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Interns and Internships

Solar Mike has helped dozens of students with solar energy interships, on a range of topics and projects. Recent projects include Solar Cooking Science and Education, Passive Solar Design in Bay Area Architectural Practice, and Marketing PV to Agriculture. Students work on their projects for several or more hours per week, for one or two semesters.

Solar Mike is on the look-out for potential interns who are self-directed, have a strong science background and excellent computer skills. Here is a sample of what recent interns have been doing:


Marketing PV Systems

Scott Struett, UCSC Economics / Environmental Studies major.

Scott is developing a plan to identify and reach selected niche markets for selling solar electric systems in Santa Cruz.


Parabolas and Solar Power

Ori Kedar, Graduate of University of Pennsylvania, Environmental Studies

Ori converted a satellite dish into a parabolic solar cooker. He has used it to fry eggs, heat water and ignite wood. Ori plans to use the cooker in his homebrewing operations, and hopes to someday open his own microbrewery.


Residential Solar Lease Analysis

Carolyn Chan, UCSC Economics / Environmental Studies major

Carolyn is studying the lease options which are available to residential customers, and developing sales and marketing tools. She has a retail sales background, and previously served as an intern in the Green Businessq Program for the City of Santa Cruz.


Electric Utility Cost Modelling

Anthony Palavi, UCSC Economics / Environmental Studies major

Anthony is developing spreadsheets for analyzing residential electric bills when combined with solar power systems. He comes to Arenson Solar with internships under his belt with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and helping coordinate the Energy Summit at Stanford University.


Solar Performance Modelling

Joshua Yiangou, UCSC Economics / ES major

Josh has developed sophisticated performance and financial models of PV systems using NREL's SAM software.

"I fostered a drive to learn about solar energy and participate in the solar industry through my internship with Solar Mike. Under his direction I developed skills with solar software and learned about solar project financing and design. A great overall experience, thanks!"

Intern Update: February 2012. Josh has landed a solar analyst position with Silicon Valley start-up Alta Energy and focuses on commercial scale solar projects. Congratulations Josh!


Solar Cooking Science and Education

Sarah Goldstein, UCSC Environmental Studies major

"I love talking with people about solar energy and solar cooking. I'm writing a solar cooking curriculum and teaching it to kids in Santa Cruz elementary schools. Working with Solar Mike has been great. He's helpful, but expects me to do a lot on my under my own initiative."

Intern Update: March 2012. Sarah has been traveling the world and recently settled in South Africa where she is helping develop solar cooking training programs. Congratulations Sarah!


Passive Solar Design in Bay Area Architectural Practice

Levi Hitchko-Patton, UCSC Environmental Studies major

From the final paper's abstact - "This project is based upon a survey of passive solar use among fifteen residential architects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Passive solar is a sustainable building technique based on the use of thermal mass, structure orientation, south- facing windows and walls, and shading devices. Together, these design methods can offer significant energy savings for buildings, often with minimal installation costs. Passive solar saw its most widespread application in the early 70s and 80s, but now its extent of use is less certain. The results from this survey demonstrate that some architects are still using passive solar techniques, and the Bay Area is an ideal location for practicing them. However, public and consumer understanding of these methods is minimal, and is a likely reason as to why passive solar is not seeing more widespread application."


Marketing Solar Power Systems

Lindsay Herema, UCSC Economics and ES major

Lindsay helped create marketing materials to promote solar energy to the California agricultural market. She utilized her writing and graphic arts skills to produce brochures and represented the company at trade events.