TSTC receives big boost to wind energy program

July 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

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Engineering Division Director Hector Yanez, center, and Wind Energy Program chair David Gomez, right, were present upon the arrival of the 70-ton nacelle at TSTC, which will be used for hands-on training by students in the Wind Energy Techonology Program.

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Gomez said the nacelle will be used for maintenance demonstrations and applying various troubleshooting techniques by students upon their first semester in the program.



Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 5:33 pm

TSTC receives big boost to wind energy program

By ELADIO JAIMEZ

TSTC Staff

Valley Morning Star

The Wind Energy Technology Program at Texas State Technical College received a huge boost this week when a 70-ton nacelle equipped with a gear box and generator arrived on campus to be used by students for hands-on training purposes.

The nacelle is the housing component to the generator, gear box and other equipment that sits atop a wind turbine tower and holds the blades.

It weighs about the same as six school buses, and was transported on a flatbed trailer from a manufacturing plant in Round Rock, with trip to Harlingen taking almost 24 hours.

WET Program chairman David Gomez said the addition of the nacelle will give students real world experience before they graduate.

“We have state-of-the-art lab trainers here already,” Gomez said. “But nothing can quite compare to what is really used out in the field, in terms of sheer size, operations and accessibility. What our students will see in the wind industry once they start working will be nothing new to them now.”

Ingleside’s WET Program chairman George Lister spent years as a wind technician before becoming an instructor and now heads TSTC’s satellite operations in the Coastal Bend area.

Lister, who valued the donation by a wind energy company at nearly $1 million, said the nacelle will make TSTC’s WET Program one of the premier training facilities in the country.

“It will provide invaluable hands-on training to our students,” Lister said. “It’s a major component to what we do and our students will be more ready when they graduate. Our Ingleside students will make use of it, too.”

The nacelle now sits adjacent to the Engineering Center but TSTC Interim President Stella Garcia said the college would explore the possibility of building a 15 to 20-foot base that would allow students access to the nacelle similar to how they would access from a full-size turbine.

“They will be able to experience and move around in a small amount of space to monitor and troubleshoot equipment that is found hundreds of feet above the ground,” Garcia said. “Short of actually going to a wind farm and climbing the tower, the students will experience the real thing on campus.”

Gomez said the nacelle will be used for maintenance demonstrations and applying various troubleshooting techniques by students upon their first semester in the program.

“The TSTC Wind Energy Program became significantly stronger with the arrival of the nacelle,” Gomez said. “A big thank you to all those involved.”

To learn more about the Wind Energy Technology Program, go to www.tstc.edu/harlingenwindtech.

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Friday, July 11, 2014 5:33 pm.

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