13 Solar Energy Project Ideas For Engineering Students

If you're an engineering student, you can learn and positively contribute to the climate change crisis through these project ideas!

Engineering is one of the rising industries that are dominating today’s workforce. With approximately 75% all employed U.S. engineers employed in the following industries in the year 2018:

  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific, and technical, AND
  • Federal, state, or local government

…it’s apparent that engineering is leading the way to more innovation and advancements in technology. This is especially apparent when it comes to solar energy.

With climate change being a big cause for concern, there is a significant need for more engineers to make renewable energy resources like solar into a reality. With that said, engineers will be tasked to look to the future, when it comes to innovating for the future. That means that more will be done to ensure that solar power has a place in people’s homes, businesses, and communities.

Now, as an engineering student, you’re going to work with solar energy at some point during your studies. The great thing about solar energy is that the possibilities are endless when it comes to project ideas.

Want to dabble with solar energy? If so, then you can start today! Here are some projects that you can try out, and how you can get started:

Wireless Solar Charger

A wireless solar charger is something that every student can put together, and you’ll learn a lot from it too. Typically, you’ll want to make a charger that’s enough to charge a mobile phone or device. It’s a good project for those just starting out.

Solar Lantern

This is another fairly simple project. In it, you’ll create a lantern that uses solar energy to charge a NiMH battery. This should be able to light up a 1-watt white LED at night time.

Solar LED Road Marker

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You’ll have seen these on the highways at night. Unlike a reflective road marker, these use solar panels to collect energy during the day, and light up at night. It uses an automatic switching function to change from collecting power to lighting up the marker.

Solar Tracker With Live Data Feed

“The Internet of Things is going to be critical in your work in the near future” says Ray Dawes, an engineering writer from State of Writing and Lia Help. “As such, this is an interesting project to work on.” This solar tracker and live feed will work on a Windows IOT running raspberry pi-2.

Solar Energy Measurement System

This project will measure parameters like voltage and currents in solar cells. The sensors are interfaced to the microcontroller unit. That allows you to monitor energy usage in the solar cells.

Off Grid Solar System

This project allows you to put together a self-contained solar power system. It should be something that could power a home without need for external power sources. It’s something that many homeowners are looking into, so you’ll want to try putting it together yourself.

Dust Removal System For Solar Cells

There are many things that will affect the ability of solar cells to absorb power during the day. One of these things is dust that settles on the panel, blocking it. This project creates a system that can automatically remove that dust, making the system more efficient.

Fresh Water Production System

This is a project that’s interesting for those looking at survival mechanisms. You can create a system to desalinate sea water to create fresh drinking water. Powered by solar energy, they can be used anywhere.

Solar Air Heater Box

“This is another project that’s a good one for beginners” says Jane Mulligan, a tech writer from Essay roo and Paper Fellows. “You’ll be able to try it yourself and see how the system works.” A DIY solar air heater box can be put together with minimal components, and is simple to do.

Solar Cockroach Vibrobot

You have likely seen toys that use simple vibrators to move around on the floor, much like an insect. You can try putting one of these together yourself. Creating one in the shape of a cockroach makes your very own version of this toy.

Solar Night Light

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Here’s another good starter project. This asks you to create a night light that lights up a single bulb with stored solar energy at night. It’s easy to put together so you can understand solar energy.

Solar Compass With OLED Display

This is something you may not have realized you can create with solar energy. These compasses use that energy, rather than magnetic energy, to point you in the right direction. You’ll want to try creating this solar energy circuit yourself.

Solar Powered Irrigation System

You’ll see these used on a large scale in agricultural settings, to water fields. You can create a much smaller scale one, for example to water a flower box. To go one further, the system can be set up to water the box depending on the soil’s water content.

Wrapping Up Solar Energy Projects For Students

Now, these are just a few ideas to get you started. In fact, there are many other ways you can put together your own solar energy project to use in your studies.

So, if you’re ready to dabble into solar energy, look into these great project ideas. Good luck and have fun, engineering students!

Sara Sparrow
Sara Sparrow
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