Climbing high in Copenhagen
In The News
26 Jun 2019
Climbing a 50-meter-high still-operational wind turbine is not something you do every day, but on 1 June 2019, this became a reality for 15 young climate innovators. The group visited the small wind farm Lynetten, which is located north of Refshaleøen in Copenhagen, Denmark. The wind farm belongs to the Middelgrunden collective, a group consisting of 20 investors who, in the 1990s, established a cooperative to build the farm.
An eclectic mix of 15 EIT Climate-KIC students and alumni keen on learning more about the practical aspects of wind energy and the technology that makes it possible participated in the trip, with one of the original investors, Jens Anker Hansen, acting as their enthusiastic guide.
From textbooks to reality
According to Johannes Moolman, a MSc student in sustainable energies and electric energy systems, the last two years at university have largely focused on the theory behind the operation and functionality of renewable energies.
While it is common to focus on the theoretical aspects of topics through textbooks and simulations of mathematical models during university studies, it does not necessarily provide a clear image of how the constituent components fit together in practice or what the difficulties in their construction are.
“This trip was an opportunity to address these gaps while, for me, exploring a previously underutilised skill of event organisation and a chance to network with others interested in the field of sustainability”
said Johannes Moolman, the organiser of the trip.
Sweeping views of Copenhagen
The trip consisted of climbing several staggered ladders to the nacelle, the part of the wind turbine to which the blades are attached, and which houses all the generation components necessary to convert from wind to electrical energy.
The climb was a challenge, especially for those in the group who had a fear of high places, but the reward was even greater. Standing in an open nacelle about 50 meters above ground-level offered a sweeping view of Copenhagen and its harbour front.
“We had the great opportunity to see a wind turbine from a close perspective. We managed to climb up to the top and investigate the main components essential for the generation of wind power.”
said Maciej Stanislaw Maj, who’s currently enrolled in a MSc programme in sustainable energy and wind energy.
Picture: Samuele Fortina
After the group had had some time to take in the one of a kind and magnificent view, the next half hour was dedicated to the guide Jens, who informed the group about the various construction stages and the practical challenges in hoisting three 22-meter-long blades and the various parts of the generator to the top.
Besides the general technical information, Jens was also happy to answer any specific questions the group had for example about his background and his cooperative’s business model. He also provided the group with a unique insight into the local business, which was founded on sustainable, long-term visions of a greener and cleaner future.
“The trip was interesting to go on and it showcased what is possible when a group of motivated individuals come together to pool their energies to create something great.”
– Johannes Moolman
After all, Lynetten wind farm is the culmination of 20 investors getting together with the desire to reduce their global impact and to champion the advancement of clean technologies.
“This vision aligns nicely with the goals of those individuals participating in the trip and I hope that it will spur their desire for climate innovation once we all embark on our separate Journeys in July and August”, Johannes continued. According to Maciej, the trip was also a valuable experience for the future:
“As engineers and future entrepreneurs, we will be able to better understand the source of energy and potentially implement it in our sustainable business models.”
Picture: Maciej Stanislaw Maj