RENEWABLE ENERGY SYMPOSIUM GATHERED EXPERTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

RENOWNED EXPERTS DISCUSSED ABOUT THIS MATTER AND THE NEW CHALLENGES FOR THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD. AT THE SAME TIME TOOK PLACE THE ENERGY FAIR AND LAB TOURS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING.



May 13, 2016

Solutions to improve the use of renewable energy, micro networks and smart cities were some of the topics discussed at the ENER16 Renewable Energy Symposium, one of the main national scientific meetings, held at the Curicó Campus of our University.

The activity took place from May 11 to 13, aiming at bring together the regional and national community to learn about these new trends and lines of research that are being implemented in the main international centers looking for effective and sustainable innovations with regarding energy.

Gonzalo Herrera, Vice President for Innovation and Technology Transfer, and Claudio Tenreiro, Dean of the Department of Engineering, opened the event organized by the Energy Conversion and Power Electronic Laboratory (LCEEP) belonging to the aforementioned faculty, and welcomed the more than 200 participants of the event.

Gonzalo Herrera emphasized the work they are doing in the Department of Engineering and other units of the institution on the subject of energy. "The University is working in different fields of renewable energies, both in the dissemination about the different energy sources, their most innovative applications, as well as in the development of top research, that transcends our borders", he said.

He specifically highlighted the efforts of the engineering academics, who are advancing in the development of several lines of research and technology transfer. Among these, there is one concerning the conventional, but optimized uses, as in the case of the innovations applied in wood-burning stoves. On the other hand, he mentioned to the progress in the development of research on non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) as is "the case with Power Electronics, an area in which a technological centre will soon be opened".

Energy Fair

Together with the three-day conference, an energy fair took place, where different companies, public institutions and academic units of our Academic Institution presented projects, innovations and services concerning renewable energy.

Among the participating companies were Siemens and Gamesa, as well as the Secretaries of Energy and the Environment, and the Irrigation and Agrometeorology Research and Transfer Center (Citra) and the School of Design of the UTALCA.

Another of the noted activities was the lab visits of the Curicó Campus, where the participants could appreciate technical demonstrations at the Kipus Technology Centers and the Energy Conversion and Power Electronic Laboratory. Dean Claudio Tenreiro talked about initiatives that are being implemented using different energy sources, their dissemination and the development of innovative technologies. "With this, we want to contribute to the competitiveness in companies of the sector, and of the country, of course. I believe that companies will end up convincing themselves of the need to incorporate these energies in their processes, and that’s why, as University, we are taking the first step to develop them so that the stakeholders can observe its operation, so that they can later adopt them", he explained.

World Experts

The new technologies that are being applied in countries such as The United Kingdom, Argentina, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia, The United States and Denmark for their sustainable development through the use of renewable energy were addressed at the meeting by their own creators, including researcher Patrick Wheeler, from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, who works together with the engineering academics. "We are developing various projects between our University and UTalca, with the support of the British Government, which makes us happy and we hope to continue to do joint activities. Chile has potential for the development of various renewable energies and it has become more advanced in recent years. That is very good," said Wheeler, along with emphasizing that the Government and the industry should invest more in the research and development of products.

Looking to the future

One of the businessmen at the 16 ENER was Jorge Balduzzi, who stated that "it is very interesting that a seminar of this nature can be held here, the participation of foreign researchers who, along with the professors of our University, take a look at the industry, where is the future of renewable energy going.”

The symposium included other activities, such as conferences and workshops that sought to link the Academy with the public and private sectors to promote new projects. Professor Marco Rivera, President of the Organizing Committee, was satisfied with the results. "More than 200 participants from various places, such as Argentina, Uruguay, foreign guests and representatives of the universities of Antofagasta, Valparaíso, Santiago, Concepción, Temuco, Valdivia and Punta Arenas came together for what we believe that it will generate a lot of impact," he said.

"This year we will be opening a technology center in the area of energy conversion, and through this center we intend to continue growing as a research group, building ties with national and foreign partners, and actively collaborating with institutions of our own University," he said.

The Symposium is part of the Newton Picarte Project for the Development of Institutional Capacities awarded to Professor Rivera and called "Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Systems". The initiative, funded by the British Government, aims at generating a training program brings together English experts in the area of renewable energy, in particular from the University of Nottingham, who can provide Chilean researchers new skills to focus their research in this area, in matters such as micro networks, smart networks, smart cities, energy management and power converters control.



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