Shoreline Clean Energy Technology Students Go Off-Grid to Generate Power

As the energy industry continues to advance, Shoreline’s Clean Energy Technology (CET) program remains nimble in its course offerings to anticipate and meet the growing needs of employers and consumers. In a new class added in winter of 2016, Shoreline students got to delve into the world of off-grid power generation and storage, a hot topic in the energy industry.

The course, Battery Based Photovoltaic (PV) Design, challenged students to embrace the fundamentals of off-grid power generation and storage. Fully understanding this concept, recently popularized by companies such as Tesla and Schneider, is no small accomplishment, as location, battery-housing, type of use, and budget all need to be taken into consideration when developing an energy strategy.

To further enhance learning within this multi-dimensional concept, Shoreline instructors recently led the students in a mock installation of a battery based photovoltaic system on the demonstration roof located next to the Zero Energy House on Shoreline’s campus. Utilizing cutting edge technology and techniques, students gained hands on experience they could not otherwise receive in a classroom.

“Being able to get on a roof and work through a real-world scenario with classmates is an experience you cannot find just anywhere,” said Nate Hogle, current CET student. “Contributing to the installation, and having the opportunity to learn from fellow students greatly enhanced my learning.”

In the installation exercise, students were challenged to work through properly laying out solar modules and related equipment, including mechanical roof intrusions and attachments, inverter and junction box placement, and battery cabling and storage. Through the day-long project, students were faced with numerous challenges, which were overcome with knowledge learned in the classroom over the previous quarter.

“We’re the only college in the area that I know of offering classes of this caliber in this emerging field,” said Louise Petruzzella, Director of Shoreline’s Clean Energy Technology program. “And it’s because we’re continuously evaluating our curriculum and coursework to reflect the constantly shifting nature of technology and field trends.”

To ensure students are up with current trends, new courses like Battery Based Photovoltaic Design are offered through the program to students ready to tackle new challenges.

“This is how we stay a leader in CET education,” said Petruzzella, “and why our students are so successful in finding employment after graduation. New methods of instruction, such as the mock system installation, further enrich student training and promote involvement within the industry.”