“Away We Go” – first overseas study tour, IFE Norway

The study visits to different industries is one of the key activities of the solar energy engineering programme. Study visits provides a forum for discussion, exchange and practical learning.

Two days’ study tour to Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), Norway and Glava Energy Center (GEC), Sweden was organised for all the first year, exchange and some second-year students studying master in solar energy engineering programme.

The road trip commenced on 3rd Nov, 2016, It was four-hour drive from university to IFE, Norway.

The beauty of snow-capped mountains, some green meadows, roads buried under snow and beautiful weather made this journey a memorable one for most of us.

At IFE, we had two short presentations by Josefine H. Selj about IFE and solar energy and by Hanne Flåten Andersen on Battery technologies.

Then we had an opportunity to visit IFE Solar lab and the battery lab.

We were also introduced to various research work that is being currently carried out in the solar research centre. It was an amazing visit to IFE, which is a pioneer organization in international research for energy and nuclear technology.

Then we headed to Akershus Solar collector field, Lillestrøm.

It is Norway’s largest solar district heating plant with a collector area of approximately 12 810 m².

The 915 solar collectors supported by a 1 200 m³ storage are having heat production of around 4.2 GWh/year, equivalent to the heat demand of approximately 450 households.

It was exciting to witness the steps taken by Akershus Energi in contributing to build a carbon neutral, fossil free and sustainable society.

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The day ended with stay in beautiful cabin houses of STF Vandrarhem (hostel), Töcksfors.

It was amazing cross cultural experience with 35 students from 25 different countries sharing same kitchen and preparing common dinner.

On 4th Nov, we visited Glava Energy Center (GEC) in Arvika, one of the most automated international test centre for renewable energies.

We were briefed about GEC by Magnus Nilsson and he also provided us with an insightful presentation on PV module production.

Presentation was followed with a visit to SweModule factory that produce the Silicon PV panels. Magnus Nilsson introduced us to all the machineries with step by step production process.

It was amazing to see the most automated robots and system being used in producing PV panels.

This center also includes a weather station, energy storage systems, wind measuring mast, new solar module technologies, a new framework for solar modules, a small wind turbine and a science center for renewable energy.

We were fortunate enough for being guided to every part and process of the GEC.

GEC also has one of the largest solar farm in Sweden.  All the solar panels were covered with fresh snows and the solar energy students were left with only one option:

All the students relished the Pizza’s and kebab’s which was organized by GEC after the end of the tour.

It was very insightful tour with lots of learning and of course networking with the organizations. We are thankful to Désirée Kroner, Solar Energy Programme Director for organizing and accompanying us to this exciting trip.

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