Student story: keeping warm! Leanda learns about solar thermal

Home » Student story: keeping warm! Leanda learns about solar thermal


I didn’t get around to writing a blog for the single Photovoltaic (PV) module that I attended. At this stage of the course it appears that ‘life’ tends to catch up with you. Some fellow students have been caught up to a much greater extent than I have, and are having to extend their studies by in effect going part-time; finishing final modules in the next academic year. It’s good to choose a course with that sort of flexibility as ‘life’ has a habit of doing strange things to you!

The single Photovoltaic module had such a good vibe to it. There were a number of students that were on their last module (where has the time gone?) and the weather, for once, was absolutely stunning. It would have been really sad to say good-bye to them but I’ll be seeing most of them again as we’ve organised ‘Tony Fest’, a camping trip to one of the student’s organic sheep farm, in a few weekends time. It’s going to be a brilliant weekend and I can’t wait.

I’ve definitely made friends for life on this course. These are some of the only people in the world that I can talk to about environmental issues without their eyes glazing over and rolling to the heavens above. I have truly loved the conversations that we have had while sitting in the pub at the end of a long day, bouncing ideas off of each other. It has been an inspiring place to come to.

I’ve decided to do the double Solar Thermal summer module as opposed to the double Photovoltaics, as I strongly believe that Solar Thermal will take over from the dominance of Photovoltaics once the government incentives have hit home. It’s a much more effective way of producing energy compared with PVs – which can only be good for the environment.

The groups split down into smaller groups and set up their own individual Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic experiments which have a number of data loggers recording data that will be analysed to ascertain the most efficient way to configure the set-up of the rigs. We will have a group presentation to do next module on our findings.

I love the freedom to choose modules that I believe are more interesting and important in the renewable energy arena. People do complete modules as stand-alone CPDs but I have found that each renewable energy option has advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed up in the context of other renewables. Your fingers will end up in a load of different pots to address the original renewable energy issue.

I’m firmly in the naughty seat for not having finalised my Thesis topic yet, so I’m back at home and having to put ‘life’ to one side while I sort that out.