On April 27, renewable energy students Nick Hieb, Jason Coddington, Katelyn Donnagan, Alex Reis, Domonic Lange, Katrina Keller, and John Lechner, along with faculty advisor Matt Aldeman toured the Suzlon Wind Turbine Training Center in Elgin.
The students were able to see the training center’s classroom and training equipment up close. The Suzlon Wind Turbine Training Center has several wind turbines hubs they use for training, as well as, a 2.1MW wind turbine nacelle, the first fully operational wind turbine dedicated to training in North America. The nacelle is installed on an eight-foot-tall tower and supported by down-tower control and power panels. This nacelle used to be installed in a wind farm but was moved to the Elgin site for training purposes. The training area also simulates “working-at-heights” for an on-the-job experience of working on wind turbines.
“Overall I would say that the experience was very informative in terms of electrical and industrial safety protocols, which are areas that we don’t get very much in depth content. It was also interesting to hear about how extensive the technical training is at Suzlon. The best part about the trip was getting to climb into a decommissioned turbine that they have sitting in their shop; if we hadn’t only climbed 10 feet of ladder, I could easily believe someone who told me I was 300 feet off the ground. Being able to see that equipment up close and touch the machinery was a great opportunity that many of our students may not otherwise get in their careers.”—Nick Hieb ’19, renewable energy