25. nov, 2018

Project #1 Glava Energy Center, Sweden

The Solar Journey

Project #1 Glava Energy Center, Sweden

Even though the adventure has not started yet, I was so lucky to get a trial run this week. The whole thing started when I attended the monthly Clean Tuesday seminar i Oslo. This time focusing on solar power and firehazards. Afterwards I met a Swedish solar expert called Tommy Strömberg. He liked the idea of my solar travel project, and spontaneously invited me to join him to Glava Energy Center in Sweden the following Friday.

I went straight home, called to make arrangements with my boss at Entro, and booked myself a rental car. These kinds of opportunities do not come along that often, and there was no way I would miss out on this one.

Friday morning I drove across the Swedish border and into a small town called Glava. There I was welcomed by Tommy and his colleagues. I started by joining the end of their meeting, before they took me to lunch at the local pizzeria.


Lunchtime


Pure Silicon (Silisium på norsk)

Glava Energy Center is, as they put it themselves, a successful international test center for the renewable energy solutions of tomorrow. There is a solar cell laboratory, a massive module factory, and a huge test center outside.

Tommy took me everywhere, answering all of my questions. I don´t believe I have learned this much in just one day, ever before in my life.

First we went through the laboratory. This was actually the first time I saw a real life solar cell. I had imagined it would be thicker. It was almost paper thin, and seemed so very fragile. It was also blue, and had small wires inside.


The Blue Solar Cell


I never realized polycrystalline was so beautiful

Afterwards, we went through the whole factory. This was one of the first fully automatic solar module factories to be made. Tommy knew all about it. He was, after all one of its founders. He took me through the whole process. He explained everything that happened, all the potential risks, all the tests and how all the machines worked. All of my questions were answered, and I learned so much. Being able to see all the parts of the process really gave me a better understanding of how solar modules are made and how they work.


Solar test center

Then we went to see the test center outside. A massive test center, representing almost all the technologies I have ever read about. For the first time I got to see it all in real life.  He took me through all of it. Every technology, all the different solar cells, the mounting systems, the inverters, the off grid systems, the battery banks and everything else. I have studied this, and read so much about it, but seeing it all in person, really gave me a new and better understanding of it all.


Happy tourist/student

I have been flirting with solar power for a long time, and I might even have had crush on it lately. But now? Now I have fallen completely in love. I really cannot believe I will get to do this for a full year. Travelling all over the world, learning all about my new professional passion. I feel so lucky, and so proud of myself for chasing my dreams.

Thank you so much Tommy Strömberg for taking your time to teach me! I am forever grateful!

- Christina