More than 72 teams comprising of 195 members from 22 institutions had applied to take part in the first ever ‘Solar Lamp Workshop’ that was held in SRM Easwari Engineering College, Chennai on 15th March organized by IEEE, SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology), and The Solarillion Initiative. The Solarillion initiative is a not-for-profit initiative aimed at reaching solar education to one million students in five years. Out of the applicants, 35 teams comprising of 115 students from 12 institutions were selected to attend. The workshop was conducted in two batches and each batch was accomodated in two labs. More than 8 members from IEEE SIGHT and Solarillion were the resource persons for the workshop.
The students were first introduced to the basics of solar energy, taught hands on testing of solar panels and its characteristics. Then the workshop moved on to electronics, circuit design and each team was made to implement the solar lamps through kits that were provided by the organizers.
The workshop had students from institutions like SRM Easwari Engineering College, BSA Abdur Rahan University, KCG College of Engineering, Jeppiar Engineering College, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering and Arunai Engineering College among others.
This is a first of its kind event because the workshop will be followed by a competition. The students will be given two weeks to further work on the design aspects and develop the model, after which they will have to submit the final version of their solar lamps for the “Solar Lamp Design Contest.” There are currently 65 teams from over 20 institutions registered for the design contest.
The involvement of such a well-known scientific organisation as IEEE-PES (IEEE- Power and Energy society), India Council as a technical partner has enhanced the prestige of the event, as is evident in the overwhelming response the event has received.
Solar energy has garnered a lot of attention in recent times with the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and more recently the Tamil Nadu State solar policy. Being a very recent technology, there has been a need to focus on educating the students in engineering colleges through hands on workshops to prepare them for the so called “green collar jobs” that India is expected to generate. The government has said recently that Renewable Energy sector over last three years has created more than 50,000 jobs and IEEE SIGHT and Solarillion would like to engage in capacity building and skill devlopment at the undergraduate college level to prepare students take up engineering positions in this emerging field.
The entries will then be judged by a panel comprising of industry experts and IEEE-PES (IEEE-Power and Energy Socitey), India Council and the winners will be awared cash prizes and merit certificates. Select students will an opportunity to pursue summer internship on solar energy at Solarillion.
“The overwhelming response for the workshop shows students interest in learning about emerging technologies that can lead to newer job and research opportunities outside the existing curriculam, but make use of current engineering skills. We plan to take this to more than a 1000 engineering college students next semester,” said Mr. Ramesh Rajesh, Co-Founder, The Solarillion Initiative.
“The response to such workshops and projects in the field of solar has been tremendous thanks to the support of college managements and of course, international technical institutions such as IEEE and IEEE-PES, India Council”, claimed Mr. Anand Balu, Chairman, IEEE Special Interest Group in Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) Madras Chapter.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, read I-Triple-E) is a professional association headquartered in New York City that is dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence. It has more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries. The IEEE Madras Section is currently the largest chapter
The Solarillion Initiative in a non profit initiative focused on solar education, research, capacity building and social projects that aims to reach out to a million college students in five years.(More information: http://www.solarillion.org , www.facebook.com/Solarillion)
Solarillion: Ramesh Rajesh: Co-Founder: +919176336796, +919840570880
IEEE SIGHT Madras chapter: Chairman, Anand Balu: +919600613373