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Learning Energy Mapping in Denmark

Posted on 2017-11-15 10:00:33 EET.

Seven eager students from VAMK took the chance and decided to take part in a short, two-week exchange program in Denmark. All the participating students are studying energy and environmental engineering at VAMK and are in their second to fourth year of their studies. The exchange programme took place at UCN, which is a partner school of VAMK, in Aalborg in Northern Denmark in October during weeks 42 and 43.

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VAMK engineering students had a two week intensive studies in Aalborg, Denmark.

VAMK students took part in course ”Energy Mapping” with the local Danish students. The students were divided into groups of four to five. Each group was given a local target school to map the energy consumption and make plans on how to save energy. The course was interesting in the sense, that each student was given a chance to act in a role of an energy specialist and as an advisor and to put their knowledge into practical use.

Lectures and Workshops

The teaching style during the classes was really interactive. The students were asked a lot of questions and they weren’t afraid to question and comment on the lectures. The atmosphere in general was quite laid back. The teachers also used a lot of modern technologies to support their lectures. For example one of the assignments given us by our teacher Meinhardt was conducted by using an online platform to help the class to brainstorm ideas about energy savings. Everything happened in real-time and it proved out to be a fun way to collaborate. You had to be really quick and creative to come up with something new that wasn’t already pitched by the other students.

The first week was used to prepare the students for the actual project and the days were divided in lectures and group workshops. During the workshops each group could choose a place to work freely around the school and its many study points. The spirit in our class was great and the local students were incredibly hospitable.

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Students worked together in teams.

Visiting a District Heating Plant

During our second week we also got the chance to visit a district heating plant with the local first year students. During the visit we were given information about district heating in Denmark in general as they are trying to increase its use to achieve higher level of self-dependency in energy and heat production.

The visit consisted of introduction to the company and its production plant, a visit to the pump station and the opportunity to climb on top of the plant to view the scenery.  We were clearly very welcome to visit the plant and all our questions were answered in depth.

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In Denmark district heating is produced mainly by non-profit organizations in co-operation with large energy companies, from which they get waste heat for use in district heating.

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The tour was given by the leader and two employees of the plant.

Visiting A Target School

Some of the students visited a target school and a kindergarten twice during the project. The school was located in Tylstrup (ca. 22 km from Aalborg). Students interviewed the staff responsible for the ongoing renovation and also the staff from the school and kindergarten.

The renovation in Tylstrup School is scheduled to be finished by the end of this year. In January the students will return to their familiar school and much improved working environment. The renovation is large and consists of replacing the ventilation system, heating system and windows.

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The student group made an energy saving plan for the kindergarten which hasn’t yet been renovated. The plan consists of saving energy by using modern technologies and cutting down unnecessary consumption.

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In the plan students also focused on how to teach the children to be more energy friendly.

Free Time in Aalborg

After the school days were done, it was time to spend some free time and hit the city! During our two week visit there was a lot to do. We were really happy that our local class mates joined us to show us around the city and really wanted to get to know us better outside the school. It was a great chance to brush up our English skills and get to know each other better because in the school there was no way we could have the time to chat with everyone we wanted.

During our first week we did some sightseeing. We visited The Aalborg Tower from which you could see almost all of Aalborg. The tower is 105 meters from the sea level and is 55 meters tall. On top of the tower you could buy some food and drinks.

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The Aalborg tower.

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The houses were colorful and some of the buildings had beautiful murals painted on them.

We also visited the zoo and a local history museum underground the city center. Walking around the beautiful city was also an experience in its own right because the architecture is quite different from what we have in Finland.

The Danish students also arranged a party for us, which was a lovely gesture. In addition to that we gathered together to play some pool, had a game night and attended a local gig where the band played Black Sabbath cover songs. The beautiful city and the very hospitable students made sure that our trip to Aalborg turned out to be something worth remembering!

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Aalborg at night.

Text and photos: The  student group of energy and environmental engineering

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