RENEWABLE Energy and Sustainable Engineering students at Wrexham Glyndwr University will be applying their studies to an innovative industry collaboration this autumn.

Working alongside Wrexham-based company Wellpecs Limited, staff on Glyndwr’s BSc Renewable Energy and in the university’s estates team installed a trial site in the university’s quad for an invention by Wellpecs MD Dave Thelwell.

The invention is a new kind of solar panel – with a number of key innovations and moderations made by the Wellpecs team to enhance its operations. Following its installation, students on Glyndwr’s Renewable Energy BSc will be working to gather crucial data throughout the year to demonstrate its capabilities as Wellpecs take their prototype to investors.

While work to install the panel on site was carried out in 2019, the initial set of studies had to be paused due to the coronavirus lockdown.

However, as students return, a new team are set to take over the monitoring

in the coming months and hope to assess the capabilities of the device.

Among those who have already taken an interest in the work Glyndwr are carrying out with Wellpecs is Lesley Griffiths, MS for Wrexham, who made a socially-distanced visit to the university’s quadrangle earlier this summer to hear more about the invention and how Glyndwr’s research will be used to help assess its benefits.

During her visit, she met with Mr Thelwell, Nigel Nicoll from Business Wales - who is helping advise Wellpecs - Wrexham Glyndwr University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Claire Taylor, and Renewable Energy Programme Leader David Sprake.

Mr Sprake said: “Our courses are not simply about theoretical learning – they involve our students getting hands-on experience in all kinds of industrial settings and working alongside companies across Britain.

“When we were approached by a company here in Wrexham who were interested in working with us on some product research, I knew there could be an interesting project for our students – with the potential for some fascinating real-world applications.

“It was great be able to show Lesley the work we have already done, to talk about how we can collaborate with industry on projects like this – and to hear more from her about some of the great work being done with renewable energy in Wales already.

“I’d like to thank Lesley for visiting us, Dave and his team for entrusting their invention to our care, and the Estates team at Glyndwr for their work in helping to set up the project – which promises to be a fascinating way for our students to support a local firm.”

Lesley Griffiths MS said: “Wrexham Glyndwr University has an excellent track record of working with local businesses and this latest collaboration builds on

that reputation.

“It was good to hear more about this fascinating project and how the students’ research will help Wellpecs develop their innovative product, in spite of the challenges posed by coronavirus.

“I wish the project and all involved the very best for the future.”