Six B.Tech. (Energy and Environmental Engineering) students under ‘Energy Experiential Learning’ are into energy management and consultation work for solar energy applications for farmers. They visit farmers and learn about electrical appliances they use, calculate the solar equivalent, and suggest them the number of solar panels to be installed, the cost, places from where they can be bought, and methods of installation.
And, all this for a fee of Rs. 300 or Rs. 400. The university has brought this initiative under the ‘Earn and Learn’ scheme so that students are motivated to do this on a continuous basis.
According to the head of the Department of Bio-energy, S. Kamaraj, the scheme enables students to put to immediate practice what they learn. “The service charge is divided between the student consultant, and the university,” says Vice-Chancellor K. Ramasamy.
The scheme took off in June and included organising an awareness programme for farmers on solar energy applications in agriculture.
“The whole exercise is to give students hands-on experience so that once they step out of university they will be in a position to start their own solar energy installation units or offer consultancy service,” Mr. Kamaraj adds.
B. Gowtham, a third-year student, says that they begin from the basics and provide consultancy till the installation stage. “Each and every electrical appliance inside the house and on the field is taken into account. Solar panels between 1kW and 4kW are normally sufficient for the requirements of farmers,” he adds.
Students of the Department are not stopping the awareness campaign on renewable energy applications with farmers, but are involving even schools and colleges. An awareness programme on ‘Solar Energy Applications in Educational Institutions’ will be held on Saturday for teachers of schools and engineering colleges.