Building a Wind Turbine in Glücksburg, Germany

emma_cripe_summer2Name: Emma Cripe
Home University: 
Northwestern University
Summer Session 2 Course: 
Emerging Markets
Summer Session 3 Course:
Windmills Constructed: Energy in Scandinavia

This past week, my class went on our study tour to Artefact in Glücksburg, a small town in Northern Germany. At Artefact (an energy park that focuses on informing people about alternative energy) we had a workshop where we built a wind turbine! All week we focused on the woodworking of the turbine blades, the metal work, and the electrical component of the turbine. I got to do a little bit of each. Each day we worked from 8:30-6 stopping only for lunch and the occasional break. It was a lot of work, but it was interesting and fun knowing that we were applying what we learned in class and that each task we were doing contributed to the final product. The leaders of the workshop made sure that we understood why we’re doing everything and it went hand in hand with what we had learned the past two weeks in class.

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In the evenings, we generally walked to the little town’s Main Street. We saw the castle, bought lots of German chocolate from the grocery store, and even found a trail in the woods that we walked down! It was so much fun hanging out with my class, it was nice that there was only seven of us, it was the perfect number!

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Almost every night, my classmates and I had bonfires! After a s’more-less bonfire the first night, we went on a search for marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers (the biggest problem because I’m pretty sure they don’t exist in Europe- so we settled on waffle crisps!) Every night after that we had yummy “German” s’mores!


On the final day, we hoisted our finished wind turbine up on the tower! It was so cool to actually see it spinning in the wind and collecting energy. It was a crazy busy week in the middle of nowhere Germany, but it was definitely great to see our turbine spinning away in the wind!

Turbine up on the tower
Turbine up on the tower

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