08 June 2016

What can you do with wind power?

What can you do with wind power?

Neal Bent GIPENZ from ABB works with Erica, Warren and Bernie from Royal Road School.

Automation systems engineer Neal Bent GIPENZ from ABB is working with Royal Road School to help them to make use of the electricity generated by their wind turbine.

This low decile Waitakere school is an Enviroschool with a native tree nursery and vegetable gardens. In 2010 their Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers Awards project looked at finding an "eco" solution for pumping water from their rainwater tank to the shade house. With help from engineer Juan Pretorius MIPENZ, the students researched options for using a wind turbine to generate the necessary electricity. The money they won from the Transpower Awards, plus funding from the Auckland Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund, enabled the school to install a wind turbine, which has been in use since the end of 2013.

A new group of students have started a project for this year’s Awards, looking at how the school can use the surplus electricity generated by the wind turbine. Neal brought in some simple circuit kits for the students to help them understand basic electrical concepts.

“There were two different types, one that had a bulb and powered the whirly thing to spin, then rise into the air,” explains teacher Rebekah Phillips. “The other one had a range of sounds you could generate: police siren and others. The kids enjoyed these immensely.”

The next steps for the students will be communicating their ideas to stakeholders and collecting survey data.