PLATTSBURGH - Clinton Community College is advancing its role as a leader in wind energy and turbine technology education.
The college is now in possession of the first and currently only wind simulator training unit for classroom training anywhere in the nation. The new piece of equipment, called the "Turbine Nacelle Troubleshooting Learning System," or "Nacelle," was installed in time for the 2010 fall semester but officially unveiled during a press conference at the college Oct. 4.
College president John E. Jablonski said the procurement of the training simulator, designed by Amatrol of Jeffersonville, Ind., was "a giant leap forward" for the college's wind energy and turbine technology program.
"[The training simulator] is the first of its kind anywhere," said Jablonski. "Not the first of its kind in New York State, not the first of its kind at a community college - but the announcement we're making today is the simulator that we have and are using with our students now is literally the first one anywhere."
"This is an exciting day for Clinton Community College," added Jablonski.
The state-of-the-art training simulator - purchased through funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority - is considered a unique training platform designed to replicate the functions of full-size utility scale wind turbines. The simulator is expected to make it more convenient for students to get a look at a typical wind turbine without having to travel to an operational wind turbine for hands-on training.
And, hands-on training is "critical" to a properly-trained workforce, said NYSERDA representative Adele Ferranti. "It's one thing to have the classroom training, but more to have hands-on skills," said Ferranti. "The participants in these training programs are really being taught the basic fundamental skills to develop these services in a very effective manner and in a way these technologies will deliver the energy savings that we're all expecting."