We a group of five students from PPRE (2018-2020) attended the 'Off-Grid Experts Workshop' in Augsburg in September 2019. PPRE senior lecturer Mr. Hans Holtorf (PhD) and RE online program manager Mr. Andreas Günther were also present along with us at the workshop representing the Post Graduate Renewable Energy Program (PPRE). The workshop was for three days and included a number of top-level international companies in the field. On the first day the event kicked-off with presentations from SFC, Victron Energy and EMD Germany. We learned about different Fuel Cells ranges from SFC, and new technologies to be introduced in the market, Victron's off-grid solutions and control software's and the EMD's new energy system modeling software.
On the second day, the workshop started. The exhibition hall was packed with booths from different companies working in the field of off-grid systems. We also had a booth representing our own university’s Post Graduate Renewable Energy Program (PPRE). The main idea behind setting up this booth was to seek advice from experts attending the workshop on how this master’s program can be more application oriented. In the exhibition there were companies specialized in the manufacturing of electronic devices like inverters and battery chargers, companies having complete small off-grid solar solutions (small PV panel + battery + lamp), companies specialized in software development for modelling and controlling the systems, small wind turbines, PV panels manufactured specifically for marine usage, small off-grid water desalination solutions, different types of batteries manufacturers. On another hand, there were presentations running all day long by different companies addressing innovations and challenges of the off-grid industry.
During the exhibition we also got the chance to interact with the professionals of the industry discussing possible internships and thesis placement opportunities. On the last day, after we were done, a gathering was organized for all the participants. The gathering provided food, drinks and go-kart racing competition, in which our colleague Samir took part representing the PPRE team.
We are very grateful to our senior lecturer Hans for assisting us in getting a grant from the university which covered the expenses for our accommodation and traveling for the subject workshop. Overall it was a good experience. We had fun, knowledge and got more in touch as a group.