The Education of Engineering Students in Wind Energy: A Background of Environmental Crisis
India's per capita energy consumption is increasing. At the same time the population is also increasing alarmingly. This means India's share in the emission of green house gases is increasing at a fast rate. To cope with the deepening environmental crisis we need to train man power. Engineering students, especially from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, are suitable material. To motivate students a history of wind energy and a picture of the impending environmental crisis are presented. A discussion is initiated about international efforts and conventions to reduce green house gas emission. India's wind resource in the context of her latitude and geostrophic winds is discussed. Measuring instruments ( anemometers, direction finders etc) and organization of wind data using Weibull distribution are covered. The monsoon winds are subcontinental phenomena that increase the wind resource considerably for about 6 months in a year. The aerodynamics of airfoil theory is presented. Aircraft propellers, helicopter rotors and wind turbines belong to the same family of Airscrews for essential similarity of their operation. For motivating Aerospace engineers this is very important. Various types of wind turbines, their classification and design methods are taught. A video-cassette and a short 16 mm film on wind energy are shown followed by a question-answer session. Students are exposed to laboratory and field practices and are encouraged to take up practical projects. Finally, the course is concluded by a discussion of policy issues such as international conventions, reaching the common people, industry-academia interaction, entrepreneurship in building wind turbines etc.
Keywords: Green House Gas Emission, Global Warming, Local Environment and Fossil Fuels, Wind Energy and Wind Turbines, Aerospace Engineering Students, Aerodynamics and Airscrew Theory, International Conventions
Prof. Kunal Ghosh
Professor, Aerospace Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur