Since the last class (before meeting with Professor Tom for office hours), I felt lost about what to do with this idea. I knew I wanted to deal with the topic of solar energy as it is a topic I feel compelled to better understand. One of the best part about designing is being able to learn about new subject matters that I am not an expert on but am interested in. This is what I was hoping to do with this project – use this as an excuse to learn about an important, , fascinating and extremely relevant subject. However, I am still in the process of learning about how they work.
For next steps, I definitely need to do more research by collaborating with more experts on this topic, figure out what should be addressed in this interactive? Who is this for? What do I want the interactive to communicate? And then figure out the technology and visuals for it.
After doing a little more research and talking with helpful ITP resident Jasmine (someone whose focus is on energy), she brought up the interesting challenge of solar energy is their storage. She mentioned the duck curve (see videos below for reference). Apparently, solar energy is being wasted because these traditional power plants and power grids don’t have enough storage to handle the peak times when the sun is shining the most (which is midday). However, a solution could be having local energy storages like batteries that can hold the excess energy that is received during the day and be able to output this energy at night (when the solar panels are not in use).
Maybe the final project could present this solution of storing solar energy in a residential batter and also explain the challenge of storage within solar energy. Quick sketch of an idea below:
Resources + Research:
Helpful reading material on solar energy: https://www.pveducation.org/
(It’s taking me a while to get through this material, but I’m hoping to chip away at it bit by bit).
Video research on solar energy: