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Talk:MECH425 Engineering for Sustainable Development

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Photovoltaics - Reuse, Recycle?[edit]

Hi Dr. Pearce,

Having almost zero knowledge of solar PV cells (my sincere apologies) and currently heavily under the influence of CIVL 472: Waste Management, I have a question for you regarding end-of-life use of solar cells.

I understand that the cells are generally guaranteed to last about 20 years and their use can continue beyond that; however, they inevitably will need to be replaced at some point. With such a shift towards renewable energy (and therefore, increased production of solar PV cells), has much thought been given to what will happen once they are no longer fit for their original purpose? Can any parts be reused or recycled? Furthermore, does the production of the cells require 100% raw materials, or can some of the parts be made of recycled materials?

Many thanks,

--BD 16:35, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

-- See answer here --Joshua 22:46, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Mech 425[edit]

Hi Dr. Pearce,

A few suggestions for your course:

  • There is a steep learning curve in the course, and whilst some students have worked with you before, some workshops in tutorials to get help with Appropedia and Excel would be great. You may have noticed some problems arose with students not knowing what to do or how to do things. Often they Don't know the right questions to ask. A comprehensive tutorial on the things we need to know and why would help.
  • Working in a group to manage an excel document was difficult with different members having different versions of excel. Some suggestions on how best to do this kind of project would help.
  • Any major changes to the course should be emailed to the class
  • Since the lectures and tutorials have many speakers, it would be good for each speaker to tell the class how their lecture fits into the course and what project it applies to, since there are several.

In general, I really enjoyed the course and see its potential.

Thank you[edit]

Dear Student --

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like in the future I should add an excel tutorial day in addition to the day I spent on Appropedia. Also - the excel version problem - I had not anticipated -- perhaps in the future we can do everything in Open office so that every student has access to the same free version. No major changes to the class so far. In the future we can work on better integrating everything -- I am still trying to give everyone an overview on the topic and every lecture does not have a specific home in a project (there would be way too many projects to cover the topic this way). This is something I can work on as well, though. Thanks -- Joshua 20:34, 2 March 2010 (UTC)