Excursion to Wind Facilities in the North-West of Germany
by Edu Knagge (PPRE 1990-91)
As part of the introduction and orientation weeks in Oldenburg, the new MSc-students of PPRE 2018-20 and EUREC 2018-19 visited different Wind Facilities in the North-West of Germany on 10th of October 2018.
The tour started early morning at 7:30 am with over 40 students (besides PPREs & EUREC, we also welcomed free movers from the Erasmus exchange program and MSc-Students from Sustainability Economics and Management Master program -).
First stop was the historical windmill in Spetzerfehn (constructed in 1886!), which is one of the very few still actively operating traditional windmills in Germany. Students were allowed to climb up to the wooden gearbox in the hub of the windmill and to enjoy the pleasant view from the slippery balcony.
Afterwards we visited one of the biggest manufacturer of wind energy converters called ENERCON in Aurich. A general introduction in the recently established Information Centre (), was followed by a guided tour through the impressive blade manufacturing site, where over 65m long blades are produced.
Subsequently ENERCON representative J. Laubrock led the group to a typical ENERCON wind farm (>20 years in operation), where students had the chance to climb up to the top of one machine to enjoy the rotating blades (~33 m long) at 65 meters height.
Lunch was taken in a Fish-restaurant directly located at the North Sea-Coastline in Dornumersiel. Students were asked to participate in a crab-peeling competition, which was quite fun for everyone apart from the stinky fingers.
The tour was concluded with a stop-over at a wind-test site from UL-DEWI (German Wind Energy Institute) in Wilhelmshaven, where several different types of WECs of the new multi-megawatt generation are installed and tested.
In the evening at 6pm the bus arrived back in Wechloy, Oldenburg and new student were invited to join the Welcome-Party at Energielabor, which was organized by the senior PPRE-students around.
Overall it was a quite packed but interesting experience, which provided some valuable insights into the German Wind facilities available.