Our newest STEM Hero, Jordan, works as an Apprentice for AES Solar, a company that manufactures and fits solar panels to people’s homes. In his varied role, he calls upon his maths skills every day to ensure that everything is created with precision and accuracy at all times. Here, he talks us through some of the key points about the role, and what it is like to work in such an upcoming – and environmentally-friendly – industry!
What do you do?
“I’m an Apprentice at a company that manufactures solar panels.”
“Some days I could be in the workshop manufacturing the solar panels, and then the next day I could be out fitting the solar panels to someone’s roof. This is providing them with hot water, which is using green energy.”
How do these panels work?
“The sun reflects onto the panel, which heats up the fluid inside the copper tubes, which then gets pumped around your panel and down through your walls in your house in copper pipes that are fully insulated. It then goes down to your boiler, and then gets pumped back up through the solar panel again. It keeps doing that until it’s at a certain temperature. Then you have hot water.”
What are the best things about an Apprenticeship?
“Well I enjoy working with my hands so that always helps! I’m also gaining more qualifications and I’m earning a living at the same time. Also, the oil industry is less favourable now, so it’s great to be part of a company dealing with renewables, which is on the uprise.”
What did you study at school?
“English, Maths, and PE”
How does maths help you in your role?
“Well, maths at school… when you’re in school it doesn’t really seem like it’s going to ‘add up’ to anything you do out of school. But in the job I’m in now I’ve learnt that it has, because all of the measurements have to be the exact same or it’s not going to fit inside the box. With the copper pipes, the inlets and outlets have to be the exact same as well, so it’s all about precision and accuracy which is the most important part of my job.”
What opportunities are there for you in the future?
“Coming up with new ways of developing solar panels. Some people might want to have a triangle panel, because it will fit better on their roof. There’s other ones like for example, everyone’s house is a different shape, so you’ve always got to think about a different pipe route all the way down to the cylinder wherever that could be. If it’s a new house it’s easier, but if it’s an old house it could be a big challenge.”
“So I’m looking forward to completing my apprenticeship. Because it means I will be more qualified. It means I can take on these projects on my own and have more input into what happens.”