There is a new approach of industry support for “Building a bridge between the industry and academia” – one of the main objectives of the Marie Curie SCENT project proposal. The link between the industry and research represents an unbreakable bond, especially, in the field of smart grid and renewable energy. Industrial training, secondments or internship are a chance to apply our Ph.D.-level skills in a new setting and test out the waters before committing to a full-time position in a particular career area. It is one the opportunity to participate in meaningful projects, learn new skills, understand workplace norms and expectations, network, and provide value to a potential employer. However, the unexpected situations such as COVID 19 pandemic has slowed down the process.
Fortunately for me, I already had performed the 1st secondments at ENEA Operator (power producer in Western Poland) right before the outbreak of the pandemic. As ESR3 in the SCENT project, I was sent for industrial tests measurements in October 2019 and evaluated results until March 2020. The company ENEA Operator is one of the industrial partners in the SCENT project. The tests were performed for low frequency EMI measurement on a 1MW photovoltaic power plant connected to the grid. The measurement of EMI generated by a group of PV panels interfaces indicated good evidence of the expected aggregated EMI. The results of the analysis has been published in the measurement journal co-assisted with one of the high-ranked staff of ENEA operator. The actual physical measurement was done in October 2019, then I stayed in my ‘remote work office’ to evaluate the results, and parts of the tests were conducted in the university lab to compare with site measurement results. Also, the analysis was discussed and perfected with my industrial partner until March 2020.
This secondments has given me valuable site experience. I was so pleased to be able to visit the photovoltaic system installation at field and see how the company handles the plant management. As being mentioned, this work and collaboration resulted in an interesting result published in one of the top journals. The results were also presented at conferences, and it helped the industrial partner to get some insights about the possible performance and impact to their grid of their installation. Although, it has certainly has been a challenge for all of us throughout the world to cope with the pandemic and quarantine, but there are also things that we were able to adjust and modify to continue working and building that bridge. Remote secondments and teleworking saves a lot of time and money. Of course, remote secondments is not applicable in all work cases, nevertheless, it is still a good solution while we all have to embrace through this pandemic period.