Deniz Aşıkoğlu, Pelinsu Aydoğan, Ömer Can Baykara, Mete Erdengi, Yusuf Altan Akbaş, Yaman Türköz, Aslı Şahin, Fatma Kaya
Today, the effects of the carbon footprint on the earth are getting heavier day by day, and the importance of renewable energy sources is increasing. Our country is at a point where there are four seasons and suitable conditions for sustainable energy in terms of geographical location. "As Turkey is geographically located between 36 and 42 North latitudes, it has sufficient solar radiation intensities and durations for solar energy applications in a sunny zone. The annual average solar radiation is 3.6 kWh /m2 days, and the total annual radiation time is 2610 hours." Despite these advantages, renewable energy, especially solar energy, cannot be used widely in Turkey is the lack of legislation and incentives. The intense and long installation and permitting of Solar Power Plants (SPP) prevents the widespread use of renewable energy. The installed SPP power in Turkey was measured as 7658.6 MW at the end of October 2021. Although the use of renewable energy is economically advantageous in the long run, its contribution to our future is positive. For this reason, it is seen that new incentive mechanisms have been announced in recent years.
496,805 km2 is sufficient to meet the energy need in the world with solar panels in 2030. Contrary to popular belief, very little surface area is sufficient to produce solar energy, a renewable energy source.
It is possible to eliminate the use of fossil fuels due to equipping these points with solar panels, but insufficient storage technology prevents the implementation of the application. Due to the variability of weather conditions, technologies that will enable the energy produced on sunny days to be stored and used on cloudy days are not yet widely used due to high costs.
On sustainable energy, to reduce the carbon footprint, it is aimed to renew the lighting of a part of our school by using renewable energy sources and thus to contribute to the protection of nature together with the school economy. In addition to this study, it is planned to prepare various questionnaires and presentations to increase the awareness of primary, secondary, and high school students on the subject. The last part of these studies is the meeting with the “Gimnazija in Srednja Sola Rudolfa Maistra” school in Slovenia and the collaborative work to be done as a result of this meeting.
As a first step, plans were made for the lighting in the school's main corridor to be powered by solar panels. In this direction, the feasibility of the points in the school garden in terms of efficiency was made, and a small solar energy meter prototype was prepared with a 6V solar panel. After the study, the project members made a research visit to Gazi University Teknokent. As a result of the information given by Halk Enerji, it was decided to expand the project. After examining the prototypes of the solar panels and evaluating the economic factors, it was decided to use panels that would produce a total of 2kW of energy for the school's main corridor. To realize the project, Ersis Energy firm and ID Bilkent University Construction Affairs Technical Department started a joint work. Engineers and officials from Ersis Energy, who came to investigate, began by determining where the panel would be placed.
Table 1: Simulation created by Ersis Energy Engineers using design and simulation software for “PV Sol” Photovoltaic systems
The seven students responsible for the project showed the authorities around the areas where efficiency tests were made at the school. It was determined that the wall at the school entrance was suitable for placing the panels. After the location was determined, the connection of the energy produced from the solar panels with the grid was put on the agenda. In the meetings held with them, it was decided that the fastest result in terms of the timing of the project would be to connect the panels in an off-grid form. Thus, the first steps were taken for the location and installation of solar panels.
Figure 1: The View of the Installed Panels Designed by Ersis Energy Engineers Using 'Photoshop' Application
In the survey carried out by the project students in high school to raise awareness starting from within the school, it was determined that 136 of the 170 students were aware that "Today, approximately 20 percent of the energy consumed worldwide is obtained from renewable sources".
In addition, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to the European Union's 1990 levels; To ensure that 27% of the energy consumed by the EU is obtained from renewable sources, to increase energy efficiency by at least 27%; To reach the 15% electricity interconnection target among EU countries and to complete the internal energy market by advancing infrastructure projects; Renewable energy use targets for 2030 (“Energy-EU's Goals”), which he set as achieving 80-90% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 compared to 1990, were found effective by 148 of 170 students.
After the implementation of the survey, more detailed studies were conducted on the functioning of solar panels, the status of carbon footprints in Turkey, the EU, and the world's countries, and the benefits of using renewable energy. As a result, a total of 506 million people in our country in 2019 It has been learned that tons of greenhouse gas emissions are produced, and 399.3 million tons of this number is CO2 emissions. It was observed that 138 million tons of the 399.3 million tons of CO2 emissions were caused by electricity and heat production ("Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics..." ). The research and planning done were shared with the project partner, the school in Slovenia. It was decided to create a joint presentation to raise awareness about the solar panels that both schools can place on their campuses.
To ensure that life on earth is sustainable, it is necessary to reduce the carbon footprint. In this direction, it is of great importance to increase the use of solar energy together with the measures to be taken by each individual. In the following years, reducing the use of fossil fuels as a result of the development and dissemination of energy storage technologies provides economic advantages to a large extent in the long run. While even the use of normal size panels requires less surface area, thanks to the development of new technologies, panel sizes can be reduced, and energy production levels can be increased. Strengthening the infrastructure, making the process practical and functional, with incentives from the government and changes to be made in the installation process of the panels will ensure the widespread use of renewable energy. We should encourage the efficient use of solar energy systems in all countries for the next generations and continue life as individuals, and speed up awareness-raising activities.