STEM Career Tours

Inspiring the pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math literacy, skills, and careers.

Tag: EverPower

Wind and Driving Rain Power Students’ Imaginations

On February 23rd, 10 Students from Seton La Salle High School and a pair of their teachers visited a wind farm located in the heart of Patton Township. They stepped from the bus into driving rain and a wind that blew against them stinging their faces.  They met, huddled together among the cold and rain, with Michael Hoffman the Highland Assistant Site Manager for Everpower Wind Holdings.

The students were able to see firsthand the real physical reality of renewable wind energy. Towering 300 meters overhead the wind turbine stood cutting through the morning fog, rotating and continuously generating power. We were’t allowed to get too close, as the ice warnings from recent snow and rain made it unsafe.  The low hum of the the power substation was not audible over the driving wind which made the location perfect for harnessing of wind power.

While it was unfortunate that weather conditions, specifically the ice danger warning, prevented the students from being able to get right next to the turbine, the sense of scale was not lost on them. Many of the students were surprised by just how large the wind turbine actually stood. After a few minutes in the cold, everyone retreated back onto the bus for a brief explanation of the day to day operation of a wind farm from our guide for the outing.

We could see the substation from our bus windows. It was built to collect all the energy generated by the turbines and received through the Medium Voltage cables, transformers and a high voltage system to release the electricity into the grid.  Every megawatt of installed energy capacity create $1 Million in economic development according to the AWWI.  The short stop was well worth the time as we prepared for more time with Wind Power experts at St. Francis Institute for Energy and the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh.  The students are working hard on their children’s book about Wind Energy due for release soon!

Power Forever

Creating green everlasting power to sustain our future. That is the main goal of EverPower in their quest to create safer and cleaner energy through wind power. The STEM Career Tour recently took a visit to the Pittsburgh office of Everpower to see how wind energy works and how it can be used as alternative energy. The students were amazed to see how much information was presented on the 6 screens that were constantly gaining data from active wind turbines all throughout the country. There was also an active weather report on one screen that is used to see where winds will be heading and see where lightning is currently striking. Lightning is very important to the workers of EverPower because they need to notify their field crews when lightning is within in the area so they can evacuate working on their turbines and find a safe place to wait until the storm has passed.

EverPower also went into details of how a wind turbine is made and how they work when they are running. It takes about 7 mph of wind to get a turbine started and the turbines will typically turn in the direction where there is most wind. The blades can also rotate to match the wind patterns and get more energy produced. The workers of EverPower also explained how even though it seems like they focus on a specific field of engineering, they also use principles and concepts from other types of engineering. They explained how there really is no field of engineering in the modern day that doesn’t need all types of engineering to make them work. This was particularly intriguing to the students, as it is beneficial to them as they are searching for a potential career and college major. We thank EverPower for taking time out of their days to welcome the STEM Career Tour and show us how alternative energy is being revolutionized through wind power.

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