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NEWS RELEASE  December 14, 2020  [for Immediate Release]

the College Christmas Star was a first !


Merry Solar Christmas  !

Celebrating the 37th Anniversary of the World's first solar powered Christmas lights atop the Grande Prairie Regional College, Alberta        (photo 1983)


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High on the roof of Grande Prairie Regional College shined Canada's first solar powered Christmas lights.  Built entirely with volunteer time and money, the demonstration symbolized the birth of our new Solar Age.  Solar photovoltaics -- clean, quiet, pollution-free, will produce electricity forever.  A product of volunteer efforts, the display took its power from a 12-volt high charge battery, especially designed for solar applications, which absorbs energy by day from the solar concentrator's mirrored parabolic surface.   As evening falls, the lights ran off the battery for several hours, including the "star" which is a conventional 2.5 amp halogen headlight.  [photo Dec. 1983 - click for Close Up - 48k]

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Casting a brilliant glow into the evening sky, it was much more than just a Christmas decoration, explains inventor/designer Franklin Thomas.   This is also the time of the Winter Solstice, the shortest days of the year, and, "Solar Spring".  The display was a scientific experiment making a statement about the potential of solar power - "the ultimate renewable resource".  At the heart of the collector was a bank of solar cells.  Below the "star of Bethlehem"  atop the pyramid/tree of the display are three "rays" of "clear light", 32 light bulbs mounted on metal bars.  In the central point of focus of the sun's rays in the concentrator were 11 gold and red bulbs, multiplied when lit at night by the multi-faceted reflecting surface.  [click for Close-up - 54k]

Charging a high-discharge solar battery for use at night, the module of solar cells completely powered all 12-volt lights on the demonstration.   Signaling the location of the birth of a new pure energy.   Hidden in the focus of the Concentrator is the Solar Module (2.75 amp) (one sun) -- generating the energy of operation or Lumens of Radiance.  The pyramid shape was designed after the Golden Section:  

Solar Energy - Solar Christmas Lights - p2 ] Solar Energy - Solar Christmas Lights - p3 ]

Link to More Story and Pictures - Scientific Solar Research

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    Up-dated:   March 23, 2021