Students learn about solar photovolatiacs
December 13, 2010 —
Dr. Mohammad Saad Alam has only been a professor at Saginaw Valley for less than a semester, though that has not stopped him from diving into the field of photovoltaics.
Dr. Alam recently took his class to the Solar Discovery Center at Dow Chemical to help give his students a glimpse as to how the field was applied on a professional and business level. Dr Alam said, “I wanted to show them that after they graduate they have to move on, I wanted to help them with there transition by showing them how people work in this field.”
His students appreciated his gesture by taking advantage of all the resources that Dow Chemical made available for them on the trip. Electrical Engineering senior Bryant Barnes said, “The trip gave me a new perspective of the technology in this field.”
One student in particular was eager to learn as much as he could on the trip to Dow Chemical. That student was Senior Electrical Engineering major and Saudi Arabia native Faisal Alarfaj. Faisal said, “It was amazing that they actually showed us their solar panel, and the running system they have.” He continued, “I can not wait to use this information when I get back home.”
Students were taken to the Solar Discovery Center at Dow Chemical, where they were given an on site technical presentation on the functioning and performance of the power generation and distribution from the solar arrays installed in the center. Mechanical Engineering senior Greg Ratcliffe said, “It was interesting that they showed us the calculations of everything, it really showed you how things were made.”
While at Dow Chemical the students were given a presentation by industry specialists that exposed them to how Dow handles the field of Photovoltaics, and what they were currently developing.
Barnes said of the presentation, “It was fascinating to see what was coming up, not only with Dow, but in Solar Photovolatiacs as a whole.”
Afterwards the students in Dr. Alam’s class gave one minute presentations on the projects they are currently working on for the Photovoltaics class at Saginaw Valley.
Dr. Alam said, “It was interesting seeing the students showing the professionals their ideas.” The projects students are currently working on in Dr. Alam’s class focus on finding ways to use solar energy in everyday life.
“For example one project a group is working on involves using a solar panel as a sun-roof for a car, so the air conditioning can be produced from solar energy instead of horsepower," said Ratcliffe. He continued, “There are lots of interesting projects.”
For the projects students were broken up into 11 groups with each group developing their own way of using solar energy in a creative way.
Said Barnes, “It really helps give people a knowledge of alternative energies.”
The students will have poster presentations on their projects in front of Pioneer Hall, Room 229, on December 9 from 4 p.m. until 5:30p.m. Dr. Alam encouraged anyone who may be interested in learning about Alternative Engery programs at Saginaw Valley to stop and check out the students' projects.