The Colorado School of Mines has installed two solar panels at the Geology Museum that will provide power to the exhibit inside the Critical Materials Institute. In doing so, the school wants to show the importance of the materials on display in the exhibit.
“The solar panels demonstrate how critical materials such as telluride are important to new advanced energy technologies," Cynthia Howell, CMI and Colorado Energy Research Institute research faculty and energy education specialist, said.
The official state inspection was conducted on July 29,
which the new Geology Museum passed. The solar panels are now used to power
videos that demonstrate how important various mined elements are while also
powering a phosphor viewing box.
The critical materials exhibit idea was conceived by Howell and museum director Bruce Geller. The construction of the exhibit was led by Mandi Hitchinson, a geology master’s student at the time and a current research faculty member, and opened in February of last year. At that time, the solar panels idea was still awaiting approval.
Once approved, solar energy expert and member of the Red Rocks Community College energy technology faculty Troy Wanek was hired to install the panels.