A guest blog by our interns Hannah and Mia on their experiences of working with us this summer.
As two people keen to take our first steps in the renewables industry, we were delighted to do this through a summer internship offered by Your Energy Your Way.
So what did we learn?
It was decided that the best way of familiarising ourselves with renewables would be to jump in with the design process and having a go for ourselves.
We were introduced to two software packages – one which is used to perform heat loss calculations to help determine what heat pump is required for a particular property, and the other to design solar PV systems. This gave us a basic idea of how Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) and solar PV systems function. We used this knowledge to move on to designing actual systems that people would be able to use in real life homes and workplaces. We both found it so inspiring to help our projects go through the design and costing process, before seeing the results as they were installed and handed over to the new owners.
We especially enjoyed shadowing a technician who was servicing ASHPs for a few days. This helped us to translate what we had learnt in the office into practical skills, and as a bonus, find out more about general heating systems than we had anticipated! Other highlights included learning exactly how Air Source Heat Pumps work and we enjoyed the lovely breeze the heat pump generated on a boiling summers day – although apparently this isn’t quite so pleasant in the middle of winter!
Towards the end of the summer, there was the opportunity to install a solar PV system over the course of a week. Especially notable was being able to get onto the roof and help with solar panel installations. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn some generally useful electrical skills, while giving a much better idea of what was in a solar PV system. By going to a site and doing a complete install, it was much easier to see how the parts we had ordered in the office all fitted together and why they were all necessary to get to the final, commissioned system.
It’s been a full summer getting into a fast-paced and rapidly changing industry. But we’ve gained so many useful skills over the last few months, on top of discovering that it’s not all doom and gloom. People are taking real, tangible steps to help the environment, which is really motivating and hopeful.
We’ve loved taking a dive into world of renewables and hope to be back soon!