Students from the University Technical College Norfolk have worked with energy company Vattenfall and 3D-visualisation firm 3DW to inform the development of software that will be used to show what the proposed Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm project will look like.
This opportunity was the culmination of a 6-week core project by the students – also supported by Seajacks, RG Carter, Statoil, Gardline and the Wind Energy Museum – which saw the Year 12 students learning about all aspects of wind turbine technology, planning and development.
Core projects at UTC Norfolk involve employers setting students challenges which relate to the types of scenarios they will face in their future careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) –related industries and occupations.
For this core project, the students had to design a wind farm for a rural location using the 3D software that has been pioneered by 3DW.
Having familiarised themselves with creating virtual wind farms using the 3D software, the students were then asked by Vattenfall and 3DW to provide detailed feedback on how this software could be improved in its current phase of development – simulations of offshore wind farms.
The students provided a range of detailed, technical and practical suggestions for how the 3D software could be modified. This feedback will help shape how future visualisations of offshore wind farms by 3DW will look, including the major Norfolk Vanguard project.
Currently at the planning stage, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard project would be one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms. The 1.8GW development area would be located more than 47km from the Norfolk Coast – not visible from the shore – and would meet the electricity demand of around 1.3 million UK households.