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Martha and Susan’s Excellent Adventures » Madrid

Archive for the 'Madrid' Category

EUPVSEC’08 World Tour Stop #9: Madrid

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

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Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of Madrid :( I’m relying on Nino for these, as Budi also doesn’t have a camera, and it’s just the 3 of us who went.

So after the conference ended our numbers started to dwindle slowly. Yael went right back to Sydney, and took all the posters with her. She’s been in Germany the whole month preceding the conference to do some research at ISFH, and wanted to get back. Stanley flew back to Taiwan for a few more days before heading back to Sydney. Roland flew of to the US for a digital fabrication conference with Alison. Nicole went to Germany to meet up with her Grandmother and accompany her back to Sydney. And Budi, Nino and I went to Madrid for one final European PV stop (for Nino and I at any rate): BP Solar.

Nino and I spent the weekend hanging out, going out, having fun in Valencia and then Madrid. I don’t know, I can’t get used to the Spanish pace. Restaurants don’t open until after 9:30pm, everyone is late, nothing is open in the morning, I spend most of my time being frustrated or starving. But it was warm and sunny, so whatever. Madrid was beautiful. Our last night we went on one of those back-packer pub crawls. Budi and I only stayed ’til midnight since we were flying out early the next morning, but Nino had a blast and got back around 5am. Totally his type of country.

Setting up the BP Solar visit kinda fell to being my responsibility once Anita decided not to come to the conference. It didn’t really get finalized until the day before the visit, when we were already in Madrid. Not due to me neglecting things though, it was just that slow and disorganized at BP. But I must say I was quite impressed when I saw the plant. One of the arguments against solar cells is that they use a lot of energy and resources to make, and the by-products from production can be rather harmful. Well, the BP Solar facility is built in a nature reserve. So not only do they have to make sure they’re not polluting, they actually have to meet stricter guidelines than any other factory. So, since they are able to safely operate without affecting the surrounding area while still making a profit (I assume), I was quite impressed which made the visit worthwhile after all. Budi and Nino and I gave presentations to the engineers there about our work, and then our contact gave us a bit of a tour (we were able to look through the windows into the production facility, not go in, but it was still alright).