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Getting wind energy experience in Denmark

Posted on 2016-11-10 10:29:44 EET.

While most of VAMK students were on their autumn holidays, seven eager students from the degree programmes of Mechanical and Energy and Environmental Engineering travelled to Denmark to our partner university UCN in Aalborg, in order to join a workshop in “Integrating Wind Energy Smart Energy System” together with a Danish student group.  

The workshop focused on energy processes and production facilities and flexible demand opportunities and it was based on PBL (problem based learning) pedagogy which has its origins in Aalborg university. In PBL the students should first define themselves the problem they would like to research in and after the research question is clear,  they should collect data, do  literature review,  and in this wind energy workshop model production finally create an  integration strategy based on energy-economic and environmental assessment methods.

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The workshop started with teaming activities – team rules being decided here.

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The students were working in teams on a problem they defined themselves.

The workshop focused on modern Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) connected to the high voltage grid. Latest technology, analysing production and power curves were introduced to students. Topics also included IRR calculations on energy production, wind measurement and team work skills. The wind resources were investigated, evaluated and a detailed understanding of project costing, and project economics was being presented. The students were introduced to new insights and strategies that are applicable to a wide variety of situations where demand and fluctuating renewable energy supply can be matched together in harmony, efficiency and maximising profits.

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The workshop consisted of team work and lectures and an interesting excursion.

In the workshop the students listened to lectures and after them they were asked to work in multicultural teams in order to model different aspects of a 200MW nearshore Windfarm. The focus was on integrating the production energy by load-shifting, energy storage and other solutions into local markets.  

During the two weeks the students worked hard and very intensively and they also visited a windturbine testing field and blade storage site and The Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. On the last day of the workshop all teams held their presentations and the Finnish students and teachers became familiar with the Danish evaluation system in which immediate oral feedback and the grade was given directly after the presentation.

- I got many new insights about the wind energy and especially about the storage systems and different possible ways of using the wind energy. The greatest benefit though was to be able to work in an international environment, which developed e.g. my language and multicultural team working skills and lowered thus the threshold to work abroad in the future, commented Roope Ketoja, fourth year mechanical engineering student.

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The team is presenting its project related to wind turbines and clean water production system in Eritrea.

Also the Finnish teachers joining the workshop HOD Lotta Saarikoski and HOD Riitta Niemelä were happy to learn how to use the PBL approach in practice.  

- We are looking forward to the counter visit which the UCN students and their teachers are going to pay us at VAMK in January, says Lotta Saarikoski.

- Then also those students who cannot go abroad, get international experience at home, concludes Riitta Niemelä.

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The multicultural student group of VAMK and UCN and their happy teachers Riitta Niemelä and Lotta Saarikoski from VAMK and Maria Kravchenko and Andrew Knox Cass from UCN.

Text and photos: Lotta Saarikoski

 

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