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Supporting STEM

Committed to building the next generation of scientists and engineers

Announcing 2024 Eversource Sustainability Award honoree

Nicholas Giza, a student from Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science in Worcester, Massachusetts, was honored at the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) with the Eversource Sustainability Award. His project examines how to create more energy efficient solar panels with the introduction of a water-based cooling system.

Read about his award-winning project

As a teenager, Nick Giza, a student from the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science in Worcester, Massachusetts, understands the need for renewable energy solutions as the world becomes increasingly dependent on its power grids.

“By completing this project, I realized that sustainable energy isn't just a science fair research project or articles in a scientific journal, it is the future,” said Giza. “Practical improvements to pre-existing systems can mean substantial improvements in efficiency, and consequently the sustainability of our power grids. Above all, I gained a stronger understanding that sustainability is a critical yet obtainable element that can help drive the world to a cleaner future.”

Giza’s project is focused on solar energy and ways to increase solar panel efficacy. When a solar panel becomes too hot its power output efficiency can drop slightly. To combat this problem, he developed an active closed-loop water cooling system with thermoelectric generators resulting in a 10% average increase in the solar panel’s power output.

“Nick’s project is an excellent example of the creative thinking that’s needed to help optimize the renewable energy we will increasingly depend upon,” said Clare Connolly, Eversource’s Director of Sustainability and Climate. “Solar generation plays an essential role in delivering clean energy to the grid, and work like Nick’s demonstrates the opportunities we have to continue advancing this important technology to realize its full potential.”

Through his research, Giza discovered that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in a solar panel’s temperature, there is a 0.08% to 0.45% drop in the panel’s power output efficiency. He also learned that common cooling solutions currently implemented consume a lot of electricity, thus lowering the net efficiency of the solar panel. Today’s cooling systems can also create hotspots on the panel which endangers its longevity.

Giza utilized computer software and hardware to test his project by using an aluminum water block to effectively transport heat from the solar panel to the coolant via the help of a small aquarium pump. To simulate outdoor conditions during the test, Giza set up a panel of 24 halogen light bulbs in place of natural sunlight. The test’s multiple trials showed an average power output of 46.15 watts of electricity for the non-cooled solar panel versus an output of 50.85 watts of the cooled solar panel. Giza’s testing also showed a reduction in the temperature of the solar panel’s glass by nearly 19%.

Giza’s findings suggest that if this cooling system were scaled to large solar arrays and farms, it could have real benefits for solar profitability and productivity.

In Connecticut

Connecticut Invention Convention

We’re proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) that brings accessible, innovation programs to schools across the state, and especially communities that are often underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming.  

CIC held virtual judging in May to review student’s inventions where more than 30 employee volunteers served as judges, reviewing hundreds of K-12 students' inventions before finals. The Eversource Energy Award will be presented at the finals in June. 

"The support of Eversource has been instrumental in not just expanding Invention Convention across the state, but in bringing programs to those communities in greatest need,” said Nick Briere, CIC Executive Director.  

In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair

The Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) works with thousands of students to develop independent research projects related to STEM.

Students work closely with teachers and professionals in the field to refine projects and compete in local, regional and statewide fairs. Students practice critical thinking, trial and error and presentation skills and the top students showcase their projects at the final statewide fair. 

We support the fair through sponsorship, employees volunteering as judges and awarding the Eversource Sustainability Award.

The Eversource Sustainability Award recognizes a project that:

  • Addresses challenges facing the environment, our communities and/or society at large
  • Has thoughtful approaches and designs that could benefit future generations
  • Provides solutions that would be fair and equitable if and when executed
  • Has potential for scale

New England FIRST Robotics

We’re proud to sponsor the 2024 New England FIRST Robotics District Championship in Massachusetts. 

The District Championship is an opportunity for robotics teams across New England to design, program and build a robot starting with a standard kit of parts and common set of rules to play in a themed, head-to-head challenge.

Teams also build a brand, develop community partnerships for support, and work to promote STEM in their local community. Our employee volunteers were also on-hand to support the championship.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering and Science

We partnered with the Fuller Middle School in Framingham to host a program designed to encourage girls to explore the areas of engineering and science, and to help address the gender gap in the STEM fields.

We celebrated the creativity and innovation of the students as they applied math and science concepts to learn the heating and cooling principles involved in geothermal technology, which is being developed at utility scale right in their own city.

Learn more about the event and see photos.

In New Hampshire

Future for Females Career Fair

Employee volunteers from several business areas including vegetation management, safety, and field training and apprenticeship participated in a two-day 'Future for Females' career fair. Girls at Work hosted the event at their headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire and our volunteers showcased potential career paths at Eversource. 

Students learned about the personal protection equipment our line workers use in the field, low-growing trees and more.

Mount Washington Observatory Diversity Internship Program

New funding from the Eversource Energy Foundation will increase access for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in Mount Washington Observatory's (MWOBS) weather and climate internship. Eversource support will provide interns with a stipend to cover their time and travel while working on New England’s highest peak.

University interns serve as integral members of MWOBS’ weather observation team, living and working with trained meteorological staff on weekly shifts at the summit of Mount Washington. Each intern learns technical skills in meteorology, data science, and weather and climate research. Interns also undertake a unique semester-long research project and participate in science communications opportunities.

The Diversity Internship Program is part of MWOBS’ larger effort to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and make the summit of Mount Washington more accessible to university students.

Watch to learn more about the observatory's educational programs.

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