Energy Globe Foundation Award

Certificate for Energy Globe Award 2020

Congratulations to Robert Alexander, Professor of Economics & Environmental Studies, and James Skon, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, for winning an Energy Globe Foundation award for their Belize Solar Schools project.

Collage of students participating in Belize Solar Schools project

“What we do is work with the Belize Ministry of Education to identify schools that would benefit from the savings of having solar power.  We then acquire the solar equipment to build a grid-tie solar power system for the schools. Then over spring break we take a team of 8-10 students to Belize and install the components.  This involves installing solar panels on the roof, installing a grid-tie inverter, and installing the wiring. Each system ties into the power grid, generating power and offsetting the power from the grid, lowering the electric bill. The typical system provides between 1-2 Kilowatts of power. We usually do 5-6 schools per spring break trip. We have done about 36 schools in Belize.” – James Skon

The Project:
FreeBDS is an open-source operating system commonly used for internet routing, traffic management and for firewalls. Companies such as Microsoft, Netflix, Yahoo, Sony, and RG Nets run FreeBDS to manage their networking infrastructure. Spectrum, AT&T and Verizon (and other companies) specifically use RG Nets rXg network management system to manage large public networks. One component of FreeBSD, is a network bandwidth management algorithm developed at Carnegie Mellon called the Hierarchical Fair Service Curve (HFSC). This algorithm can provide fine grained management of bandwidth for thousands of users, assuring that each gets a fair share of the available bandwidth. One major limitation of HFSC is that it will currently only run on a single core of a processor, greatly limiting its ability to manage large networks with thousands to tens of thousands of users. “My project is to develop a new version that will run on multiple cores, improving data throughput. New CPUs have 32 or 64 processing cores, and we want to experiment with how much we can improve performance with this many cores” says Kenyon Professor, James Skon.

Other projects involving FreeBSD optimization will follow.

RG Nets is sponsoring the project. This spring they will be providing about $39,000 worth of equipment for development and experimentation. They will also be sponsoring a summer science student, Kenyon College junior, Ryan Schultz.

The Energy Globe Awards are considered one of the most prominent designations of excellence in the environmental sector. There are approximately 2000 projects submitted from more than 170 nations annually. The National Ceremonies for 2020 boasted 187 winners with exciting and unique environmental solutions from all around the world.

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