Kemal Apaydın (IE/’13) and Ömer Can Gökdere (CS/IV) have established a solar power system that produces its own energy from sunlight by using solar panels installed on campus. They have been working on the project for six months. The system, constructed on the rooftop of the mescid in the corner of the Spring Fest area, has been producing energy during the last few months.
The panels were manufactured in South Korea. According to energy production data, the project should cover its cost in 6 years. Since the solar panels are guaranteed to produce energy for 25 years, this means 19 years of free electricity will come from sunlight, making the project not only environmentally friendly, but also very profitable as an investment.
Kemal explained the story behind the project: “Due to technological developments over the last three years, the cost of solar energy systems has decreased very quickly. Many companies have entered this segment of the energy sector, and many European countries have enacted laws and policies to increase solar energy usage.
“At the same time, global warming is getting very to be a more serious problem every day. The tremendous increase in CO2 emissions is a result of the huge growth in population and in energy usage at the same time. The outcome will be very destructive for life on earth.
“So we all have to try in some way to be the solution to this problem. We should start with energy usage, since it is both the basis of the problem and the solution. At this point, solar panels can make a key contribution, because the yearly energy potential of sun is larger than the total of all the energy resources in the world. So I believe this will be the technology of the future. We thank Rector Abdullah Atalar and Yeşim Erdoğan (USİM) for their support of our project.”
After establishing their solar panel system on campus, Kemal and Ömer created a website to show the results of the project, which can be found at bilkentsolar.bilkent.edu.tr. They have also founded a company, ARTI Innovation, with offices at Bilkent Cyberpark. They are continuing to develop additional projects in the energy sector as well as to work on their innovative solar power system at Bilkent.