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Personal Encounter with Wind Energy

Driving from Colorado to Texas last week, I passed a sprawling wind farm. Looking out my car window, I was struck by the power of those white turbines rotating wind above the stark, flat landscape.

Studying in The Netherlands my sophomore year, I had the chance to see a variety of Dutch windmills. From train windows, I saw them in a variety of places: in the middle of tulip fields or tucked into the countryside outside Amsterdam and Utrecht.

They seemed to blend into the landscape of the Netherlands—seeming to belong like the cobblestone streets belong to Dutch cities, and lighthouses belong to coastlines.

Yet these relics of past production do not resemble the tall wind turbines I saw churning in front of me in the blue sky. These turbines are larger, more impressive—more alien and unfamiliar. Still, they are a graceful symbol of an important environmental movement toward renewable energy.

Background

Beyond wind energy’s aesthetics, it has important environmental and industrial implications. “In recent years, concern about global warming and the harmful effects of fuel emissions has created new demand for cleaner and sustainable energy sources, like wind,” explains General Electric Energy

Wind energy is also a rapidly-growing industry of renewable energy that provides new opportunities for technical career jobs.

TechCareers: Wind Energy, the newest addition to TSTC Publishing’s TechCareer Series gives those interested in the industry a broad overview and also supplies readers with advice and guides on the types of vocational skills and jobs to expect in wind energy.

To work in the growing wind energy industry, there are necessary skill sets such as troubleshooting and diagnosis of turbines, AC/DC theory, networking and computer technology and fluid power. Wind Energy describes the types of jobs in wind energy, listing wind field technician, wind analyst, and wind farm manager as possible technical careers. It also gives a detailed list of wind energy companies.

As more players enter the field, General Electric Energy is still one of the top employers in wind power.  Wondering what it would be like to work for a major energy company? Take a closer look at the resources GE Energy’s website has to offer on wind energy careers and technology.

The Facts

 

Places: Wind farms are in many states across the U.S and over sees. Want to get a close-up of these farms? Click here

Jobs: GE has 300,000 people working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The company website provides a career page and a job search engine .

There are many companies hiring, however. Vestas Wind Systems announced this week it will hire more than 1,000 people at three Colorado plants that manufacture wind turbine components.

In Texas, deregulation has created competitive electricity markets that will create more jobs.

Products: GE Energy shows some of the models of wind turbines such as the 1.5 MW Series wind turbine, 2.5 MW Series, and several offshore technologies such as the 4.0 MW offshore wind series. Click here for a technical drawing of the 1.5 MW turbine.

Want to see wind energy in motion? Watch these videos on the manufacturing and construction of turbines.

Want to get even more familiar with wind energy and other emerging technologies? Visit our website to order our TechCareers series directly.

Claire

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2 thoughts on “Personal Encounter with Wind Energy

  1. Wind energy is still not the greatest environmental solution since it can hurt birds, solar is the way to go.

  2. GE Energy is constantly making new innovations toward making wind energy more profitable, reliable, and less costly to maintain. One solution they provide for the ~1.5 MW-class of turbines is the ADAPT.Wind solution. It allows operators to plan for maintenance, coordinate outages for closely clustered units, and proactively monitor units with anomalies, instead of running to failure or tripping the unit on an anomaly. Being able to understand the condition and health of the wind farm’s machinery, an operator can consolidate maintenance for one time and schedule one crane, realizing hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

    The ADAPT.wind software is the standard condition monitoring solution on GE’s wind turbine units and can be readily deployed on most manufacturers’ equipment.

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