Category Archives: SonSolar

Alternative Tools

Computers with solar 3-D programs are an alternative for the analysis and presentation applications of heliodons. However, for the initial learning of the broad concepts and for developing a mental model of the solar geometry as related to buildings, heliodons with conceptual clarity are far superior.

Learning the complex geometry of the sun as related to a building is like learning the street pattern of a complex medieval town by driving around it in a vehicle that has only one window, the windshield. A much faster and deeper understanding of the town would occur by exploring on foot. Not only is one free at all times to move in any direction, but also one is free at all times to look back or sideways. Because every view is in complete context of where one is, a mental pattern of the town will emerge faster,
be more complete, and last longer than through a controlled drive-through. Thus, I believe, the initial learning of solar geometry will always be better with a heliodon like the Sun Emulator than with a computer program.

For the student still new to this knowledge, a heliodon would also be very useful in the analysis stage of design. It is not easy to know how a solar access analysis should be performed using a computer program (i. e. what time of day or year should be investigated). A heliodon’s intuitive clearness and immediate feedback helps in planning and performing a solar analysis.

Even at the presentation stage, a heliodon can be more advantageous than a computer. Although the presenter may not need the heliodon’s conceptual clarity, the audience, which is often much less informed about solar geometry, would understand the logic of the solar responsive design more easily and believe in it more fully by seeing it through a heliodon.

For many years it was believed the 3-D computer modeling will replace the need for physical modeling. However, at the Auburn University School of Architecture, physical modeling is as popular as ever even though 3-D computer modeling is also extensively used. We evolved in a world of physical objects, and it is therefore not surprising that physical models are so engaging, immediate, and intuitively clear.

4. Conclusion

It is hard to believe that a rather simple mechanical device could be a such a powerful teaching and design tool. It is also hard to believe that such a device could have a major impact on our energy future, the environment, and especially global warming. My 27 year teaching experience with heliodons makes me believe that "conceptually clear” heliodons truly are powerful teaching tools that can greatly convince and motivate people. Also since they never wear out and will never become obsolete, they are a good investment for creating a better future.

More information about the Sun Emulator is available from my Auburn University website: www. cadc. auburn. edu/sun-emulator and the manufacturer’s website: www. hpd-online. com

RES policy in Polish governmental documents

In the accession process Polish legislation must be adapted to EU legislation in all areas, including the area of renewable energy.

For some time past intensive work has been carried out to adapt rules, regulations and procedures to join effectively the European system. Within strategic documents assigning a course of activities of national development in the field of RES the following should be quoted as the most significant:

* Development Strategy of Renewable Energy Sector (adopted on 5th Sept. 2000,

passed by Parliament on 23rd August 2001) [3]

* Notes on Poland’s Energy Policy to 2020 [11]

* Sustainable Development Strategy for Poland to 2025 [12]

The most essential legal acts include the following:

* The Energy Law [13]

* The Environmental Protection Law[14]

* The RES Law [15] (in preparation)

* The Quota Obligation Ordinance of Purchasing RES Electricity [16]

* The Amendments to the Quota Obligation Ordinance [17]

Amendments to the Energy Law have necessitated the passing of the Quota Obligation Ordinance and subsequently an amendment to this ordinance. According to the ordinance distribution companies are obliged to purchase a certain amount of green electricity, which in the total amount of sold electricity in 2001 exceeded 2.4 % in 2001, and 2.5 % in 2002, the predicted goal being 7.5 % in 2010 (Table 2).

Table 2. Obligatory purchase of electricity from RES for distribution companies


Green electricity share [16]

Electricity share generated in combined energy sources [17]




























At present a matter of urgent importance is to produce the RES Act which would compose the solid framework for RE investing in Poland. An inter-departmental group for Implementation Development Strategy of Renewable Energy Sector has been appointed to conduct legislation works on the project of RES Act to regulate the fundamental issues in transposition and harmonisation an environmental and energy policy (especially with the Directive 2001/77/EC). Unfortunately, the administrative procedures related to the approval of RES project are complicated and long-lasting. Since September 2003 several versions of the Act have been drafted as a result of discussions held during a number of meetings and conferences on various levels. The creation of national support schemes by introducing Green Certificates system market, subsidies, soft loans, higher prices of RES energy and planning of RES development on national, regional and local levels is taken into consideration, but the current project of the Act does not provide required support for renewable energy development and thus should be reconsidered.

Main goals and outcomes

To encourage building designers to consider solar architecture requires two basic approaches — firstly there needs to be an informative focus resulting in greater awareness on the need for sustainable building and energy use (addressing climate change and the role of sustainable energy in reducing harmful emissions in the built environment), and secondly providing access to specific information and tools that can assist the design of solar buildings.


The SAMSA 2002 had three primary goals, addressing short to long-term aspects:

(i) To provide a regional training opportunity for Mediterranean architects and engineers, presenting the most advanced conceptual approaches, tools and software to design highly energy efficient solar buildings in the Mediterranean region;

(ii) To promote the networking of European building professionals, stimulating an interest, growth and innovation in Mediterranean solararchitecture;

(iii) To support European market expansion in the area of RETs and materials for solar buildings, by encouraging contact between companies and their potential product users, making known the wide range of materials and technologies available on the market.

The training event addressed several other underlying aspects as well, namely providing recognition to experts in this field and to encourage an interest in further advances in materials and approaches through research and development (R&D). The encouraging results from R&D and evaluating the implementation of different facets of solar architecture, EE and RETs assists in expanding the available data, which in turn needs to be made available to the building designers who can improve their results.

This process is also supported by the European Commission, which has financially supported the SAMSA 2002 through the ALTENER Programme, as part of the LEARNET — SAMSA project. This support indicates that the EC recognises the importance of capacity building, increasing know-how and sharing expertise in the field of sustainable building. This Academy was also used to provide information on European legislation and directives relevant to the built environment, of which many professionals are not yet aware (such as the EC Directive on the energy performance of buildings).


During the SAMSA 2002, specific important elements of the design process were focused on, in particular:

• Energy saving and efficiency measures to reduce energy demand;

• Integration of renewable energy technologies (RETS) in the building envelope;

• The role of the built environment in the building energy behaviour;

• Building cooling and heating requirements (in Mediterranean climate they play an equally important role);

• Opacity and transparency requirements;

• Natural ventilation;

• Seasonal shading;

• Daylighting control (to assure internal visual comfort);

• Thermal inertia capacity

These key factors were considered, particularly during the SAMSA 2002 practical workshop, where participants worked on interesting renovation designs. The SAmSa 2002 45 participants mainly came from the Mediterranean region, but there was also some interest from Southern Africa, where a similar climate prevails (Image 1). Working under the supervision of experienced mentors, they not only learned to consider the application of solar architecture strategies and principles carefully, but also to appreciate the differences in approach from people of other disciplines. The workshop helped to reinforce the conclusion that architects, engineers and energy consultants in particular can contribute valuable input in a design group to create a truly sustainable building.


The excellent interactive working relationship that developed among the lecturers and participants during the event, has supported the establishment of a regional network that will assist the exchange of information on Mediterranean solar architecture design. Positive feedback was received in this regard, and almost all the participants contacted indicated that they are using solar architecture strategies and RETs in their building designs.

The ISES network also aims to build on such networking of professionals by encouraging the concept of special interest groups and promoting the ‘Solar Cities’ concept among cities and towns. In this area the European Solar Cities initiative (ESCi) was launched, presenting a forum where experts and professionals of different disciplines can contribute to and learn about sustainable energy use in urban areas (www. eu-solarcities. org).

The Educational Laboratory of the State Superintendence of Archaeological Monuments in Rome and "Solar Art and Solar Technologies&quot

For years, the Educational Section of the State Superintendence of Archaeological Monuments in Rome has been carrying out history and archaeological workshops and laboratories for schoolchildren. In the year 2000 the Superintendence accepted ISES ITALIA’s proposal to include energy topics and the related environmental issues in its educational programs.

On the basis of the experiences described in previous paragraphs, a laboratory with the name of "Solar Energy by studying Ancient Architecture,” was established.

Among the working tools of the laboratory was “Solar Art and Solar Technologies:” an educational exhibit winding its way through art, history, science and technology, and pointing to a solar energy future, which ISES ITALIA developed in the year 2000 during “New Light on Rome 2000.”

Ten coloured posters summarize the main problems faced by our civilization, from energy dependence to the protection of the environment and to the role that solar technology played in the past. The titles of the posters are: [53] [54]

The posters were exhibited at the archaeological sites during the laboratories whose programs have been centred on three main aspects:

Fig. 4 — Solar Art and Solar Technologies — Introductory Poster

Visit of the monument — during which the main features of the archaeological remains are described;

• Reading of historical sources and archaeological texts — from energy viewpoint, with special reference to the use of solar energy and other renewable energy;

• Comparison between solar energy in the past and solar energy in the future — with analysis of modern solar technologies and their potential applications.

Pictures of the solar visible coloured spectrum produced during the Solar art exhibitions have been used during the laboratory to introduce solar radiation wavelengths and the way various modern solar technologies, from solar thermal to photovoltaic, can convert them in forms of energy useful to man: heat, electricity, and fuels.

»Solar Energy by studying Ancient Architecture", took place from 2000 to 2004 at two of the greatest monuments of Rome: Villa dei Quintili (Via Appia Antica, fig. 5), opened to the public in the year 2000 after it had been restored, and Diocletian Baths (downtown Rome, fig. 7).

Fig. 5 — Villa dei Quintil

The construction of Villa dei Quintili was started in the first century A. D.

In the second century, after Quintili’s

brother’s murder, the Villa became an Imperial residence and was completely transformed.

Today the archaeological remains cover an area of approximately 24 hectares. The archaeological remains provide evidence of the importance given by Romans to orientation of the buildings, and of the use of hypocausts for both Baths and residential building heating systems (fig. 6).

The construction of Diocletian Baths started at the end of the III century A. D. and lasted eight years. The Baths covered 13.5 hectares (376 meters X 361 meters) with one axis oriented southwest and northeast. During the "Solar Energy by studying Ancient Architecture"
laboratory, schoolchildren are invited to think about water consumption of the entire complex and then of the quantity of burning wood needed for water heating. They are taught about solar radiation captured by the large southwest oriented glass used to warm the caldarium, the warmest room of the entire complex. Today only one wall remains of the Caldarium and it is part of the “Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica”.

Fig. 7 — Diocletian Baths model

The laboratory "Solar Energy by studying Ancient Architecture" involved about 250 schoolchildren per year. It also raised interest in 20 schoolteachers, who attended training educational sessions on solar energy in 2003. These sessions were in part spent visiting the Triclinio invernale (winter triclinio) in Palazzo Massimo, where dark frescoes were placed in order to capture solar heat and in part spent at the Villa dei Quintili archaeological remains.


Fig. 6 — (left) Terracotta “tubuli” detail to circulate wood combustion gasses to warm the Villa’s room. View of hypocaust remains of the main reception room.

For the first time the archaeological sites were valorised during the visits also through the application of scientific and technical knowledge associated with the past solar architecture and technology.

2. Conclusions

"Solar Art and Solar Technologies" and "Solar Energy by studying Ancient Architecture" laboratory promoted by ISES ITALIA and the Educational Section of the State Superintendence of Archaeological Monuments in Rome involved from 2000 to 2004 roughly 1000 schoolchildren, 20 teachers and five archaeologists. For its innovative character and its special approach to solar education, the exhibition “Solar Art and Technologies" has been acknowledged among the 50 best projects of the "2001 Energy Globe Award."

The program has been continuously improved and has broadened its educational reach beyond schoolchildren. The experiences made at the archaeological sites from the energy

point of view lead to new research projects and initiatives on solar energy at the archaeological sites during the excavations, while exploring historical sources, and at the involved schools.

A seminar on »Solar energy and the built environment in past civilizations" will be held at the end of May 2004 to review historical sources and the most recent archaeological discoveries that have relation with solar architecture and technology. The seminar will also address the possible participation of historians and archaeologists in the history sessions planned at ISES 2005 (www.


Butti, K. and Perlin, J., A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology. Cheshire Books, Palo Alto, California, 1979.

Cantarella I. et al. "Il funzionamento delle terme. Un giorno a Pompei" Ed. Electa Napoli.

Clarke J. R., Seeing Rainbows Among the Ruines — Peter Erskine’s "New Light on Rome", Sculpture, September 2001, Vol. 20 No. 7.

Ferro P., “Solar art and solar technologies", Proceedings of the International Conference “World Sustainable Energy Day”, Wels, Austria, March 1-2, 2001

Ilsolea360gradi, Newsletter of ISES Italy, No. 7 Jul/Aug 2000, http://www. ilsolea360gradi. it/2000/luglio-agosto2000.htm

Paris R., “ViaAppia. La Villa dei Quintili“Electa, Rome, 2000

Silvi C., Secrets of the Sun — a Solar environmental artwork plays with light around the world, SunWorld, September 1992, Vol. 16 No. 3.

Tagliamone G., “Terme di Diocleziano “ Electa, Rome, 1998

Future energy issues as a topic for a Facharbeit

Subjects of particular interest for us as students are themes concerning our future life, the social and economical environment in which we will live. Here the problem of future energy is one of the most important ones. There are many different aspects of future energy issues that can be treated in a Facharbeit. Teachers may also help us to find our special topic of interest by offering several proposals.

I myself decided to write a Facharbeit about “Hydrogen as Energy Storage for the Future Electrical Energy Supply”. Additionally, specialised with further research, I worked out one part of it for deeper scientific inside, the "Production of Hydrogen from Ocean Water", for presentation in the competition "Jugend forscht".

1. Experiences

To write a “Facharbeit” has a lot of good sides, as mentioned above. But the experiences we students make on working on our Facharbeit are not only good ones.

The most problems in writing a “Facharbeit” result, when students deal with very new research topics. Most of the teachers do not know anything about such themes and have to learn with the students. This problem occurs extremely in future energy themes because at this time there is a fast innovative development in this area. The teacher’s knowledge is in most cases not sufficient and detailed enough to guide a Facharbeit on these topics without problems.

Here I want to report about my own experiences.

Employment trends in the RE sector

Regardless of the EU appearing not to be on track to meeting its targets[51], the European renewable energy industry is today one of the fastest growing industry sectors in the EU: it has reached a turnover of EUR 10 billion and employs some

200.0 people.

The renewable energy industry, because it is labour-intensive, creates employment at much higher rates than many other energy technologies. New research, industrial and craft jobs appear directly in R&D, production, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems. Backward linkages to other sectors triggering demand for technical RE expertise exist for consultancies, insurance companies and even law firms performing technical due diligence.

Predicting precisely the number of people to be trained is difficult. However, various projections for employment in the renewable energy industry have been made. Currently, around 85.000 jobs have been created in Europe in the field of wind energy alone.

According to estimations of the European Renewable Energy Council[52], by 2010, there will be 184.000 full time jobs in the wind sector, 338.000 in biomass, with

424.0 additional jobs for biofuels. Small hydro and geothermal power are expected to provide for 15.000 and 6.000 jobs respectively, while PV and solar thermal will employ another 30.000 and 70.000 people. This presents a total of over 1 million jobs for the RE sector by 2010, an impressive number that is to double for the new RE sector target of 20% by 2020!

Even if it is only a small proportion of these employees who require education at graduate level, it is clear that the demand for technical RE expertise is growing.

Specific skills profiles

Renewable energies cover a wide range of diversified technologies, and each energy has its specific skills and know-how requirements a general engineer does not automatically meet. How much does a biofuel expert have in common with a turbine developer? Even within one technology, such as PV, experts either focus on systems or on materials. Until recently, there was no university training to be found that went into sufficient depth to provide its graduates with the relevant expertise, and specific training was left to the employer.

Large and small systems

An on-grid solar hybrid system is expected to perform at considerably lower FCR than that of the fossil firing power plants, which feed the grid. Hence, renewable hybrid systems should not be recommended to run at a full annual load, unless generators with improved efficiencies are employed. For illustration, shown in the figure are three less steep, light dashed lines, which represent the use of CC of 60% for power generation only beyond the solar hours. Thus, the hybrid Rankine cycle will operate only at the solar regime (2000 hours), and the fossil fired Cc, only during the rest 6760 hrs of the year. In this illustration there is no integration between the CC and the Rankine cycle of the solar hybrid plant. They are separate. As expected, the FCR and GREF values with this arrangement come out better then before; and some environmental benefits (GREF) are kept for longer hours. The differences between the 3 modes are apparent. Other systems arrangements and operation modes and their related environmental benefits (as a function of the length of operation time) can be directly evaluated according to the system FCR and GREF by use of Figure 1.

The 60% level seems to offer a worthwhile standard for industrial and fast developing countries with advanced power systems and grids and availability of gas. On some cases relaxation of standards may be asked, such as for countries and regions without gas or particular constrains (distance from grid, low industrial readiness, or small system size). Thence the secondary standard of 40% may come to play. It represents many power plants which exist to day and which continue to spread worldwide. Whatever the standards taken for any GREF, it should always be transparent. It is obvious that a GREF related to a standard of 40% is numerically different from one related to a standard of 60%, which means also a difference in environmental contribution. The equations below quantify the GREF as a function of its specified standard and the conversion between different GREF outputs.

If a solar system is going to be added to an existing, off-grid diesel or Rankine-cycle generator at an isolated, remote site, it seems be reasonable to consider the new solar output as green energy (GREF=1), independently of the conversion efficiency of the existing generator. However, if we plan to install a new hybrid system, which includes a new fuel firing subsystem, it is mandatory to genuinely consider GREF and standards, in view of the global strategy for abating the global GHG (greenhouse gas). Implementation of the strategy requires frequent scrutiny of on-going decisions about variety of ways in using fuel. These
require the application of the yardsticks of FCR, GREF and CCA (cost of carbon avoidance, see below). Global strategy should encourage system refurbishment and installation of mini­grids at remote sites in order to enable improvement of generators efficiency. Fig. 1 and CCA (Equation 3) are useful for modelling off-grid solar hybrid systems as well.

The realisation of the project

It has been very important to inform local authorities of the Ursynow District about the project and its progress. In March 2003 the Mayor of the Ursynow District was officially informed about the project. He agreed to become a patron of the project and assist with planning approval etc.

In May the school was visited by the DEFRA representative to become familiar with the school, to understand the technical details of the project, to discuss the schedule and plans for realisation.

In June all parties of the project agreed the basic system concept and instrumentation needs and by July the plans were fully formulated. The final plan and designs of the solar system installation were approved by the Architecture, Construction and Planning Department of the local authority in July 2003.

After reviewing solar monitoring systems, equipement, tools and software available on the British and Polish market it was decided that Polish products would be used, thereby making the system easier to install and maintain (in its country of origin). It is also most important that the software is in Polish, which helps dissemination of the operating results. At the beginning of the project APAREL, a mechanical & electrical engineering company with experience in solar energy, served as a technical consultant to the project. Later another Polish company HEWALEX was also involved in the project, because of its very good experience in monitoring and visualisation of solar systems.

Partners agreed that HEWALEX would carry out the basic assembly of the solar system to the agreed design and provide the upgrading of the system. The upgrading of the system was concerned with introducing a second collector with its appropriate additional equipement . According to the initial plans presented in the proposal applied to DEFRA in 2002, this upgrading was planned to take place after completion of the project. However, during the construction of the solar system it turned out to be much better, for technical and economical reasons, to construct the full (upgraded) system with two solar collectors, at the same time.

HEWALEX is responsible for the maintenance of the solar system, including its monitoring equipement and visualisation system. Professional maintenance should avoid any technical problems during the system operation and ensure a long life for the system and its use in teaching renewable energy. HEWALEX also agreed to be responsible for the maintaince of the system (including electronics, control, instrumentation etc.) after completion of the project, for the first 3 years of operation.

In June, the partners of the project decided to equip the solar lab with 10 educational PV sets and not to install the PV on the roof (as per the original plan). The decision was made partly because of the complicated and expensive monitoring and visualisation system needed for PV but also because it enabled a much more direct ‘hands-on’ experience for the pupils.

In July the shipment of the solar equipment: the Suntube DP6-2800 solar collector and 10 PV educational kits took place. Installation of the main part of the water heating system was completed in August and the rest of the system together with the monitoring system in December. The visualisation system was installed between December 2003 and February 2004.

Now the "mini solar laboratory" is fully constructed and equipped with its measuring and monitoring system. The laboratory consists of two parts: an open — air laboratory on the roof and an indoor laboratory — inside the school building. On the roof there is a solar thermal system for providing hot water. Two types of solar collectors have been installed, a typical flat plate solar collector produced in Poland (by Hewalex) and vacuum solar collectors (sourced by Riomay). The two types of solar collectors installed on the school roof are shown in Fig. 2.

Fig.2 The outdoor part of the Mini solar Lab with two types of solar collectors and moveable construction

An antifreeze mixture circulates round the two closed loops of the solar collectors. Both solar collector systems have been linked to

one storage tank, one DHW system and a space heating system. A storage tank, a DHW system that supplies hot water only to the mini solar lab and a mini space heating system in a form of one radiator are located in the room of the solar Lab.

Having lessons in the solar lab pupils have the opportunity to see all of these elements and to watch the operating parameters of the system.

The complete system is connected to a computer and data logger for monitoring and experiments. The instrumentation is both ‘student-friendly’ and very professional. The solar systems have monitoring equipment linked to a PC which enables the pupils to measure chosen parameters, performance and efficiency and to change some of these parameters, therby influancing the operation of the system.

A very important issue for the pupils research work is to be able to influence the solar system operation. This influence is made not only through changes in the basic system parameters like the flow rate of the antifreeze mixture circulating through the solar loops, but also by changes of other parameters like the orientation and inclination of solar collectors. These parameters influance the amount of incident solar radiation on the solar collectors and in consequence on the available solar energy that is converted into heat and is used to warm up the hot water in the storage tank. The collector support construction is equiped with a mechanism that alows the orientation and inclination of the solar collectors to be changed through the automatic controll system which is managed
and controlled by the computer software. Pupils can change the orientation and inclination of solar collectors and learn about influence of these two parameters on the available solar energy. Because the solar system is equiped with two different solar collectors (flat plate and vacum collectors) it is possible to contrast and compare them simultaneously. The parameters of these two collectors, especially the temperature of the circulating fluids and their flows, the amount of useful solar energy gains and their efficiency can all be measured. Pupils can carry out a variety of different experiments, learning about the idea of a stochastic source of heat — solar radiation together with its proper utilisation.

In the last phase of the project: December 2003 — February 2004 the educational materials have been prepared by Polish and English partners and issued. There are teaching materials in the form of a booklet in the Polish language [3], leaflets in Polish, a poster and a Power Point presentation in English, which explain the principles of Solar Energy and other Renewables, the technology used, and the relevance to Poland.

The two PowerPoint presentations are on Solar Thermal and PV respectively. The Solar Thermal presentation first explains the need to use renewables and then explains the way the Sun moves in the sky and how it affects the available energy arriving at a collector. It then describes the construction of flat-plate and evacuated collectors and how their performance may be described by the HWB equation. A range of different solar projects, from single houses to power towers are pictured, and finally a small science project to build a solar cooker is suggested.

The PV presentation goes through the basic science and construction of PV’s describing some of the different types and their performance characteristics. There is information on how they are integrated into stand-alone or grid-linked systems, and many photographs of actual applications.

A school teacher who teaches physics and takes care of the Mini Solar Lab is a main person who is responsible for education in solar energy and other renewables at the school.


Now the project is near its end and the official opening ceremony of the Solar Mini Laboratory is scheduled for April 2004. We hope that the lab will teach hundreds of young people about solar energy. During the life of the system, many hundreds of future engineers, scientists and policy makers will have been exposed to a positive and realistic experience of renewable energy and will have the opportunity to learn about solar energy by theory and practice.

The laboratory is a special educational resource useful in teaching science and technology. It is expected that the school will organise presentations for other schools and exhibitions for the general dissemination of knowledge to the public. The laboratory is to be used not only by the school in consideration, but also by other schools which will be invited to have their solar lessons at the laboratory. In the main they will be schools from Warsaw, and especially schools from the area of Ursynow (where the school is located). This is the new district of Warsaw, with 200 000 inhabitants, of whom 60% constitute the younger generation.

The school will disseminate the idea of renewables and the results of the actual operation of a solar system through the school web-site. Under preperation there is a link from the school web-site to the monitoring and visualisation system of the solar instalation. Everybody who visits the school web-site and is interested in solar energy can see how the system operates and what the parameters of the system operation are. After agreement with the target school, Gimnazjum nr 4, other schools can use a special software key to influence the solar system operation. This means that they could have solar lessons without leaving their own school. The visualisation system was designed and implemented in a way that allows monitoring and analysis of the solar system not only by

the school pupils it is provided for but also by anyone interested (after agreement with a school), via a telephone link to the modem of the school PC.


1. Mironczuk J. Instalacja kolektorow stonecznych w szkole z basenem. Polska Energetyka Stoneczna. pp. 30-31. Nr 2/2003. PTES-ISES. Wyd. NOVA, Biatystok

2. Pietruszko S. M., Gradzki M. 1-kW PV system grid connected after two years of monitoring. Roceedings of the ISES Solar World Congress 2003, Goteborg, Sweden

3. Chwieduk D. Energia stoneczna. Publikacja edukacyjna dla szkot ponadpodstawowych. Warszawa 2004. Wyd. NOVA


Solar cell related education at the College of Engineering Budapest

Akos Nemcsics, College of Engineering Budapest, Tavaszmezo str. 17, H-1084 Budapest, e-mail: nemcsics. akos@kvk. bmf. hu

Solar cell related courses which have already been in progress for six years at the College of Engineering Budapest are presented in this work. The education is structured into theoretical, experimental and applicational items are introduced. We are preparing for the paradigma change of technology in our education. The ecological applications of the solar cells are emphasized. Finally, the topics related to Technical Ecology are described.

Enviromental Protection and the Solar Cells

The education of the solar cells has been in progress for already six years at the College of Engineering Budapest. The development of enviromental and ecological view of our students is stressed in our College [1, 7]. Our students are acquainted with ecological constructions, energy efficient structures, the possibility of exploiting renewable energy sources. The material science and microelectronics are emphasized in the subject-matter of engineering instruction. We are dealing with solar energy converter semiconductor devices and their applications during a whole semester [1, 2].

In the first part of the semester we are dealing with the different kinds of solar cell structures. In our opinion a change of paradigma will occur in the solar cell production in the near future. We are preparing to this change of paradigma with our education with the help of reading scientific literature and with the participation in the research. The second part of the semester is dealing with the application of the solar cell. We are dealing with the mechanical, electrical installation of the solar cells. The students study this subject with enthusiasm and kindly choose to deal with solar cells as their thesis topic. Four to eight theses are made yearly in the topic of solar cells. Finally, here will be presented our solar cell related laboratory in the College.

The present situation of renewable energy sector in Poland

Since 1990’s the share of RES in global energy production in Poland has been slowly increasing. At the moment, the basic sources of renewable energy are biomass and hydropower. Geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy are of lower significance.

In 2001 Poland’s total primary energy supply was 90.57 Mtoe, of which 4.5 % or 4.08 Mtoe was produced from RES.

A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002 is given in table 3 [18], which shows total primary energy supply and electricity production, a contribution of renewable energy to total supply and electricity production in quantities and %.

Solid biomass and biogas are the largest RES. The second largest source is hydropower. Geothermal and wind energy are of lesser significance. The contribution of solar energy to total energy supply is still very marginal, but growing interest can be observed. Table 4 presents the respective contribution of different renewables [18,19,20], including solar energy for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production.

Table 3. A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002








































































Renewables do not include industrial waste, non-renewable municipal solid waste and pimped storage production.

Electricity generation = gross production — amount of electricity produced in pumped storage plants.

Table 4. Contribution of RES for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production




































102 056















Geothermal Heat Pumps







Solar Thermal


10 980 m2







Biomass may be utilised in direct combustion processes in a solid and gaseous form and processed into liquid fuels. The current number of wood-fired installations is estimated at over 100,000 units, which includes small wood gasification boilers, in which wood may be combusted as an alternative fuel with coal, and also larger scale industrial boilers in the pulp and paper industry. Furnaces for burning straw and hay are also used, and energy producing willow plantations are being developed. Biogas is generated at waste disposal sites and in sewage treatment plants. Utilisation of biomass and biogas is more and more important and more profitable.

Water energy plants in Poland (both state and private ones) supply around 2000 GWh of energy per year including mini energy plants at the level of 1 GWh. A few hundred small energy plants operating on Polish rivers produce energy on a local scale.

Wind energy production is developing but is facing a difficult start, one of the reasons being that plants can be built mainly along the Baltic coast with the most suitable conditions along the central coast, where the wind is the strongest.

In recent years the possibilities of using geothermal waters for heating purposes have been investigated. A quarter of the country’s area has good conditions for the construction of installations that would utilise the warmth of the soil. The resources of geothermal waters can be found mainly in the Polish lowlands, particularly from Szczecin to Lodz, in Mazowsze and rich in geo-thermal waters is the area of Podhale.

The greatest technical potential is to be found in solar radiation. Even though solar energy is the least appreciated source of energy, we can observe growing interests in this field and encouraging examples of solar installations are being constructed in some places in Poland.