National

Solar wizard is a pop star

Jake O'Keefe noshed on a bag of popcorn which came courtesy -- at least in part -- of the sun.

''It was fun,'' he said. ``And we didn't waste any fossil fuels.''

Ten-year-old Jake and a couple hundred of his fellow students in fourth and fifth grade at Dolphin Bay Elementary were guests at Florida Power & Light Co.'s first-of-a-kind solar powered popcorn party Thursday. It is part of a new educational program from FPL called Professor Whys' Powerful Adventures.

The two microwaves that popped the corn were among the appliances inside a trailer covered in about 20 solar strips. The strips collect the energy, which is converted into usable power and stored in eight batteries in the trailer, which was parked behind the school.

Those batteries power the microwaves, hot water and refrigerator on the trailer. Because the power is stored, the trailer can work even if the sun is hiding.

But that wasn't an issue Thursday.

''It's good that it's sunny, because we have more solar energy,'' said Aaron Rodriguez, 10. "To make more popcorn.''

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com

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