Starting from the first semester, students apply their learnings into projects, often specified by industry. Thereby, students develop subject-specific, methodological and interpersonal skills through real-life projects.
Projects in the field of renewable decentralised energy systems (RDES) play an important role in the success and acceleration of energy transition. However, the system dynamics of RDES require an adaptive approach in order to reduce uncertainty and the system complexity. The Bachelor Thesis «Systemic Analysis of BKW`s `Energy Concept Uettligen` Project» by Maria-Eleni Papaefthymiou examined the RDES project for the village of Uettligen. The systemic analysis contains a qualitative mapping of key actors, decision-making processes and success factors of the project. The results show that a satisfactory project outcome is driven by a combination of vision, social and financial support, knowledge and collaboration between different actors.
Investing in energy efficiency measures in industrial processes is usually motivated by savings in fuel costs or is enforced by agreements or regulations. Through these rather unattractive incentives, fewer energy efficiency improvements are made than possible. Evaluating the non-energy benefits, so-called Multiple Benefits that such an investment could bring, is one possibility to change this. The Bachelor Thesis «Identification, Quantification und Monetization of Multiple Benefits for Energy Efficiency Measures in Industrial Processes» by Judit Hecke aimed at applying practical methodologies of this concept to an industry case. By comparing an old boiler house of Nestlé Suisse SA with a more efficient one, Multiple Benefits are analysed, quantified and monetized in order to assess the feasibility and financial viability of the project.
Most electric vehicles (EV) are charged with one or three phases at a charging point. A large amount of one phase charging EVs in one place can create load imbalances on the electric grid. Static var generators (SVG) can distribute loads evenly on all three phases and thereby help to avoid costs of wasted capacities. In his Industrial Project «Business Case for Charging Solution in Switzerland» Patrick Wahl examined three major business cases. Several calculations based on these cases help to compare different investment options and to see possible benefits from installing a load-balancing device rather than modifying the electric infrastructure.
The task of the product development project during the 2nd year of study was to develop a portable automated solar tracker. This device should be able to charge devices such as mobile phones, move on one or two axis to follow the sun and be as user-friendly as possible. At the end of the project, there was a two-week competition where the performance in terms of electricity production amongst 13 solar trackers was measured. The prototype «Solanthus» with its appealing design is waterproof and wind resistant. It is able to charge at least two mobile phones and is therefore perfectly suited for camping.
The Context Project is carried out in the field of product or process innovation by an interdisciplinary team of students during the first semester of study. The goal of the project «Light» was to find at least one additional function of light besides illumination. Based on literature review and creativity workshops within the teams, students developed simple prototypes of their concept: light surveillance systems, lamps with temperature and CO2 measurement, light navigation systems, and multifunctional bike lights.