One of the courses we have in the third semester is ‘Building Integrated Solar Energy Systems’ where we learn about solar heating by solar collectors and photovoltaic panels (PV) for electricity production. As part of the course, we have two laboratory sessions for both systems each including three experiments in A-building in Lund and I want to show you a little bit more about what we do in these sessions.
In both lab, there is a lab assistant who introduces us the topic and the aim of the study. Then we, as groups of 2-3 people, prepare the environment for the experiments, carry out the study and discuss our results with each other and the assistant.
To give an example, during the first lab regarding solar thermal, we analysed the efficiency of the system as well as different materials and their effects on the system.
For me the second lab, PV lab, was much more interesting and required more hands-on experience. We had to work with circuits in series and parallel and change resistances to see how voltage and current differ. In order to collect data from measurement tools and do further calculations, we utilized some software in lab computers and summed up our results in 3-4-page report after each lab.
This may seem very technical, but once you do it by yourself, everything is clearer in your mind and you can easily connect the labs with the lectures. It is quite exciting to practice what we learn at theoretical lectures and apply them in real life.