Internship Field: Power Engineering, Wind Energy
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Host: enbreeze GmbH
Duration: 3 months in summer of 2015
Description: "My main project was to make a structural model of the wind turbine blade for the 10kW turbine. The structural model would basically describe the stiffness and mass of the blade at different sections along the blade span, and would be used in an aeroelastic simulation. The simulation would then predict how the turbine would operate under all sorts of wind conditions, and would be used to certify the turbine for safe operation. I had to use two traditional software tools for modeling wind turbines, which are completely text-based, meaning that I had to input the blade properties as numbers and code into .txt input files and then run a command prompt that would output a stiffness and mass matrix. It was definitely challenging, and took a while to learn how to operate the software and interpret the results, but it was also extremely rewarding. In the end, due to lack of information from the blade manufacturer (I was modeling a blade that was already built, so the model was only needed for certification purposes), I ended up with several models that could all represent the blade, making a set of different assumptions."
Comments: "My responsibilities were very worthwhile. I had to learn how to use several text-based modeling tools, which is an important skill because many engineering tools are text-based. They seemed almost completely unapproachable, but in the end I was as familiar with them as my boss himself.
Also, the whole prototype uses a pitch control system that is not used anywhere else. It was extremely complex, but being able to be part of its development, and being able to understand how it worked was very rewarding. Aside from that, I truly learned the value of documentation in engineering. I used to see it just as a rather boring process (which it is to some extent), but the company where I worked had so many problems because of lack of documentation that I got to see first-hand all the reasons to document appropriately."
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