Renewable Energy is critical for ensuring sustainable development. Developing the critical mass of workforce to address renewable energy challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa was one of the key motivation factors underlying the partnership between The Brew-Hammond Energy Center (TBHEC)-KNUST, and her partners in Norway (The Norwegian University of life sciences (NMBU), and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)). The resultant project is titled, Upgrading Education and Research Capacity in Renewable Energy technology (UPERCRETs).The project was lunched on July 15, 2015 and is expected to close by July, 2020.
The project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). As part of the project implementation, the project seeks to develop a PhD in Sustainable Energy Technologies, train 8 PhDs and 2 Post-docs. Additionally, the project upgraded the existing 15- month MSc. in Renewable Energy Technologies, consequently, yielding two progammes:
a one- year MSc. Renewable Energy Technologies and a two-year MPhil in Renewable Energy Technologies. The relevant thematic areas are solar thermal and solar PV, bioenergy and wind energy technology. These research consists of specialization into specific areas by respective students to discover major findings in the renewable energy production and management. Some of the research undertaken by our students include:
- Design, optimization of a locally fabricated stand-alone solar powered DC Freezer.
- Techno economic assessment of renewable energy irrigation schemes of agro based communities in Ghana.
- Optimal design of off-grid PV Diesel Generator-Battery hybrid energy system for a selected rural community in Ghana.
- Comparative study of solar PV Diesel generator and grid power irrigation: A case study of Dansack Farms in Nsawam.
- Techno Financial viability assessment of a grid-connected solar water pumping irrigation system for the Nasia irrigation project.
- Comparative analysis of solar thermal box cooking system and solar photo voltaic box cooking system.
- Techno- Economic assessment of solar photovoltaic backup power systems for Kasarawa Estate- Sokoto Nigeria.
- Design and performance analysis of a solar water heater with a spherical collector.
- Analysis of the effects of penetration of 100MW of wind power on the Ghanaian transmission grid.
- The design of solar chimney power plant forsustainable power generation.
- Renewable energy project as a tool for alleviating energy poverty in Ghana: Case study of Bui hydroelectric project.
- Feasibility study on substituting electric water heaters with solar water heaters in Ghana: A case study of official residential facilities Gold Fields Ghana Limited.
- The effect of setting harmattan dust on photo voltaic modules in Walewale northern Ghana
- Performance characteristics of a diesel engine run on biodiesel fuel and blends. available for MSc. Students.
The project, MSc, and MPhil in Renewable Energy Technologies and the PhD in Sustainable Energy Technologies program is managed by Dr. Lena Dzifa Mensah, lecturer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Fellow at TBHEC.