Within the module “Renewable energy technologies: Fundamentals”, the third-year REMS students went on the last day of this course together with the module manager Dr. Stuart Wagland on a field trip to Green Britain (http://www.greenbritaincentre.co.uk/). After two hours drive, it was time to explore the Green Britain Centre. The centre focused on renewable energy, future transport, as well as food. Thus, the students could have an organic lunch in the Café, while learning about biodiversity and food. Refreshed, it should have been easy to climb up the 300 steps inside the “ecotricity” wind turbine. When the students finally reached the top, they were rewarded with a great panoramic view from the viewing platform, but also experienced the tower motions due to the wind loads and blade rotations, as well as the yaw mechanism turning the wind turbine into the wind.

The ‘ecotricity’ wind turbine On the viewing platform at the top of the The solar tracker next to the wind turbine
wind turbine

The wind turbine blade The fastest wind powered vehicle ‘Greenbird’ Electric Car ‘Nemesis EV’

Back on earth, a closer look was taken at the wind turbine blade next to the wind turbine and a huge solar tracker. Soon discussions started about the reasons for the occurrence in January 2009, when one blade of a wind turbine had fallen off and another blade was demolished, while the third one was still fully intact. Different theories could be debated on the drive back to Cranfield. But wouldn’t it have been nice to use the fastest wind powered vehicle “Greenbird”, with a record of 126.1 mph, or the electric car “Nemesis EV” with up to 151 mph to take the return journey?