Evidently November was the busiest month for the students of Solar Energy Engineering. We had couple of written exams, labs, culminating projects, presentations, assignments, reports, study visit and everything topped up with regular, weekly workload of the courses.
November started with joy by bringing the first snowfall of the season and the study visit to Norway (https://studentblogsdu.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/away-we-go-first-overseas-study-tour-ife-norway/)
Intensive Solar thermal course commenced immediately after the study visit. The stress level of the students were on the apex due to the two back to back examinations on Economics of Solar Energy and Photovoltaics.
Then the students got engaged with the design of photovoltaic grid and off-grid system. Students were required to design, install and test the system. It was both challenging and time consuming project but on the other hand it was thrilling and exhilarating.
Everyone gained profound first-hand practical knowledge in designing, installing and testing the Solar PV system.
The biggest obstacle for the PV system in this part of world (in this climate) is to catch the sun. Some students attempted to simulate the sun by artificial lights for getting some output from the PV module. Although these halogen lamps consumed much more power in 10 mins than what was produced by the system in 3 days.
November was made more productive by the Solar thermal home assignment. Students were required to design and optimize the Solar flat collector for best efficiency and lowest cost.
We were required to use three software, one for simulating and getting theoretical efficiency curve (CodePro), simulating the thermal energy output at the provided location (ScenoCalc) and lastly determining the cost of the collector (Cost Calculator). This home assignment demanded colossal & arduous work but it was crucial and provided meticulous learning of Solar flat plate collector.
To summarize, November was very engaging, dynamic, productive but an exhaustive month.
We learned three special lessons from the November’s workload:
- Staying motivated and focusing on one thing at a time
- Maximizing our productivity – Do more with less
- Managing the stress with regular small breaks