goat Barn began recording energy performance data in December 2011. The electricity produced by the photovoltaic array on the Sheep & Goat Barn helps to power the all-electric Farm Life Center, and it is hoped that this electricity will provide the bulk of the energy needs for the Farm Life Center on an annual basis.

The chart below shows the energy production from the array in green and the energy consumption of the Farm Life Center in red. Mouseover the graph or click on any day for more detail. Choose a different date range with the buttons at the top right of the graph.

Find out more about this array >

  

Green Barn

Green Barn solar array on roof
The Green Barn

The 15.6 kW solar array atop Drumlin Farm's Green Barn went online in 2016 and offsets the energy consumption of both the educational classroom and the work area housed in the barn. It also supports the environmental controls for the root cellar in the basement of the barn, where our root crops are stored in the winter months for sale to restaurants and our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. 

The chart below shows the energy production from the array in green and the energy consumption of the Green Barn in red. Mouseover the graph or click on any day for more detail. Choose a different date range with the buttons at the top right of the graph.

  

Other ways Drumlin Farm is using solar energy

Four solar powered trash cans

Big Belly solar powered trash compactors reduce litter, and compacted trash takes up less space in landfills.

solar trash cans at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
   

Solar heating technology called “Solar Wall” on the Pig Barn

A passive solar wall on the Pig Barn heats a layer of air that is pulled through the building, reducing heating costs and providing ventilation.

Solar wall at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
   

A solar kinetic sculpture teaches visitors about solar energy

An interactive solar scultpture, called Sun Birds, allows visitors to see first hand the power and limitations of solar technology. The motion of the sculpture can be altered by casting shadows over the solar panels that power it.

The scultpture was designed and built by local artist, Greg Curci, and funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Solar kinetic sculpture at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary