Bachelor in Floating Solar Energy with Irish Company
– We saw the opportunity to collaborate and agreed to make a bachelor project to connect Western Norway University (HVL) students to the ongoing work of SolarMarine Energy in Ireland, says Alan Henry.
Dr. Alan Henry is specialising in floating solar and is leading a joint venture project with SolarMarine Energy Ltd and University College Cork, which is funded by the Marine Institute in Ireland. He has now signed up three students from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) to write their bachelor thesis for SolarMarine Energy Ltd in Ireland. The players first met in September, at the annual International Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy Conference in Florø.
Alan gave a speech about floating solar at the conference and connected with Associate Professor Velaug Myrseth and some of her students. – We saw the opportunity to collaborate and agreed to make a bachelor project to connect Western Norway University students to the ongoing work of SolarMarine Energy in Ireland”, Alan Henry says.
The bachelor is multidisciplinary and connects ocean, energy and the hydrogen industries. Topics will focus on design and safety standards for hydrogen plants, collaboration with technical suppliers and making a prototype system design for hydrogen production from floating solar energy.
The project also involves the design of a floating solar energy platform that can withstand the wind and wave loads for deployment at nearshore locations. Investment budget is also part of the bachelor. – Hydrogen as an energy carrier will be a part of future energy systems. We are really keen to get started on our bachelor and to collaborate with Alan Henry in Ireland, says the students Sindre Sandøy, Henrik Min Torsvik and Johannes Grov. The three students will start their work in January 2020.
New Hydrogen Class
Floating solar power is emerging as one of the major future energy sources. There are lots of spaces available for energy production on inland waters, coastal areas and at sea, using floating solar panels.
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has developed a new class named Hydrogen Technology for engineering students. Associate Professor Velaug Myrseth Oltedal has developed the class and is responsible for giving lessons and organising the teaching.
- We have had enquiries from hydrogen players in Norway and identified a need for educating students within hydrogen technology, says Velaug Myrseth Oltedal. - We are proud to be the first university in Norway to offer a class on hydrogen technology. The class has been developed in close collaboration with the industry and the students have been very engaged. We really appreciate that industrial players have been willing to contribute by sharing their knowledge and experience, which has resulted in three bachelor projects within hydrogen technology, Myrseth Oltedal ends.
A unique development project in floating solar is being managed by Dr. Alan Henry who is both Senior Research Engineer at University College Cork and R&D Manager at SolarMarine Energy Ltd in Ireland.
This is the first Front End Engineering Design (FEED) project in the world that looks at how to use floating solar energy as the primary power source for a water electrolysis plant to produce 100% green hydrogen.
Many industries that use hydrogen are located close to water areas, for example oil and gas refineries and ferries, so it makes financial sense to produce green hydrogen as close as possible to the end user. The development of an extensive hydrogen supply chain is critical for the future roll-out of hydrogen across the transport and industrial sectors. Floating solar energy can make a major contribution.
Conference Hot Spot
This year our International Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy conference brought together 160 persons from 19 countries. - In addition to the formal programme, we were happy to observe all the meetings taking place during the conference, says Trond Strømgren, Ocean Technology Innovator at GCE Ocean Technology.
– This shows that the Florø venue has become a global meeting point for maritime hydrogen and marine energy players. And when students meet industry and collaboration kicks off, that is promising for the future, Strømgren adds. The next conference will take place 14-15 October 2020.
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