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Photovoltaics, Electric motors ,Solar energy. Should i go for EE?

  1. Jul 14, 2010 #1
    Hello. I want to work with Photovoltaics and with the renewable industry. Electric motors, boats, cars. Is EE a good choice? I was thinking first in ME but looks like you see more of solar energy in EE. Please i need urgent advice i only left like 2 moths to make a choice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2010 #2
    EE and ME are both very broad fields, so it really depends on what parts of these you want to study.

    Photovoltaics has always been under EE as far as I know. If you want to work on the actual semiconductor elements, that would be especially under a Electro/Semiconductor Physics focus. If you're more focused on developing arrays of panels that would be more under a Power focus.

    Electric motors, cars, etc I would think are more of an ME specialty.

    Both majors should allow a number of opportunities in renewable energy.

    Look at the two departments at the school you're planning to go to and see which major seems to offer more courses suited towards what you want to do.
  4. Jul 14, 2010 #3
    Most PV researchers I've met have a physics or materials science background. Maybe some come from chemistry backrounds as well, and I'm fairly certain there are EEs around.

    Electric vehicles may require EEs. There are definitely chemical engineers working on fuel cells and probably batteries.

    MEs might work in concentrating solar power, but I highly doubt you'd find any in PV. MEs would work on a number of other renewables as well, such as wind power.

    When you mention PV and electric vehicles (separately), are you talking about solar-powered vehicles? I know an EE who has worked on a solar-powered car as (I think) a hobby--either that or for a school competition of some sort. I don't know that there's actually much research or development going on in that area in general, but you'd probably need a team of engineers with different backgrounds, and you wouldn't really need someone with experience in PV (you'd probably just buy the best solar panels possible!)
  5. Jul 15, 2010 #4
    Well yeah i was thinking in solar cars xD. But you would still need the EE to help with the motor and transformation of electrcity, also looks like EE see more of a subject called "Conversion of electhromechanical energy".
  6. Jul 15, 2010 #5
    Power focus is EE right?.
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