Solar District Cup 2021
This project is a design competition that will be run through HeroX and was set up by the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy’s primary goal with this project is to help close the gap in sustainability and energy-based jobs. This is an annual competition that will be hosted in the summer where teams from different colleges will demonstrate their designs. The project is directly related to a sustainability challenge and more specifically solar energy. The teams will be assigned one of three districts across the nation and will be tasked with designing a district grid solar panel array that will power the district. This problem is multidisciplinary as it will require engineering, financial, and polital understanding and more to develop a design for the assigned district.
The teams have not been assigned their districts which means we can not begin our design solution. Instead, the team has been preparing for the competition these past couple of weeks and will continue to do so until our district is assigned which will be in a week or two. To prepare for the competition the team has been conducting background research on photovoltaics, storage systems, software (Heatspring), and economics. We are covering this information through supplemental articles that we have found online and recommendations from other students and professors that have had a background in solar energy. We have also been attending the webinars provided by HeroX and going through Heatspring modules that will provide more background information about how the design competition and specific components work.
Another thing we have been doing is contacting associate professors such as Professor Nathan Johnson and Zachary Holman who have research teams that have a focus in sustainability and will be a great source of advice once we begin designing. We are officially registered for competition and are developing a plan for what role each individual team member will play during the design phase.