Cucuta, COLOMBIA– With the aim of contributing to the sustainable development of Norte de Santander in Colombia, students from the Electronics program at the National Apprenticeship Service (SENA) Techno-Academy designed a significant project that aims to benefit, particularly, rural families in Norte de Santander.
Under the guidance of engineer and instructor Jorge Fuentes Fuentes, apprentices Ronald Álvarez, Juan Gómez, Brayan Flórez, Breiner Celis, Camilo Casa, and Terry Mazuera created a prototype for generating green hydrogen through the process of water electrolysis.
This project involved students applying the STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) to tackle real challenges and create innovative solutions.
“One student named Ronald Álvarez came one day with the idea of wanting to design a prototype for green hydrogen generation, and it caught the attention of other students. They approached me, and as an instructor, I guided them and we gradually formalized the project,” Engineer Fuentes commented.
An idea that turned into a plan through which learners would take a significant step towards promoting clean and sustainable sources of energy in the department. Green hydrogen production is achieved through water electrolysis, utilizing renewable electrical energy sources such as solar or wind power.
Moreover, it’s a process that doesn’t produce carbon emissions and, therefore, is a clean energy source contributing to the reduction of environmental pollution and the fight against climate change.
“The idea was to create a prototype focused on rural areas because we were thinking of the farmers, many of whom still cook with firewood. We wanted to create a self-sufficient prototype to produce hydrogen that could replace the natural gas they need,” added Fuentes.
Green hydrogen can be harnessed as a reliable and sustainable source of energy for electricity supply, replacing coal or firewood, which would enhance the quality of life for farmers.
This is how they created an environmentally sustainable prototype, as its energy source is a photovoltaic system, in other words, a solar panel. With this, they carry out an electrolysis process where the H2O molecule is broken down into separate oxygen and hydrogen gases.
The instructor explained that they created a metal structure, where they installed the solar panel on the top and adjusted the plates at the bottom for electrolysis.
“For a month now, we’ve been generating fire, we’re already sustaining the flame, and now we’re designing nozzles to be able to maintain it like natural gas, because hydrogen fire is highly flammable and reaches very high temperatures, which melts metallic elements. So, we’re looking for something that can withstand that fire,” added the instructor.
Fuentes emphasized that the work done by Tecnoacademia is not only a testament to the talent and dedication of the apprentices, but also a demonstration of how STEAM education “can drive innovation and progress in key areas like sustainable energy. This project highlights the importance of providing young people with opportunities to apply their knowledge in solving real-world problems and contribute to the sustainable development of their community and country.”
The project will participate in the national phase of the Colombian Research Seedbed Network (RedColsi), with the hope of advancing to the international round and presenting it in other countries.
SOURCE: La Opinion
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