Friday, November 11, 2005

Windmills, Windmills, Windmills

Over the past two weeks, I have not gone to much class. And not for the same reason I skipped class at Queen's (I'm not at home watching Law & Order). Instead, I've been on a series of field trips:
  • I visited a large offshore windfarm in Southern Denmark. This is considered to be the future of wind energy, since the wind blows stronger and there are fewer complaints from the neighbours. This allows the wind farm to be much larger and produce power similar to a traditional power plant. However, the added costs of construction at sea are still way too high at the moment.
  • The next day, I attended the Copenhagen Offshore Wind conference (COW). There were some interesting speakers, a bunch of flashy displays and they even arranged for interested students to meet with recruiters from Vestas and Siemens (mostly, to help us find thesis projects).
  • Then last week, we visited Siemens to see how they fabricate nacelles (where the blades connect to the generator). I also visited Vestas to see how they make fibreglass blades. Both trips were interesting, but since both factories were over 3 hours from Copenhagen, we spent most of our time on the bus. It also highlighted the fact that working with wind turbines often means working in the middle of nowhere. (Another note: on the way back from our field trip, the bus driver made a stop for us to get beer, and the prof even joined in.

There's plenty of pictures of windmills in our photos

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