Physics without borders

Experimental workshops based on solar energy

The topic of solar energy is a particularly good base for experimental physics discovery workshops. Arouna Darga, from Sorbonne Université, France, has recently experienced this twice.

I went to Guinea in early December 2019 to participate in the African Science Week of the Next Einstein Forum, organized by Alpha Kabinet Keita.

At the Gamal Abdel Nasser University in Conakry, I led a workshop on the design of photovoltaic solar modules using silicon-based solar cells that I had bought on eBay (30 euros for 20 large cells).

The workshop went very well with more than 60 students attending (we turned people away), in electrical engineering degree. Given the large number of students, I had to split them into 2 groups and work on the theory (assembly line, basic electricity, cell technology...). Then each group designed a module of 10 cells, i.e. 50 Watts peak.

A second workshop in Senegal

The students were really motivated! It was incredible!

This experiment confirmed my idea to set up the first "Experiment action" workshop around solar energy.

I did a second test in Saint Louis, Senegal, in February 2020 during the conference on solar energy on solar energy.

Experiments Actions Affiche

A project that should be generalized

An idea of project would be that students build (depending on the level of studies, it could be assembly) a lighting system based on solar modules, which they could build themselves, with the need to have resin or another gel for protection, leds (I found a led bulb at 1 euro on Amazon), regulation components and batteries.

Moreover, this is perfectly in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

The built lamps would be offered to primary school children from the surrounding villages.

To perpetuate the action, my company, DARGATECH could develop these kits and make them available to schools or universities that would like to set up the workshop with Physique Sans Frontières.

An Indian colleague has developed a similar workshop model. I contacted him to see how we could collaborate. But I think our approaches would be different.

Arouna Darga, Senior Lecturer, Sorbonne Université, Paris


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