New energy on the school yard

What exactly is renewable energy and how is it produced?

The BayWa Foundation responded to these questions from the many young pupils with a unique educational project at the elementary and middle school in Bechhofen in the district of Ansbach. The BayWa Foundation’s pilot project gave them the opportunity to find out for themselves the meaning behind the term “renewable energy”. The first small wind turbine designed by pupils in Bavaria was built here under the guidance of students from the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences and trainees from the local plastics processing company. It was created according to expert plans and optimised to meet local conditions.

The pupils invested a great deal of work and effort in realising their own wind turbine, even outside of lessons. It was no wonder, therefore, that the opening day was eagerly awaited. Will everything work, will the work be completed on time, will the technology work and what will it look like, the first wind turbine at a Bavarian school?



The day of truth: Does the wind turbine work?

It is the 7th of July 2015. Today, the turbine is to be put into operation for the first time. During the morning the students still spend time completing the final touches in the workshop. Then the commissioning celebrations begin. After a word of welcome by the headmaster to the invited guests, the pupils set about erecting the wind turbine’s mast in a joint effort. The nacelle and electrical equipment are installed in a complex operation with the help of two cranes. Then the small wind turbine along with the display panel in the school building is started for the first time – with success!

The self-generated wind energy is stored in batteries. It provides the school with enough energy for a pump and lighting system. 



Student reports:

The coils - Nico and Michelle

We were involved in assembling the coil. We were told that it takes nine coils to make up the wind turbine. These must have 90 windings that conduct the current. It is also important that all nine coils have approximately the same weight. After the most important things were explained to us, we were allowed to work ourselves. Winding the coils requires sensitivity and precision.

The weather station - Niklas and Timo

For the project, we have been evaluating the data from our weather station on the computer, especially the wind speed and direction, since October. Mr Dischl from Systemhaus Schmidt cooperated with us on this. Together we have been looking for a solution how to establish a connection between the weather station transmitter, the PC and the panel.

It is planned to have a black board hanging in the school hall. A program will then project a screenshot showing the current weather data onto this black board. For us, the “Wind turbine” project is extremely interesting as it represents the school making an active contribution to the energy turnaround.



The blades - Gina Drowowitz and Sabrina Steigauf

The first step was to plan how the blade should ultimately look. We sketched the blade and calculated its dimensions. When the wood for the blade arrived, we planed it down to a thickness of 5 cm, after which we sketched the basic dimensions and shape of the blade. Next, we marked the slope of the blade together with various points showing how far it was necessary to saw into it. After sawing the blade, the excess wood was removed using a chisel. Mr Leitel then used an electric planer to get rid of uneven spots on the wood. After that, we used the orbital sander to sand the whole thing neatly and smoothly. We carried out these steps on all six blades.

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