HNEI partners with Department of Education for classroom thermal comfort

The Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) has partnered with the state Department of Education (HIDOE) to monitor and adjust classroom temperatures.

Beginning this month, classroom temperatures and environmental data collected at public school campuses will be posted to a new website, the HIDOE Thermal Comfort website. The data are gathered from 37 schools with weather stations and 62 schools with indoor sensors that monitor classroom temperatures statewide.

Solar-powered weather stations mounted on these schools transmit data to a receiver in the school office, which is then posted to the new HIDOE Thermal Comfort website. Indoor classroom temperatures are monitored by the use of 737 data loggers that record the temperature and humidity every 30 minutes.

“The Thermal Comfort portal is an important tool we use for heat abatement decisions,” said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “The public now has the opportunity to view the environmental conditions we monitor when determining the best cooling method for a classroom.”

Teachers and students will have the opportunity to use the posted data for class projects. Additionally, information on local microclimates—climates of small-scale areas—be useful for sustainable design across Hawaiʻi.

“The linkage to interior environmental conditions also offers the opportunity to further the understanding between environment and building performance,” said Rick Rocheleau, HNEI director. “HNEI has been using the data to analyze performance of its net-zero classrooms on both Oʻahu and Kauaʻi with the ultimate goal of encouraging sustainable design.”

Read more at UH News.