I want to work with sunshine!
Of all the different forms of renewable energy, solar power has always been my favourite. I have long pondered how we can best harness this power. I wasn’t short of ideas, but you need solid arguments in order to push for innovative forms of technology. That’s why I grappled with the topic of energy efficiency in my degree dissertation, which focused on how long it takes before the energy required to create a system is regenerated by that system. At what point does a solar plant start paying for itself?
Now, after a good nine years with the Vaillant Group, I have assembled a whole arsenal of good arguments for using renewable forms of energy. This wasn’t difficult, as my employers believe in green technologies just as much as I do. Until recently, I was an assistant for the technical management board. Since I became Head of Product Management for Warm Water Products in January 2016, I have continued my work on the practical side of the business. My goal is to continue to delight my contacts with our systems.
No grit in the gears
The desert is the place for solar technology. However, when developing a solar thermal collector for Palestine, the desert presented us with one major challenge. That challenge was the sand. If grains of sand make their way into the collectors, their efficiency is reduced and they become useless. We therefore had to find a way of making the collectors impenetrable to sand.
The breakthrough came when we integrated membranes into the collectors, which kept out the fine grains of sand. Since then, our collectors have been installed not only in Palestine but all over the world. We have even devised a test process to check that systems are suitable for use in deserts. The Arab regulatory authorities have also been very interested in this process.
Last one out turns off the lights
Sustainability not only concerns me as an engineer when it comes to improving our products; I am also finding that mindful behaviour towards my environment is becoming increasingly important in my everyday life. I can also see the same thing happening with my friends and colleagues. Buying local products and keeping printing on paper to a minimum are just two examples. Previously, it wasn’t unusual for the office lighting to remain on overnight, but now I don’t know of a single colleague who doesn’t check that all of the lights, screens and the coffee machine are switched off before leaving.