The 11th grade Physics students ventured off campus last Thursday with their instructor, Dr. Tom Salem, to visit Clemson University's award winning SCE&G Energy Innovation Center. Dr. Salem, the facilities manager, led the students on a tour through the facility where students got to see up-close and first hand the next generation of wind turbine drive-train technology. This facility can accommodate wind-turbine nacelles with up to an amazing 15 MW (that's mega watts, or 15 million watts).
In addition, these fortunate students were able to see the complete operation of the Duke Energy eGRID (Electrical Grid Innovation and Development). The eGRID, in conjunction with the testing facility, allows wind turbine generator manufacturers to test both the mechanical and electrical characteristics of their machines in a controlled and calibrated environment.
Just ask the Physics students about the trip and they will tell you all about the impressive facility. "I was most impressed by the sheer size of the 15MW test bed," says Ocean Dybowski. "Seeing the wind turbine blade in person and realizing the other blades are two and half times that size, was amazing," he said. Ellie Creed also commented, saying "the infrastructure of the building and how it was designed to hold all of the equipment was unbelievable."
PCA sends a special thank you to Dr. Salem for sharing his work environment and providing such a wonderful learning experience with our students.