|Category: General News, Workforce||Comments Open|
|Tags: conservation, engineering students, grant, green, Solar panels, workforce development|
In a few weeks, students at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) will mount solar panels on top of storage containers to generate renewable energy that will power lighting and charge batteries for the College’s motorcycle safety program. Once construction is complete, TNCC will hold a small demonstration showcasing this affordable and practical way to collect, store and use solar energy.
This innovative project supports energy conservation while providing students with hands-on experience. Computer-Assisted Drafting and Design (CADD) students will design the structure, and Engineering Technology students will research peak load, calculating battery storage capacity and orientation as well as handle installing and wiring the batteries. “The project prepares students for green careers. When they leave our program, they can say to a prospective employer, ‘I have done the job. I actually built a solar project,’” said Deborah Lichniak, a TNCC engineering professor.
The solar project is funded by the Greenforce Initiative, a two-year project started in 2010 by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) to strengthen the capacity of community colleges to develop, enhance or refine green career pathway programs and to spur innovation.