A view from Warwick: Wind turbine generates energy and curiosity

Wow.  I can’t believe it has been five years already.  Seems like yesterday the wind turbine was being put up.  Check out this nice story from the Providence Journal about our wind turbine.

A view from Warwick: Wind turbine generates energy and curiosity

 The Providence Journal

When the wind turbine just off Route 95 at the New England Institute of Technology automotive campus isn’t turning, it’s not for academic reasons.

The wind has to blow at least 7.8 mph for the blades to turn.

Or the wind could be blowing too hard. “When it reaches 56 mph, it brakes,” said Michael Petit, chairman of the electrical technology department, who helped develop the institute’s green technology program.

Another time the blades won’t turn is when the tower unwinds itself. The turbine, made by Northern Power Systems in Vermont, automatically turns. “It will spin and circle with the wind,” Petit said. After four or five turns, “it will stop and rotate the other way so the cable doesn’t get twisted around.”

The tower spins so slowly that “you wouldn’t notice it, driving by,” Petit said.

Students don’t usually go inside the turbine, except for a peek. And they aren’t allowed to climb the rungs inside. Anyone who climbs has to be trained by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, and “it’s an expensive operation to get certified by OSHA,” said Petit, who is 60 and lives in Exeter. He hasn’t been to the top. “If there’s not an elevator, I’m not going. I’m the kind of guy, I’d get to the top and I’d forget why I’m up there.”

The turbine is run entirely by Northern Power, said Trevor Atkinson, a salesman and engineer for the company, which has its headquarters in Barre, Vt.

On its website, New England Tech has a link to an animated drawing that shows how fast the wind is blowing and whether electricity is flowing from the turbine to the automotive building, or, if the turbine isn’t moving, from the power grid to the automotive building. (See for yourself here.)

The turbine rarely makes more energy than the automotive building uses, Petit and Atkinson said.

“It’s not in a real good wind spot,” Petit said. “It’s not there to make money.”

It’s there for demonstration.

When it first went up, in August 2009, “people stopped along the highway to look at it,” Petit said. “It’s educational to the public and students.”

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Electrical Engineers are in Demand

The first cohort from NEIT’s Bachelor of Science degree program in Electrical Engineering Technology (ELT) graduated in May, 2014. This program was designed as a result of numerous requests from local southern New England employers for graduates with automation and control experience. The bachelor’s level program was designed for those students who already possess an associate degree in fields related to Electronics or Electrical Technology. This program began in October, 2012, and is an accelerated 18 month curriculum.

The ELT program is a unique combination of traditional electronics and electrical skill sets to include microcontrollers, automation systems, electrical design, and process control emphasizing a hands-on, practical approach to the mastery of the skills needed in the electrical engineering industry. At the conclusion of the program, students are expected to develop and synthesize their own design project demonstrating the applied skills acquired throughout the program. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship in the field. This first graduating class of 2014 has over a 90% employment rate!

All NEIT programs are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. In addition, the ELT program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the organization responsible for the accreditation of educational programs leading to degrees in engineering, engineering technology, computing, and applied science.

Today’s employers are seeking highly skilled technicians in the manufacturing and engineering fields so New England Tech has recently added to its extensive equipment inventory in the engineering technology department with high tech systems used in industry to provide enhanced hands-on training to students. The Instron 5982 Advanced Mechanical Testing System will give students the opportunity to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components used in a variety of industries.  A new automation lab is will soon be available to students for additional skills training.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, including Electrical Engineering Technology.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

Employment news from Career Services

Building Trades Employer Day

Career Services hosted the first annual Building Trades Employer Day on Tuesday, May 13th at the Post Road campus.  The focus of the event was specifically for the Building Construction, Refrigeration/AC Heating & Gas, Plumbing/Heating & Gas, Construction Management and Electrical Technologies.

Past graduates and currently enrolled students were able to speak with managers and recruiters about potential full-time and part-time opportunities.  They, along with the instructors, were able to make connections and to learn about companies that they may not have thought about as a job prospect.  There were 16 companies in attendance and most were following up with the students and grads that submitted resumes or filled out an application.  We are already looking forward to planning next year’s event

 

Fred Perrin, Recruiting Manager for Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment Company, met with sixth quarter Automotive students on May 13th  at the Access Road Campus.  Dejana has 6 facilities in the northeast and is currently recruiting for the Smithfield, RI location.    Mr. Perrin, who works out of the New York office, spoke with the upcoming grads about career opportunities at Dejana.

 

Clean Care of New England visited the campus on March 18,  to tour Construction Management Technology.  Clean Care, located in RI, visited the campus to learn about the Construction Management program and how grads could  work in the restoration and remediation field as project managers.

Faculty News: New Electrical Instructor

Edmund "Ed" Borges

Edmund “Ted” Borges

Edmund “Ted” Borges, Instructor Electrical Technology

Ted Borges comes to New England Tech with a wealth of experience in the industrial controls industry. Ted started his career as an electrical engineer designing and programming PLC-based systems for industrial process machinery and then progressed to management. Later, he worked in a sales position as a Global Accounts Manager for GE Fanuc Automation, managing global strategies with the company’s Fortune 500 partners.

In addition, Ted started his own industrial automation consulting firm, using his expertise in PLC controls, operator interfaces, HMI/SCADA programming, motion control, and AC/DC drive applications. As the principal in the firm, he managed everything from sales, to execution, to training and technical support for clients.

Ted has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a Computer Engineering focus from Brown University.