College of Engineering Educational Solar Panels

Project Title: College of Engineering's Educational Solar Panels

Project Lead's Name: Zackary Burton

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 440-525-1101

Project Lead's Division: CEC

Primary Department: ECE

Other Team Members and their emails: Dr. Mark Scott,

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: All CEC departments

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 115

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 2

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: Engineering Students and Talawanda students do not have access to real-world STEM applications until they enter the field, by having access to that we will inspire students to further their education in the STEM field from middle school students to graduate students. I will make a small solar panel array that will be used by the club Engineers Without Borders at Miami. If Engineers Without Borders students know more about solar panels they could then work more with them in Uganda. We will not only let members use the solar panels but also show middle school students that come for Talawanda Day how it works. Talawanda Day is where we bring students to Miami from Talawanda middle school to show them science experiments, making them interested in the STEM field and Miami University. Other Engineering students will be able to sign out the solar panels to use with permission by EWB, Dr. Scott or me.

Dr. Scott will use this in his classes (ECE 301 and ECE 493) and use it for research that I will assist him in. Students may also use it for their capstones.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: The solar panels will be split into two portable stands with two panels on each stand also wheels will be built on the bottom. The panels can be set at different angles. Combined they will produce 1.2kW of energy. The energy will be converted to power a pump demonstration and other small electronics. this demonstration will spark the interest of Miami students and Talawanda students.

How will you assess the success of the project: Has enrollment in CEC/ECE gone up?

A survey will be sent out to students that use the solar panels to determine the following if it correlates to them.

  1. Are the solar panels being used for research and learning opportunities by all levels of students?
  2. Are students understanding the safety of solar panels and how they actually work?
  3. Are Talawanda students getting a basic understanding of Solar Panels?

Financial Information

Total Amount Requested: $6,830

Budget Details: The budget will be split into three categories. One for building the setup for the four solar panels, next some of the budget will be used for demonstration purposes and lastly, the rest of the budget will be paid to the student who builds the setup.

Is this a multi-year request: No

Please address how, if at all, this project aligns with University,  Divisional, Departmental or Center strategic goals: The University is trying to have a zero carbon footprint and by educating students on renewable energy we can achieve this goal.