A mash-up of solar rays and sound waves attracted a crowd eager to watch solar energy in action at the Halifax Central Library on Saturday.
They were there to see an event on the impact and power of solar panels.
Before Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers performed, Syliboy told the growing audience why the event is important to him.
“Mi’kmaq people and the sun have had a long relationship and I want to see that continue,” he said.
Nearly every seat in the library’s Paul O’Regan Hall was filled for the concert and energy talk. All the musical instruments, multimedia and sound equipment were powered by solar energy.
With that energy, they were able to weave together live performances by local artists and tech talks from some of Nova Scotia’s solar power innovators.
The event was powered by four photovoltaic solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. Once the sunlight is converted, it is stored in lithium batteries. Early Saturday morning, eight batteries were hooked up to an electric car and charged just by taking a few laps around the block.
With a functioning solar conductor and proper energy storage, the event’s solar team was able to power four electric instruments, two laptops, a mixer and over six microphones to the solar system.
The event was sponsored by 13 sustainable energy stakeholders, including Clean Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Municipality and the Ecology Action Centre. All materials used to build the solar system were donated by Thermo Dynamics Ltd., a Nova Scotia solar heating company.
Saturday’s event wasn’t just about the music. There were four speakers who spoke about new solar products and services coming out of Nova Scotia.
Adam Hayter, an energy specialist with the HRM, spoke about the solar photovoltaic and solar hot air services launched by the Solar City Program in 2016. Wayne Groszko, Ecology Action Centre’s renewable energy co-ordinator, spoke about his work helping community organizations get solar power for their buildings.
Musician and solar research associate Tomi Allen, was the lead organizer of the event. He wanted to bring together both his passions to show how solar energy can be used in Nova Scotia.
“To me, this event is about sustainable arts, energy, industry and environment,” he said to the audience, before the performances began.
“My dream is to do solar research and play music; it is that simple.”
One of the other speakers was Alain Joseph, director of applied research at NSCC.
“Part of the dream is to have a lot of people recognize that sustainable energy is possible in many ways,” said Joseph.
Many of the attendees getting the solar scoop were children, including nine-year-old Zya Langdon.
“I think it’s cool that I get to dance to music powered by the sun,” she said with a laugh.
Hilary Jones came from Dartmouth to the event because she was curious about solar events. She hopes to see more events like this and hopes Nova Scotians could “one day power their lives through solar.”