E-learning module 'Solar water heating' (NL)

Project partners Within the project 'Friese Poort Bedrijfsopleidingen' is working together with Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein, Büro Husum (WAK). WAK is currently developing a related module about geothermal course (Earth warmth). Externally we work together with Kenteq, which is an expert organization in the field of renewable energy and developing a basic model for the teaching material solar water heaters.

Contact data
Lieuwe Feenstra
tel. +31- 629547991
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Detje Kortwijk
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Key words education, sustainable energy, solar energy, e-learning

Main problems to be solved (analysis) Outcome of research in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the installation sector shows us that the enterprises have too little knowledge of innovations. Especially for those companies who have one to fifteen employees. This threatens their long term survival, because innovation is the future. When we give the SMEs tools to improve their knowledge of innovations in general they will have a better chance to survive in rural areas and secure employment in these areas. Additionally, this means a more attractive employer for younger people. Policy frameworks to be dealt with/fitting in: not applicable Aim of the project: Developing a practical digital course called Education Module Solar Water Heatings and also develop a website where the courses can be found. The e-learning course will be available for employees of SMEs and also for students of technical schools. Exchange teaching materials between UK, Germany and other projectpartners within VRA. The teaching material will be available for the SMEs in English, German and Dutch in the vital rural areas. The basic content of the teaching material will stay the same, because the operating principles don’t change. On the website under the button ‘links’ the latest innovations of the manufacturers can be found.

(Expected) Results Upgrade the skills of the SMEs in innovations and sustainability so that the entrepreneur will stay competitive to the larger companies. In this way the company has a bigger chance to survive and can remain in the rural area. The employees of the SMEs can find the digital course on the website Also for the students of the technical schools the material is available.

(Expected) outcome Provide two education modules: a module for the System choice and Design (sellers & designers) and a module called Installation and Maintenance (mechanics). The modules are available on the website: in the following languages: English, German and Dutch.

(Expected) outcome for the region as a whole The development of this module is groundbreaking for a stream of innovative knowledge to the smaller companies. One should not see the course solar water heaters itself as a standalone product, but as a break through. This leads to a faster international knowledge exchange. The latest innovations of the manufacturers will be available on the website (button links). It is essential that there are knowledgecentres for the practical-minded employees to show the latest innovations. The customer also benefits from an innovative company in the area for installation and maintenance. Advantage: little travel time, cost and energy waste. The innovative employer reserves its right to exist and this is even interesting for prospective employees. Ultimately this should lead to an increase in the quality of life in rural areas. In summary: innovative SMEs results in maintaining employment and quality of life in the rural area.

Planning Preparation and start Organising the project, project patners, tasks, action plan etc. Kickoff for preparing next steps: aims, milestones, tasks, project coordination and quality control Jan 09 March 09 Research 1. Research of employment market needs; 2. Desktop analysis of existing training modules 3. Purchase basic teaching material from Kenteq 4. Exchange of knowledge between FP and WAK; Apr 09 Nov 09 Analysis Analysis: Summary and recommendation Developing concept Nov 09 Jan 10 Contents Developing contents of training modules for employees of the SMEs in the Installation and students of the technical schools. Topics: solar water heating (FP) and earth warmth (WAK). Testing the module by several SMEs and students of the technical school Awarenessmeeting with the SMEs from the Nofa-area. Kick-off introduction and on-line presentation of the module Solar Water Heating for the employees of the SMEs. Developing a practical case for testing of the knowledge (virtual) Jan 10 Dec 12 Integrate IT • Develop E-learning technical infrastructure (at first a downloadable version, after that the website • Translate form Dutch to English and German Sep 10 Nov 12 Testing and Evaluation Outcome of the awarenessmeeting: • Adjust teaching material • Develop an extra module of Installation and Maintenance • Expand the module with links of the innovative manufacturers Jan 11 Dec 12 Evaluation and Transfer Dissemination of the module in the areas of the participating countries (SMEs and schools). Receive feedback from the SMEs and schools and adjust the links of the innovative manufacturers in the module. Expected outcome is to create an international network of innovative knowledgedrain. Jan 13 Dec 13??

Costs € 362.868,00

Financing 50% Funding Vital, 50% own contribution

Implementation of the project (cf. CAA) As stakeholders the school, Kenteq and the entrepreneurs were involved. We developed a digital course Solar water heating to upgrade the knowledge of the entrepreneurs. On march the 10 2011 there was a presentation given for the SMEs in the northeast region of the Province of Fryslan.

KEY QUESTIONS LIST 1 Successes achieved - develop digital education module Solar water heating - try-out education module within the school - presentation on March 10 2011 to the SMEs in the Northeast region of Fryslan - after a negative attitude of the companies (due to the reluctance of innovations) we received a positive feedback after the presentation. In the smaller SMEs the designer is also the same person who does the installation of the solar water heater. This resulted in an extra module for the mechanics (Installation and Maintenance). - from the start of the project there was an agreement about the way the Education modules Solar water heating and Earthwarmth would be presented. - developing website

2 What are the expected boundary conditions for the project to be implemented? - cooperative attitude of the school and the SMEs in the installation sector during the testing- and implementation phase (see planning) - SME is a broad concept. Most of the smaller enterprises have a disadvantage of knowledge. The course material is suitable for self-study. In this way the employees can absorb the latest innovations rapidly. - each country with a lot of sunshine is ideal for solar water heating.

3 Related projects - Project Earthwarmth of the WAK in Germany and the knowledgecentre of ROC Friese Poort - facing challenges and providing solutions (M.E.R.) - Ruscliffe Environmental Education Centre -Fawside Deneholme Centre (Allendale) - -

4 Applicability / transferability of the project The digital module can be used in all rural areas in the EU within the SMEs of the Installation-branche and the technical schools. Also the contribution of knowledge-centres could be useful.

We will ask the project partners if there are 1 or 2 SMEs in their region who want to try out the content. In addition they ask the SMEs if they want to give input from suppliers in their country. As a result of this information FP will ask the supplier if it’s all-right to put a link on the website This creates an international network of installers and can be used by installers for the exchange of knowledge.

5 Tools to alleviate / help starting up implementation In our opinion, the SWOT model presented in the innovation house in Denmark can be an excellent tool. With this model, the strong and weak components within the SME can be mapped. The weaknesses should lead to a demand for knowledge of the SMEs. This means that the following factors have to be screened and monitored: -knowledge about sales, design and systemchoice, installation and maintenance. -short training of the employees of installers by e-learning: own time and tempo.

6 Sustainability The development of this module is groundbreaking for a stream of innovative knowledge to the smaller companies. One should not see the course solar water heaters itself as a standalone product, but as a breakthrough. This leads to a faster international knowledge exchange. Knowledge of the latest developments in the fields of solar, wind and earthwarmth will lead to a independence of fossil energy.