Solar energy workshop highlights York-led developments

As part of the York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies’ (FES) Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), Professor Jose Etcheverry hosted a solar energy workshop to highlight exciting developments in mobile solar energy.

The Dec. 2  workshop was an extension of a previous SEI project that resulted in the construction of a solar charging station for electric bicycles on York University’s Keele campus.

Jose Etcheverry
Jose Etcheverry

“The workshop [provides] unique opportunities to learn how to develop a solar charging station for electric vehicles and also policy strategies to help mainstream this innovative transportation solution,” said Etcheverry.

The workshop’s focus was the design and engineering groundwork for an upcoming collaborative project in Algeria that will bring together York University’s SEI and engineering students from Algeria’s École Nationale Supérieure de Technologies (ENST).

“Before we start doing anything, we need to develop a number of design parameters that guide our work,” said Etcheverry.

In addition to students from ENST, the workshop hosted international students from  Switzerland, Chile and Costa Rica, as well as community members and industry professionals.

“We have made sure that we have partnered with the best people in the world, and bring together the best students in the world,” said Etcheverry.

The project will culminate with the construction of a solar charging station for electric vehicles at the ENST campus, similar to the one already existing at York. However, as Etcheverry explained, the project is part of a much broader mission.

“We want all of ENST to be 100 per cent solar, [so that perhaps] we can help convince Algeria to be the first Islamic country to commit to going 100 per cent renewable,” he said.

Etcheverry also emphasized the crucial role community collaboration plays in the success of projects like the workshop, which also fits into his own educational philosophy of learning by doing.

“If we do not focus on the community, then the engineering is useless,” he said, adding that efforts like these can help build toward the global campaign for 100 per cent renewable energy.

For a photo gallery of the event, visit here.