Category Archives: EuroSun2008-9

Goals to reach and steps to take

Despite the Energy Saving and Renewable Energy Law of the Republic of Armenia (2004) states about the importance of education in renewable energy no real steps in developing academic programmes as well as training efforts is made so far. It is obvious that renewable energy education is a complex programme that comprises introduction of special academic disciplines for students, training of professionals, consumer education, public awareness programmes, workshops and seminars for decision makers, etc.

Children, for instance, easily understand and accept the concept of renewable energy as it is something they can see and is the technology that is harmonized with the nature. Thus, renewable energy education at primary schools is essential in building green mentality and seeding for interest in further studies and professional orientation.

While there is a broad appreciation of the need for energy and environmental education, some countries are actively pursuing teaching activities in this area. One should expect that with increasing pressures of fossil fuel scarcity and adverse environmental impacts of their use,

Armenia should make efforts towards providing renewable energy and environmental education too. Introducing relevant inputs into the undergraduate level courses in universities have not been taken seriously so far. Educational programmes at higher level do not give adequate coverage to the subject of energy. At bachelor’s level, courses in engineering includes elements of power generation, and cover mainly conventional sources of energy. Universities at both undergraduate and graduate levels will need to emphasize concept of renewable energy in various disciplines like physics, chemistry, power and electric engineering, as well as mechanical and civil engineering, economics and environmental studies. This will help graduates to be engaged in project

developments, energy system integration, energy audits, system integrations and manufacturing as well as energy economics and planning. Universities will need to get into research activities in renewable energy technologies to meet demands for sustainable development and for solutions to replace conventional energy sources focusing on wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells, biofuel and other technologies. Academic programmes with focus on environmental management will need to cover aspects of energy conservation. For electrical and power engineers, agriculture professionals specialized in rural development, builders and architects involved in new construction design skills are necessary for adding installation, maintenance, service, and creation of sustainable energy technologies to their businesses. There is a need to expand the courses and more extensive coverage be given to energy planning and management, technologies, environmental considerations, renewable energy resources and technical system, etc. Projects and research should be undertaken on renewables by students at graduate and postgraduate level.

The availability of educated and trained people at all levels and in all engineering disciplines is a crucial factor for the successful implementation of any programme towards sustainable use of energy, as well as preserving the environment. It is, therefore, suggested that a comprehensive plan for training manpower in the field of renewable energy technologies may be prepared by the concerned institutions or businesses; and training requirements should vary from resource to resource.

Education is a way to get public to understand the renewable energy technologies and how to benefit of it. Lack of awareness among consumers is certainly a barrier to adopt the renewables. Although many consumers consider renewable energy as a right technology providing them with facts and information can help them in making decision. Most of the farmers and rural community developers are not literate and have no knowledge of these technologies either. Thus, the goal should be a campaign to raise consumer awareness which will support and promote dissemination of renewable technologies.

A number of pilot projects in Armenia show that the grant programmes, in this regard, encourages adoption of renewables. On the other hand, adoption of new technology often requires a mental shift. This mental shift is often just as important as any lifestyle shift required. Social marketing involves social change, an intangible product. There are stages to adoption of social change. It takes time and the right approach to accomplish the desired changes. A campaign should target the appropriate audience, the message should be sufficiently motivating, the campaign should be well funded, and individuals or groups that are targeted should be given a way to respond constructively; the campaign should present target adopters with inducements to act now [12].

It is possible to change consumer attitude when public awareness campaign is well planned and implemented effectively. Simply the consumers should have the right information to make right decision. A good example is a Renewable Energy Program implemented by the California Energy Commission. In the beginning of the programme consumers were uncertain about renewable energy. After four years, a survey showed that more than 65 percent of those surveyed are familiar with renewable energy systems and more than 50 percent would be willing to pay more for a home already equipped with solar or wind technology [12]. Thus, increasing consumer awareness is the key to support renewable energy technologies and promote their adoption.

Finally, the government decision makers carry the responsibility in energy sector development planning and getting them understand the importance of independent and clean energy is key in supporting and promoting renewable energy in Armenia.

It is of nation’s and state’s interest to have renewables significantly contribute in total energy mix of the country. Certain steps will need to be taken to achieve this goal. Key educational aspects and considerations in this respect should be the following:

• start building green energy mentality at schools by introducing mandatory classes on basics of renewables

• develop educational programs to give adequate coverage of the subject at bachelor’s and master’s level at academic institutions

• educate and train manpower to ensure development of the technologies through various stages (resource assessment, design and manufacturing, installation, generation, O&M, end-users) in efficient and economical manner

• conduct awareness programs and provide expertise for government and financing institutions regarding sustainability of renewable energy

• educate the public and consumers about the near and long-term applications and benefits of renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency

• develop networking opportunities for renewable energy educators, researchers, advocates and business people, and support in establishing training centres and partnership with advanced technological institutions and universities abroad

• support legislative initiatives for alternative energy technologies education

• involve international donor institutions in public awareness campaigns and rural community development to support and promote renewable energy technologies

• conduct seminars workshops for NGOs, businesses, government officials, conduct intellectual competitions and games at schools, and involve mass-media in public awareness campaigns and public education.

2. Conclusion

Armenia’s energy sector is heavily dependent on imported fuel and risks associated with this. This has significant impact on the country’s energy independence and energy security. Development of indigenous renewable energy source is a key for the country’s sustainable development. However, development of renewable energy faces with challenges one of which is lack of knowledge about the benefits renewable energy technologies can offer and popper education at all levels.

Renewable energy education becomes imperative for Armenia. It should start from schools, be taught at universities, as well as be comprehended by public, relevant professionals and statesmen. Introductory classes in schools and both no-degree and degree classes in universities, public awareness and decision-makers training programs will help in understanding technologies, and utilizing the country’s indigenous and sustainable energy resources. Training packages are effective tools for improving capabilities and skills and need to be developed, primarily, for the following target groups: designers, manufacturers, builders, technicians and system operators. Dissemination of renewable energy technologies needs public awareness and understanding. Awareness programme in the form of pilot projects should be promoted further. Awareness campaign on various types of renewable energy technologies should also be promoted through mass-media, public debates and even school quiz competitions. People are used to fossil fuel-based energy resources and switching over to renewable energy will not be an easy task. In order to achieve the desired objective, public have to be informed about the finite nature of fossil fuel, cost of imported fuel, energy dependency risks and adverse impact on the environment, and how they can benefit from the use of renewable energy sources. The state should set goals and develop

strategy to achieve these goals for the interest of the people and the country. Going for imperative

in education is one of such goals.


[1] “Biogas: What it is, how it is generated and how to use it”. Union of Greens of Armenia. Yerevan, 1993 (in Armenian)

[2] “We and our Planet: Renewable Energy”. Khazer Ecological-Cultural NGO. Yerevan, 2005 (in Armenian)

[3] “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Education Workshop”. Advanced Engineering Associates International/USAID. Yerevan, July 2002

[4] “Renewable Energy. Methodological Manual”. Ministry of Education of the Republic of Armenia. Yerevan, 2004 (in Armenian).

[5] “Building Renewable Energy Markets: A Public Education Strategy For State Clean Energy Funds”. Lyn Rosoff, Chris Colbert, February 2002

[6] “Education Quality and Economic Growth”. E. A. Hanushek, L. Wossmann. World Bank, Washington DC, 2007

[7] “Endogenous Growth Theory”. Aghion Philippe and Peter Howitt. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1998.

[8] “Natural Resource, Education, and Economic Development”. Thorvaldur Gylfason. Center for Economic Policy Research, ISSN 0265-8003, October 2000

[9] “Renewable Energy Education Proliferates”. Stephani L. Miller. ARCHITECT Magazine,

November, 2007

[10] “Energy Crisis? What energy crisis? It’s time to think differently”. Power Engineering International, June 2008

[11] “Renewable Energy Consumer Education Marketing Plan”. California Energy Commission, February 1999

[12] “Renewable energy consumer program”. Scott Cronk, Lynette Esternon. California Energy Commission, 2002

Experimental set-up

As advanced, the device developed to have a practical approach to the above described topics consists on three main components: a variable light source, a load simulator and a set of monocrystalline solar cells. In addition to these main components, the kit is completed by a solarimeter and two general purpose electrical multimeters. Any elementary spreadsheet software is can be used for data analysis and graphic representations.


The light source is constituted by fifteen identical wells containing an incandescent lamp. The lamps are connected to the mains by a box, including corresponding fifteen switches and a feeding power selector. Each well is designed to allocate a 2V monocrystalline cell at the top (Figure 5). Every cell is illuminated by the lamp at the bottom, being the value of irradiance at the top of the well determined by the solarimeter prior the experiment.

Fig. 5 Main box structure and views of cells arrangement in the proposed device

Using the load simulator, the characteristic curve of each cell is drawn once irradiance is known. The load simulator is a potentiometer connected to the positive and negative poles of the cell [5]. The corresponding cell voltage and current are measured for different values of potentiometer resistance ranging from the short circuit to the open circuit situations. The table of experimental I-V pairs allows the graphical representation of characteristic curve for each value of irradiance. All the cells have free terminals that can be further interconnected by the use of available cables according to a selected series-parallel configuration. Once cells are interconnected, the corresponding lamps are switch-on and the curve of the complete generator can be obtained.

The curves for shaded cells in modules can be studied after simultaneous load simulation on cells (series or parallel connected) placed on wells with their corresponding lamps switched-off or regulated to a lower electrical feeding.

Rewriting Italian solar energy history

The past, the present and the future are inseparable fields for research and study in any area of human activity. Italy’s Archive on the History of Solar Energy is already providing new insights regarding the contributions made by Italian pioneers of the 19th and 20th centuries, which continue to play a role in modern or future solar energy.

For example, the archives of Giacomo Ciamician (chemist), Gaetano Vinaccia (architect and city- planner), and Giovanni Francia (mathematician) contain information that show how their pioneering work can also today be an inspiring source for researchers and scholars. Their pioneering ideas, including details that have never been published or were otherwise overlooked, can be found in a letter or in a private note, in a project or in drawings. These ideas can contribute to view Italian solar energy history in a new light.


Fig. 5 . Drawings of a large Linear Fresnel Reflector Solar Power Plant integrated in a city designed by Francia in 1965 circa (Francia Archive donated by his heirs).



Fig. 6 . Vinaccia’s 1939 book cover “The Path of the Sun in Urban Planning and Building Construction.” (Vinaccia Archive donated by his heirs).


2. Conclusion

The solar archives collection put together so far shows that in Italy there have been scientists who made original and unique contributions to the understanding and application of modern or future solar energy long before the first oil shock of 1973, such as Ciamician, Vinaccia, and Francia.

They were internationally acknowledged for their work, although they were soon forgotten after their death. Italy’s Archive on Solar Energy History should contribute to rediscover the work of these and other pioneers to the benefit of, first and foremost, researchers and scholars, but also many other professionals interested in the advancement of solar energy science, technology, and application.

6. Acknowledgements

In writing this paper I had the benefit of accounts from and contacts with many people. I would like to thank in particular M. Martelli, R. Merola, G. Nebbia, P. P. Poggio, E. Terenzoni, and the heirs of G. Francia, D. Gasperini, F. Grassi, V. Storelli and G. Vinaccia.


[1] C. Silvi, Can the History of Energy Technology and Use educate us for a Solar Energy future? The Italian Case, ISREE-9 Proceedings, ISES SWC 2003, Goteborg (Sweden); Italian version ‘Frammenti di storia dell’energia solare in Italia’ at www. gses. it 2008.

[2] Stanford Research Institute for AFASE, Applied Solar Energy Research: A Directory of World Activities and Bibliography of Significant Literature, Burda E. J. (Ed), Stanford, California, 1955.

[3] G. Righini and G. Nebbia, L’energia solare e le sue applicazioni (Solar energy and its application). Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1966.

[4] H. Rau, L’energia solare (Solar energy). Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Verona, 1964.

[5] C. Silvi, Nasce a Brescia l’Archivio nazionale sulla storia dell’energia solare (Italy’s Archive on Solar Energy History launched in Brescia), Italia Energia, 2006; www. gses. it 2008.

[6] R. Merola, M. Martelli, Fonti per la storia dello sfruttamento dell’energia solare conservate presso l’Archivio Centrale dello Stato (Archival sources for the history of solar energy preserved at Central State Archive), Seminar “I pionieri dell’energia solare incontrano le nuove generazioni (Solar energy pioneers meet new generations)”, Rome (Italy), April 4, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[7] E. Terenzoni, Fonti per la ricerca storica sull’energia solare negli archivi italiani: strumenti di lavoro e ricerca (Archival sources and tools for historical research in Italy on solar energy), Seminar “I pionieri dell’energia solare incontrano le nuove generazioni (Solar energy pioneers meet new generations)”, Rome (Italy), April 4, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[8] P. P. Poggio, Il ruolo della memoria sull’energia solare (History’s role in solar energy), Seminar “I pionieri dell’energia solare incontrano le nuove generazioni (Solar energy pioneers meet new generations)”, Rome (Italy), April 4, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[9] G. Azzoni, Il museo dell’energia idroelettrica. Dalla goccia alla scintilla (The Museum of Hydroelectricity. From the drop to the spark), Rivista AB Atlante bresciano n.95 estate 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[10] C. Silvi, The work of Italian solar energy pioneer Giovanni Francia (1911 — 1980), Proceedings ISES SWC 2005; www. gses. it 2008.

[11] C. Silvi, Storia e attualita del fondo Giovanni Francia (1911 — 1980) (History and current events associated with Giovanni Francia Archive, Seminar ‘L’archivio di Giovanni Francia e il solare termico a concentrazione (Giovanni Francia Archive and concentrating solar thermal)’, at Fondazione Luigi Micheletti and Museo dell’Industria e del Lavoro "Eugenio Battisti, Brescia, May 15, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[12] G. Nebbia, Giovanni Francia: un breve ricordo (A brief remembrance of Giovanni Francia), Seminar ‘L’archivio di Giovanni Francia e il solare termico a concentrazione (Giovanni Francia Archive and concentrating solar thermal)’, at Fondazione Luigi Micheletti and Museo dell’Industria e del Lavoro "Eugenio Battisti, Brescia, May 15, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[13] C. Silvi, Solar Building Practices and Urban Planning in the Work of Gaetano Vinaccia (1889 — 1971), Poster presentation, Proceedings International Solar Cities Congress, Oxford, 2006; www. gses. it 2008.

[14] C. Silvi, Remembering the founder of ISES ITALIA, ISES Newsletter December 2005.

[15] C. Silvi, La storia della pompa Somor e dei suoi inventori (The story of Somor pump and its inventors), Poster exhibition at “La Fiera del Sole”, Osnago, May 15 — 18, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

[16] M. Venturi, V. Balzani, M. T. Gandolfi, Fuels From Solar Energy. A Dream of Giacomo Ciamician,

The Father of Photochemistry, Proceedings ISES SWC 2005; www. gses. it 2008.

[17] G. Nebbia, G. B. Kauffman, Prophet of Solar Energy: A Retrospective View of Giacomo Luigi Ciamician (1857-1922), the Founder of Green Chemistry, on the 150th Anniversary of His Birth, Chem. Educator 2007, 12, 362-369; www. gses. it 2008.

[18] G. Nebbia, La ricerca storica sullo sviluppo dell’energia solare (History research on the development of solar energy), Seminar “I pionieri dell’energia solare incontrano le nuove generazioni (Solar energy pioneers meet new generations)”, Rome (Italy), April 4, 2008; www. gses. it 2008.

Towards A Large Solar Energy Footprint

Walid El Baba

Lebanon Solar Energy Society

1- Purpose of the works

It is important in our area and mainly in Lebanon where there is more than 300 sunny days yearly to develop a large solar energy foot print through a wide cultural change according to age group together with a large awareness campaign at a national level. Information dissemination and awareness equipment/projects constitute an essential part of this work to sustain the Renewable Energy Technologies in Lebanon and in the world.

2- Methodology

We can divide the age groups in 4 categories:

1st group: 12 — 15 years old (students in secondary schools)

2nd group: 15 — 20 years old (Technical schools)

3rd group: 20 — 25 years old (Students-Engineers)

4th group: above 25 years old (Engineers, installers, industrials etc…)

Method and results

For a better representation, only 4 cells have been selected to be interconnected. The undertaken experiments were the following:

Подпись: 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 V (Volts.)

After settling the same illumination level in each cell lamp, individual cells characteristic curve was generated by potentiometer method to evaluate the observed differences in shape and basic cell parameters. As result (Figure 6), intrinsic mismatch phenomenon became evident, showing this set of 4 cells a maximum difference in short circuit current of 30 mA and 0,14 Volts in open circuit voltage (average mismatch 2,5 %)

Fig 6. Schematic arrangement for individual cell curves generation and results for 4 selected cells

The interconnection modes here considered were a 4 cell series combination (4s) and a 2 combinations of 2 series cell junction parallel combination (2s-2p). By the potentiometer method, curves for the reference illumination level in all the cells were again obtained, in this case, for each complete generator. Table 1 and Figure 7 summarizes the obtained results.

Table 1. Obtained basic parameters for individual cells and combinations.


Isc (Amps.)




















Подпись: 1st International Congress on Heating, Cooling, and Buildings - 7th to 10th October, Lisbon - Portugal / 0 2 4 6 8 10 V (Volts.)
Подпись: 0 1 2 3 4 5 V (Volts.)

Fig. 7 Characteristic curve for 4s (left) and 2s-2p (right) interconnections

Among other results, as the current/voltage addition laws verification, it must be highlighted how the worst mismatched cell in the series interconnection (#3) determines the short circuit current of the whole generator, as expected according theoretical basis.

To study the mismatching due to partial shadowing of interconnected elements in the PV generator, the above 4s cells configuration has been selected. Shadowing of one of the series cells has been provoked by lowering the electrical feed to the lamp of one of the cells (Figure 8).


Fig. 8 Experimental arrangement for the study of mismatch effect provoked by partial generator shadowing

In this situation, potentiometer was used to draw corresponding load curves either for the complete mismatched generator and the shadowed cell. Figure 9 includes the obtained results as well as the corresponding curve for the no partially shadowed 4 cells series combination.

As result, in short circuit conditions, mismatched 4 cells generator is clearly affected by the lower current yield of shadowed cell, which determines the maximum current of the whole set, whereas open circuit voltage maintains its value. In this case, the reduction in generators parameters reach up to 35 % because mismatch degree has a higher value as usual in externally caused cells unbalance.

1st International Congress on Heating, Cooling, and Buildings — 7th to 10th October, Lisbon — Portugal /


Fig. 9 Obtained curve for partially shadowed generator and for mismatched cell

Regarding the electrical characteristics of mismatched cell under this situation, Figure 9 also clearly show how this cell is affected by a reverse biased current coming from the rest of the cells generator. The used illumination levels and cell number in this experiment have been set to preserve mismatched cell integrity.

3. Conclusions

This work describes an experimental arrangement developed at UAL aimed to serve as educational tool in courses and lessons on PV generators performance and the study of specific effects as the mismatch loses in modules or arrays. All the components of the device are low cost and easily available in most of the university laboratories and the results of the experiences curves can be immediately related to the theory. As future improvements, cells temperature follow-up, specific light source use and safety diodes study will be considered.


[1] Kaushika N. D. and A. K. Rai, Energy 32-5 (2007) 755-759.

[2] Alonso-Garcia M. C., J. M. Ruiz and F. Chenlo, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 90-3 (2006) 329-340.

[3] Kaushika Narendra D, Guatam Nalin K. Energy yield simulations of interconnected solar PV arrays. IEEE Trans Energy Convers 2003;18(1):127—34.

[4] Woyte A., J. Nijs and R. Belmans; Solar Energy 74-3 (2003) 213-217.

[5] Osterwald C. R. (2003) Standards, Calibration and Testing of PV Modules and Solar Cells, in Markvart T. and L. Castaner (Eds.) Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics: Fundamentals and Applications. pp. 793-856. Elsevier, Oxford.