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A day in the life of an Electrical Engineer

Matthew Bowles our consultant managing the role
Published on 24 August 2022

In recent years, the renewable energy industry has experienced exponential global growth, and electrical engineers have made an important contribution to ushering in the transition from fossil fuels to green energy and other sustainable practices around the globe.

Utilising the full benefits of renewable energy sources requires a range of advanced technology, and that is what makes the technical expertise of electrical engineers an essential resource. Renewable energy initiatives may offer exciting opportunities and the ability to have an impact on the future of our planet for professionals pursuing careers in electrical engineering.

Here, we take a look at a day in the life of an electrical engineer, and how they are crucial to the renewable energy sector

Ensure that energy sites are efficient 

Typically, for an electrical engineer, no two days are the same, however, there are a range of primary responsibilities that the majority of engineers must adhere to. First and foremost, an electrical engineers’ main role is to ensure that renewable energy sites are performing at an optimal rate.

For example, every solar site is different and although solar power seems simple, it takes many steps to generate electricity. Electrical engineers will typically gather their team to monitor how the plants are performing, and look for any irregularities in the system. They then collaborate with the on-site crew and the equipment manufacturers to find a resolution if they observe anything strange. 

Integrating innovative engineering 

Clean energy generators like wind and solar farms are frequently located offshore, away from populated areas. Organisations need the infrastructure in place to deliver the produced electricity to households and businesses in order to take advantage of that power. When developing power grids and transmitting renewable energy, electrical engineers must check and address a variety of problems, such as:

  • Upgrading and optimising high-voltage transmission lines

  • Deciding on the most effective methods for reliably and efficiently converting renewable energy into electricity

  • Managing the flow of power from generation facilities through the grid

  • Establishing modern control systems to keep an eye on the grid's operation and address issues as they arise

Developing energy storage solutions

One of the most crucial issues on the way to 100% renewable energy is the need for consistent power output even when weather conditions don’t cooperate. To encourage the use of renewable sources over fossil fuels, communities must be able to rely on green power throughout the year. Pairing renewable energy power generation with the technology for high-capacity storage that keeps the resulting electricity in reserve is essential. 

When developing the next generation of power storage technologies, electrical engineers frequently explore a wide range of options. These developments have the ability to provide communities all around the world with a consistent supply of environmentally friendly electricity by increasing capacity and efficiency.

Exploring microgrid solutions

Electrical engineers are key to exploring microgrid solutions, and organisations rely on their expertise to develop efficient energy transmission strategies. Microgrids are used by organisations to improve electricity distribution and be more environmentally conscious. Because of their independence, these systems allow a specific place to use electricity apart from the existing electrical grid.

Renewable energy hybrid power systems can increase access to more environmentally friendly electricity for people living in distant places that are not wired to the grid. These independent systems can draw power from a variety of sources, including solar panels and wind turbines. An engine generator running on regular gasoline can take over when there isn't enough sunlight or wind.

Electrical engineering experts often spend large portions of their day developing the principles behind the latest in power systems, energy conversion and smart power grids. 

Find your next renewable energy role at Quanta

Renewable energy is helping us secure a brighter, safer future. The talent in the industry is the best it has ever been, and careers being created are not only profitable but greatly rewarding. Have these renewable energy roles that are helping power a greener future inspired you? Our expert recruitment team are on hand to discuss how you can land a renewable energy job. Alternatively, browse our renewable energy jobs or sign up to our job alerts.