Wind Energy Turbine Technology
“First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the entire globe…
an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it!”
-Henry David Thoreau, essay, Paradise (to be) Regained, 1843
"Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power -- that is, power to move things…. As yet, the wind is an untamed, and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of the wind."
–Abraham Lincoln, speech, Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions, 1858
Associate Degree and Certificate Program Open for Enrollment
Today, Wind Energy is "the fastest growing source of power on the planet," according to the Sierra Club. And strategically situated at the geographic hub of a newly booming regional wind energy industry, Eastern WV Community and Technical College appears ideally suited to offer a market-ready Wind Energy Turbine Technology (WETT) program.
In the summer of 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy outlined a strategy that will produce 20 percent of U.S. power from wind energy alone by 2030. And over the next five years alone, industry representatives estimate that some 300 new technician jobs will come available in Eastern’s four-state region.
To prepare local residents to qualify for those local and regional jobs, the College has developed the necessary training curriculum for an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree, a Certificate of Proficiency and a Skill Set program in Wind Energy Turbine Technology. (Both the Associate Degree Progam and the Certificate Program are now in place and open for enrollment.)
Eastern has designed this program to comply with American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) certification standards; and has drawn on the work of other, vanguard Wind Energy Technology programs with track records of success from the western part of the nation — a region that, until now, has taken a lead in Wind Tech training.
(Eastern is also a participating member in good standing of the “Technical/Community College Goals” subgroup of AWEA's Education Working Group — a forum that promotes, supports and assists in the development of job and career training programs for Community and Technical Colleges, as well as wind education programs at all levels.)
Students in Eastern’s program will not only learn the skills necessary to service and troubleshoot modern wind power generation equipment anywhere in the world: they will also acquire the background and knowledge to advance their careers in the power generation field.
Some learners may need to take additional English or Math classes as pre-requisites for the programs — and they can register for those classes without delay.
Financial Aid Available
Eastern's Financial Aid Director will work with each individual learner - as may be necessary - to design a financial aid plan best suited to his or her specific situation. Please contact Eastern's Financial Aid Office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org , or by phone at 304-434-8000 (or toll-free: 877-982-2322), ext. 9256. to learn about the financial aid opportunities available for you at Eastern.
About the Career
Men and women, adult learners and recent high school graduates alike, are welcome to get the training for this exciting new career.
- Within Eastern’s six-county service district (Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral, Tucker and Pendleton), the industry currently operates 199 turbines (Grant: 132; Tucker: 44; Mineral 23).
- The Pinnacle Wind Farm announced its offical commisioning Janaury 23, 2012. This 23-turbine wind farm, at NewPage on Green Mountain, near Keyser, in Mineral County, has been standing and operational since the fall 2011. It has the theoretical capacity (maximum generating capacity) to produce enough electricity to fulfill the needs of some 14,000 homes, were it to spin at full capacity at all times, according to its operator, Edison Mission Group.
- The Criterion 28-turbine Wind Project atop Backbone Mountain near Eagle Rock in neighboring Garrett County, Maryland, started generating electricity in July, 2011.
- A month later, the 20-turbine Roth Rock Wind Farm, also sited in neighboring Garrett County, Maryland, joined the Criterion farm as an electricity-producer.
- NextEra is working on still another Potomac Highlands wind farm — projected to open in September, 2017 and called the Pruntytown-Mount Storm project — in Grant County that will provide an additional 250 megawatts of electricity.
- Hundreds more turbines, on dozens of wind farms, are operating, under construction, proposed and/or in the permitting process in other neighboring counties (Laurel Mountain on the border between Randolph and Upshur, Greenbrier) and states.
- The Department of Energy has stated that we can get 20 percent of our power from wind energy alone by 2030. West Virginia is a leader in the industry.
Wind Energy Technology: The Associate in Applied Science Degree Program
The Wind Energy Technology (WTT) program provides a technical education at the Associate in Applied Science Level. This broad-based curriculum provides instruction and practical application of a variety of technical concepts and practices. The courses include industry recognized maintenance practices in electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical systems, computer control, data acquisition, periodic and predictive maintenance program usages.
Successful completion of the WTT program prepares graduates to enter the workforce with an AAS Degree in Wind Technology. They will be prepared to perform periodic maintenance on machinery and systems located, not only in the wind industry, but in any industry utilizing machinery and electrical control systems and mechanical equipment. Employment opportunities for graduates include the expanding wind industry located across the United States, and more importantly, many organizations within Eastern’s service area. Sample job titles are:
- Wind Turbine Service Technician
- Wind Turbine Manufacturing Technician
- Wind Potential Technician (meteorological data collection)
- Wind Turbine Site Development Technician
- Wind Turbine Construction/Installation Technician
- Wind Turbine Commissioning Technician (initial start-up and synchronization with the grid)
- Industrial Maintenance Technician
The components of the WTT curriculum are algebra and trigonometry based. Additional transition courses may be required in English, mathematics and reading. Requirements will be determined by placement test scores.
Upon successful completion of the program the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of electrical equipment and operation
- Demonstrate knowledge of mechanical equipment and operation
- Demonstrate knowledge of fluid power equipment and operations
- Demonstrate safety practices common to the wind industry
- Troubleshoot, repair and maintain electrical systems common to wind power generation
- Troubleshoot, repair and maintain distribution power systems common to wind power generation
- Troubleshoot, repair and maintain hydraulic controls used in the wind industry
- Use commonly available instruments to analyze & troubleshoot systems
- Use schematics, operating manuals & troubleshooting guides to troubleshoot equipment commonly used in the wind industry
- Demonstrate knowledge of climbing, rescue, and emergency medical techniques and procedures necessary for the wind industry
- Apply safety procedures in the industrial environment including those applicable to hand & power tools
- Demonstrate job hazard assessment and resolution to hazards
- Apply computers in troubleshooting, maintenance planning & report writing using application software relevant to the wind industry
- Demonstrate proficiency in wind turbine maintenance and repair
- Demonstrate knowledge in airfoil composite and repair
- Demonstrate proficiency in wind turbine troubleshooting and repair
- Communicate effectively and work collaboratively in a variety of wind related industrial settings
- Perform daily maintenance and repair tasks necessary in the wind industry
- Demonstrate global awareness and knowledge of human diversity
Special Certificate: Students successfully completing WTT 100 Introduction to Wind Energy will receive an OSHA Certificate of Completion for General Industry Safety (10-hour).
Program Implementation: Full-time afternoon/evening (Students attending part-time should contact advisor for recommended course sequencing).
Wind Energy Technology: The College Certificate of Proficiency Program
The Wind Energy Turbine Technology (WETT) program provides a technical education at the certificate level. This broad-based curriculum provides instruction and practical application of a variety of technical concepts and practices, including industry-recognized maintenance practices in electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and mechanical systems.
The Wind Energy Turbine Technology Certificate Program will meet the needs of regional employers in the wind energy industry, and provide graduates with job-ready skills for a productive career in the green industries. Successful completion of the WETT program prepares graduates to enter the workforce at the technician level, ready to perform maintenance on wind energy turbines, as well as on machinery and systems in any industry utilizing machinery and electrical control systems.
Employment opportunities for graduates include the expanding wind industry within Eastern’s service area, as well as across the United States.
The program can also provide continuing education opportunities for currently employed technicians by awarding credit for college level learning acquired through existing credentialing programs or professional training.
The program prepares graduates
- to enter the workforce at the technician level
- to perform periodic maintenance on machinery and systems located, not only in the wind industry, but in any industry utilizing machinery and electrical control systems
- with thorough instructition instruction in
- safety standards
- introduction to the wind energy field
- fundamentals of fluid power
- industrial maintenance fundamentals
- electrical circuits and applications
- principles of power generation and transmission.
Wind Energy Technology: Skill Sets
Skill Sets* - Skill Set course sequences
*NOTE: All Skill Sets may require Pre/Co-requisite courses
¤ Airfoils and Composite Repair
¤ Electrical Generation Applications
¤ Wind Control Systems
¤ Wind Energy Safety and Basic Operations
¤ Wind Turbine Systems and Repair
- Airfoils and Composite Repair Skill Set Outcomes
- Demonstrate airfoil repair techniques
- Discuss construction methods used in airfoil construction
- Analyze airfoil failure methods
- Explain airfoil limitations
- Describe materials utilized in various types of airfoils
- Electrical Generation Applications Skill Set Outcomes
- Describe how motor controls are used in a Wind Turbine
- Explain how power is generated in the various types of Wind Turbines
- Describe the operating system that controls a Wind Turbine and Wind Farm
- Discuss issues related to high voltage distribution
- Wind Control Systems Skill Set Outcomes
- Discuss remote monitoring systems
- Discuss software utilized for remote system operations
- Analyze turbine systems and control via remote connections
- Analyze PLC programs
- Apply ladder logic and schematic analysis techniques
- Wind Energy Safety and Basic Operations Skill Set Outcomes
- Explain how wind turbines generate power
- Explain how the energy grid operates
- Discuss OSHA requirements and safety needs of a wind operation
- Describe the operations of a wind farm management system
- Wind Turbine Systems and Repair Skill Set Outcomes
- Discuss mechanical systems within a wind turbine
- Explain standard troubleshooting procedures
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills utilized in troubleshooting
- Discuss mechanical failures and their probable causes
- Demonstrate knowledge in utilizing industrial meters and diagnostic equipment
For a similar program, see also Electromechanical Technology