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Solar Energy: Innovative, Applied Research Projects For The Sustainability Of Developing Countries

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Educating Graduates in Engineering For A Flat World / International Engineering Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1287.1 - 12.1287.12



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Paper Authors


Olivia Dees Middle Tennessee State University

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OLIVIA DEES is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Masters of Science in Professional Science (MS-PS) degree program at Middle Tennessee State University. She has a B.S. in Plant Biology with a minor in Environmental Science and Technology, and is currently pursuing a MS-PS degree with a concentration in Biotechnology.

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Saeed Foroudastan Middle Tennessee State University

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Dr. Saeed D. Foroudastan is the Associate Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and Professor of Engineering Technology. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering (1980), his M.S. in Civil Engineering (1982), and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1987) from Tennessee Technological University. Professor Foroudastan's employment vitae includes: Assistant professor of Mechanical
Engineering for Tennessee Technological University, Senior Engineer, Advanced Development Department, Textron Aerostructures, and Middle Tennessee State University. Professor Foroudastan is involved with several professional organizations and honor societies, and has many publications to his name. He also holds U.S. and European patents.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Solar Energy: Innovative, Applied Research Projects for the Sustainability of Developing Countries


Renewable energy is becoming a more popular alternative to traditional energy sources due to issues concerning national security and the environment. Solar technologies are among many other products that are being created within the renewable energy sector on an unprecedented scale. In particular, solar energy is shown to be an ideal power source for the sustainability of developing countries. Its ever-increasing output efficiency and usefulness for a variety of locations make it an optimal choice for every region. Students from universities around the globe may be taught about solar technologies in order to facilitate important advancements for the needs of their countries.

The intrinsic qualities of solar design afford it great utility for the following reasons: 1) most developing countries are located in remote regions with optimal access to the sun’s rays, 2) traditional energy sources in developing countries harm the health of humans and exploit the ecosystem, 3) rising global independence of fossil fuels has encouraged the use of alternative energy, which will also increase competition and lower the costs of solar power, 4) solar photovoltaic systems are relatively affordable as well as applicable to single homes and entire villages alike, which is ideal for many families living in remote locations, and 5) passive solar design is inexpensive, provides renewable energy through precise building design, and may be coupled with solar panels to achieve maximum energy efficiency.

The previously mentioned topics will be addressed to exemplify why solar power is the best choice for sustainable, renewable energy in developing countries. The purpose of this is to support the future implementation of innovative, applied research projects within the engineering and engineering technology disciplines of international universities. This paper includes an example of a model program for student participation in hands-on, competitive research projects using solar energy. An increase in the number of students who are learning this necessary technology and its practical applications helps to ensure a decrease in future global energy needs.


The increasing availability of cheaper solar energy resources is helping Third World countries to develop in a more sustainable manner. Research within this industry continues to increase the efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, increase the competition between manufacturers, and lower prices for consumers. Although solar power is not the only renewable energy source able to be used today, its practicality for sun-belt areas which have less wind and water resources make it a superlative choice for most developing countries. The mounting practicality and availability of this energy source has encouraged various organizations and governments to install PV in developing countries through sustainable energy projects.

The versatility of solar energy is exemplified through its various applications for single houses, entire electrical grids, and even automobiles. Buildings which are supplemented with PV panels

Dees, O., & Foroudastan, S. (2007, June), Solar Energy: Innovative, Applied Research Projects For The Sustainability Of Developing Countries Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1756

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