Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj, Head of Energy and Climate Change Division of the University of Southampton, together with two of SERG staff — Dr. Majbaul Alam, Research Fellow, and Dr. Massimiliano Manfren, Lecturer, arrived in the Philippines to deliver the essentialities needed for the 5-day workshop with the CHED Newton Fund Institutional Links Project team of the Center for Research in Energy Systems and Technologies (CREST). The workshop was held in the School of Engineering Conference Room and LB365 of the University of San Carlos Talamban Campus on May 21-25, 2018.
This workshop is part of the task defined to achieve the objectives of the CHED Newton Fund Institutional Links Project entitled “Capacity in research and development embedded in case studies related to energy in the built environment and for rural electrification.” This workshop involved researchers from Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) of University of Southampton (UoS), UK. Their task was to deliver necessary lectures and to conduct mentoring sessions to researchers associated with the on-going project.
On the first day of the workshop, reports was delivered by CREST researchers involved in the project in order to update the SERG team on its progress prior to the workshop. Reports were being made by two sub-teams of the project— the Energy Access (EA) team with Engr. Lorafe Lozano as the team leader and Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) team with Engr. Mark Anthony Cabilo as the team leader. After the reporting, open forum was conducted to identify the specific ends of the workshop. The project team eventually listed the challenges they have encountered so far in doing their respective task in the project. Those lists served as the guide for the SERG team in conducting and facilitating mentoring sessions which started later in the afternoon of the said day.
On the second day, the EA team led by Engr. Rabuya together Prof. Bahaj and Dr. Alam conducted a site visit to the two island communities scoped by the team for the project — Gilutongan Island in Cordova, Cebu and Pangan-an Island in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The said visit allowed both team (SERG and CREST) to navigate a clearer path towards achieving the end goal of the project. On the other hand, the EEB team continued their mentoring session with Dr. Manfren on software tools and its application.
On the third day, both of the teams continued the mentoring sessions on research software and tools support. The EA team, mentored by Dr. Alam, tackled an important topic in energy access studies which is load profiling. They also discussed and performed hands-on activity in Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER) software. On the other hand, the EEB team continued their mentoring session with Dr. Manfren. Their discussions were focused on the significant details on the data input of EnergyPlus software with hands-on and troubleshooting activity.
On the fourth day, Prof. Bahaj gave a lecture- seminar on “Renewable Energy: Modular and Scalable” for engineering undergraduate and graduate students at USC Michael Richartz Center. On the afternoon, the mentoring sessions for both teams continued. Conference planning and meeting was also conducted by the project team for SEECON 2018.
On the last day of the workshop, each team (EA and EEB) presented their respective output for the last four days of mentoring sessions. Afterwards, discussions were also conducted on how to move forward after the said workshop. (Engr. Arben S. Vallente)