Monday, July 30, 2007

Meet the Students ...

Paul is an automotive technology instructor at Northern Tier Career Center in Towanda PA. He's thinking about starting an EV club at his school to teach students how to do these conversions. Given the limited amount of fossil fuels available, he says, EV technology is certainly going to be part of our future.

Barry is an automotive technology instructor at Dauphin County Technical School in Harrisburg, PA.. He lives in Schuylkill Haven, PA and commutes an hour to work each day, so a converted electric vehicle would not work for him personally! He is interested in the process, and looking forward to introducing this material to his own students.

Kevin is a student at Penn State University with three semesters to go before he graduates with a degree in energy/business/finance. He hopes to have a career in renewable energy consulting after graduation.

Afshin is an environmentalist and is trained as a mechanical engineer. He lives in the Mt. Airy area in Philadelphia, where many individuals are interested in alternative transportation. He has already converted his own car to SVO biodiesel (also known as a "grease" car, it can run on new or used vegetable oils), and wants to help a friend convert a car to electric.

Dan is an assistant professor at the Community College of Philadelphia in Transportation Technologies Management. He has worked both as an automotive technology instructor and in an autoshop. An environmentalist who loves Vanagons, he looks forward to someday living in a solar house with his own plug-in hybrid or a plug-in EV with a biodiesel hybrid for longer trips.

Larry teaches math, environmental science and physics at North Montco Technical Career Center. His professional background is as a marine engineer and he subsequently worked in the nuclear electric generation field with PECO. He says, “EV's have a place that is greatly overlooked in our society.” He points out that calling an EV 'zero-emissions' is misleading since the electricity generated by a coal-fired plant does create atmospheric emissions -- though utility plants do have lower emissions compared to individual internal combustion engines, because they're more efficient.

Lynn is a biologist by training and has been involved in environmental issues since high school. She works for the Pennsylvania Resources Council conducting environmental education efforts in schools in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. She has been interested in electric vehicles for the last couple of years and was actually considering investigating how to sponsor an EV conversion workshop herself when she found out about this one!

Peter is Lynn's son. He is entering his senior year at Masterman High School, a magnet high school in Philadelphia. He is interested in environmental issues and has done projects on biodiesel and green power for school. He loves the idea of an electric car.

We began the class today with introductions and a shop safety orientation for the non-auto professionals. Then it was onto the fun stuff: unpacking and labeling all the parts for the conversion.
Did I mention that the controller, cable and textbooks all turned out to be at the school, just not in the place we were looking for them? Whew. The incredibly helpful maintenance staff helped locate the missing shipments and we are ready to start converting tomorrow!

1 comment:

jimmyquest said...

Just an FYI...I used a 12 volt hair dryer to defrost my 1970 Ford Maverick for several winters until I got around to changing the heater core. It works quite well.