Today our Year 12 Electrotechnology students, accompanied by Mr Michael Haddad and Miss Marija Babic, visited the AGL windfarms at Hallett, just north of Burra, as part of their Workplace Practices and Integrated Learning courses.
In the lead up to the event, students learnt about different types of power generation and the benefits associated with renewable energy to individuals and the wider community. A focus on wind power within Workplace Practices has enabled students to develop an understanding of how the power source is generated and the impacts on the environment and economy in greater South Australia.
The industry visit included a session at the AGL Information Centre in Burra and a tour of the Hallett Stage 2 site with staff flown in especially to guide us. Many thanks to AGL for allowing Ian, an engineer from Melbourne and Helena, Manager of Community Engagement, together with Anita, PA to the Managing Director of AGL from Sydney who joined us. Naomi, based at AGL Burra and Josh, the Electrician from Vestas on the Hallett Stage 2 site, all accompanied the students and staff for a tour of the sub-station, control room and storage facilities. We were even treated to a look inside a turbine on a site boasting more than 35 of the ‘gentle giants’ scattered across the landscape.
Ian spoke to the students about the history of windfarms in Australia, energy consumption and the wind industry on a global scale. He spoke about the different components of a turbine and some of the engineering aspects involved – this together with information from Helena about the South Australian sites and growing sites in New South Wales and Victoria ensured students became aware of just how quickly this segment of the industry is growing and the rate at which it will continue to develop in the future.
At the substation, Josh spoke to students about the data collection and monitoring of the turbines. He spoke at length with students about the safety precautions involved with working on a turbine, and the physical pressure the electricians and fitters and turners are under when maintenance needs to be performed. He also explained how materials and tools are hoisted to the top, ensuring the safety of the staff working and integrity of parts being transported.
Rich learning experiences such as these allow our students the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and organisations to learn more about their own focus industry. It also allows students to be exposed to environments and employment types in an ever changing industry. By learning outside the classroom environment, students are even more prepared for the world of work and life after their schooling at StPatsTech.
Many thanks to AGL and Vestas, in particular Naomi together with Josh, Ian, Helena and Anita for their time, effort and expertise in helping coordinate our visit and for sharing their knowledge and experiences.
Workplace Practices Teacher
Year 12 Electrotechnology