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Bromfield HS Field Trip to Pinetree Power etc.

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 6:36 pm
by shawn
I was lucky to be a chaperone on a field trip planned by physics teacher Gary Menin at Bromfield HS in Harvard, MA. The trip took several hours, and it was worth every minute.
We split into three buses and visited three sites separately. Our bus started at Littleton Electric Light District, a municipally managed utility. Three employees there explained the distribution of electricity and the problems encountered from shorts and changing demand. There were plenty of concepts mentioned but left unexplained that will make fodder for further inquiry, such as the difference between resistive and reactive loads (lights vs. motors).
Our second destination was Pinetree Power in Leominster, a biomass plant that burns wood chips; it is also capable of burning landfill gas from a nearby dump. We were privileged to look into the heart of the wood burner itself!
Lastly, we visited DRS Power Systems, a packager of generators and motors. We saw how they made portable gas turbine generators and the motor package for the new Navy DDS destroyer.
I have more notes from the trip. If you'd like to discuss specific planning ideas, let me know.