Solar Energy at Drumlin Farm
Drumlin Farm demonstrates the possibilities of solar energy in a variety of ways. Four buildings have solar roof panels, there are four solar-powered trash compactors, a solar heating wall, and a solar sculpture.
- Environmental Learning Center (42.84 kW)
- Nature Center Array (7.9 kW)
- Farm Life Center/Sheep & Goat Barn Array (10.3 kW)
- Green Barn Array (15.6 kW)
Opened in summer 2018, Drumlin's Environmental Learning Center has a 42.84 kW roof-mounted solar array comprised of 119 photovoltaic (PV) roof panels.
The array, which is Mass Audubon’s largest to date, is sized to provide approximately 45% more energy than is projected to be needed by the building on an annual basis. Excess production will be used to power nearby farm buildings, with any remaining energy production sold back to the grid.
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.
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.
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:
Big Belly solar powered trash compactors reduce litter, and compacted trash takes up less space in landfills.
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.
An interactive solar sculpture, 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.