Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Vector Class Trip - Week 2

This week is Engineering week and FutureInTech is working with the schools to promote "Engineering as a career option" for today's students. Today 2nd August we got an opportunity to visit the local Vector power substation on West Tamaki Road. The invite was for 18 students and 2 teachers and we choose to take our Y11 Physicists. We got ready to leave the school and a phone call informed us that hte trip would have to be cancelled due to an incident at the station. The class was disappointed but we went to plan B. And within minutes we got another call that they had fixed the hazard and could host us - Yay !:-)
One school van was available to us and SD offered to drive us in two groups. Once we got there we were all given PSE (personal safety gear - hardhat, safety glasses, hi-viz vests).
Once we were all "kitted" and briefed on the safety precautions, we went inside.

The first thing we saw was a large battery stack pictured here. There are 12 stacks in a groups, two groups making a total of 24 stacks. Each of these stacks has 16 "power packs" which store 800 KW of energy. These are similar to the AA cells we use in our devices - just bigger. The entire storage capacity in here is able to power all the houses in Glen Innes for upto 3 hours in case of a power outage.

A lot of heat is generated in this part and the temperature need to be controlled. Notice the door of the stack has a cooling system filled with a green liquid, this is similar to the one used to cool car engines and serves the same purpose here.
The DC power is converted to AC power using an invertor (indoors) and then the voltage is changed from 400 Volts to 11,000 volts using a transformer (outdoors) pictured here.

This is then sent to consumers for use.
The students enjoyed the learning experience as it brought real life experience into their learning. Thank you Vector!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jay, this is such an amazing opportunity for your learners. What a fabulous way to make physics relate to the real world they live in. And a bonus that it is a genuinely local innovation. Thanks for taking the time to explain this to your non-Physicist peers.