Setting Up Transitions
Each teammate selected 1–2 articles on renewable energies and smart grids to help us gain a deeper understanding of the energy sector. The findings from these papers were discussed and presented to the group on Monday. Through an informal discussions, the team developed a common language around energy technologies that will prove helpful in the upcoming months. The next step with this data collection is to synthesize the information into a succinct model that the team can reference throughout the following semester.
Each team member also participated in an observation this week at the Electricity Museum, and conducted Guerrilla Interviews. Reoccurring trends are beginning to appear in our data. Translation is a large point of contention, majority of the tourists we have spoken with at the Electricity Museum cannot understand English. In general, the museum is viewed as “a nice place to walk around,” but most individuals learned very little. One couple was interested in the museum specifically because they had heard Madeira was a very eco-friendly island and they wanted to know what work was going on with renewables.
On Friday, the team met with our client to discuss the specifics of renewable energies on Madeira. The team was presented with Empresa De Electricidade Da Madeira’s annual report, which gave percentage of power operated of renewables versus fossil fuels. Engineer Figueria generously walked us through the complexities of managing hydro power, micro-climates, and a smart grid. He further clarified terminology for us, particularly between a smart meter and a smart grid. Engineer Figueria also offered to set up a tour of the sub-station in the middle of April.
Louisa allowed us to keep a comment box at the entrance of the museum for the tourists to leave feedback. We also explained the upcoming workshop we had planned with Madeiran students to better understand their knowledge of energy and perception of a museum.
Another dominate activity for this week was outlining our schedule moving forward. We are reaching the phase of our project where visioning and research are slowly being fused together. The team discussed incorporating more models and creative exercises to dig deeper into our research.