First Solar Academy 2012

The Department of Physics in collaboration with International Science Programmes (Uppsala University, Sweden) recently successfully conducted the First Training in Photovoltaics Design Installation and Maintenance (Popularly known as Solar Academy 2012). The two week training (April 16th to 26th, 2012) attracted participants from Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan which included NGO personnel, solar entrepreneurs, solar installers, technical institutions instructors, college students and private individuals. The training was mainly practical and covered planning a pv installation, sizing an installation, actual installation, maintenance and user training. The new aspect of Grid-tied pv generation was also introduced to the participants in form of demonstration since the government is embracing Grid-fed generation from other sources of electricity other than the traditional hydro and geothermal. The training was officially opened by the Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and in his opening address the director called on the participants to apply the knowledge gained in the field appropriately and promote the use of renewable energy sources to their clients. The response was overwhelming with the initial planned capacity being surpassed 100%. The idea of the training was hatched by the Condensed Matter Research Group under the leadership of the current Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences Prof. Bernard Aduda after having realized that in order for Solar Energy subsector to be among the sources of energy for the country, enough capacity needed to be built. The participants had also the opportunity to make contact with Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA) that is at the forefront in advocacy for embracing renewable energy use in the country. The department plans to have the training in April, August and December of every year with the second for the year planned for August 13th to 14th 2012.