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Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9100-9117; doi:10.3390/su7079100

The Use of an Innovative Jig to Stimulate Awareness of Sustainable Technologies among Freshman Engineering Students

Central University of Technology, Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Park Road, Willows, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
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Abstract

Renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaic (PV) systems, still require a great deal of research and development in order to improve efficiency, reduce overall manufacturing costs, and to become more sustainable in the future. Solar power production using PV modules has increased and is currently one of the fastest growing energy technologies worldwide, leading to speculation that it will be the main source of electrical power in future. This on-going research and implementation of PV modules and systems necessitates the effective training of technicians, technologists and engineers required to install, maintain or interface with these systems. The Department for Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) in South Africa has implemented a Higher Certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies (HCRET) in January 2014. The purpose of this article is to outline a practical innovative jig that was used to stimulate awareness and understanding of the fundamental operating principles of one specific sustainable technology, namely PV modules. Electronic measurements from this innovative jig are obtained by using an ARDUINO UNO board which interfaces with LabVIEW. Student perceptions of using this innovative jig are further presented, which indicate that the practical experiments were satisfying, challenging, relevant and applicable to PV module operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; tilt angle; light source; student perceptions; LabVIEW; ARDUINO sustainability; tilt angle; light source; student perceptions; LabVIEW; ARDUINO
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hertzog, P.; Swart, A.J. The Use of an Innovative Jig to Stimulate Awareness of Sustainable Technologies among Freshman Engineering Students. Sustainability 2015, 7, 9100-9117.

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