Home away from home TU-Delft
The US president Dwight Eisenhower made a speech to the United Nations known as ‘Atoms for Peace’ in the year 1953. The speech empasized on US support for its allies to use nuclear technology for “peaceful” applications. A nuclear reactor was used as a publicity tool to promote this agenda. This reactor travelled all around the allied countries and finally landed at schiphol in the Netherlands. After featuring at an exhibition at Schiphol entitled ‘The Atom’, the reactor was finally moved to Delft University of Technology in the year 1963.
Wow, that is some fascinating history isn’t it?
The world is moving towards the renewable energy, which means there is a drastic shut down of conventional power plants like the nuclear plants. The classic example for this is Germany. Nuclear power produces nearly 20% of Germany’s energy, but in 2011 (after Fukushima incident) the German government vowed to shut down its nuclear capability within 10 years. Not just that, but to replace it with renewable energy, cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, they also want to ensure that renewables contribute 80% of Germany’s energy by 2050. Well, the Netherlands seems to have embraced this idea long back, although the nation depends on coal for its major power productions, its progress in the renewables domain seems to be exceptional. Dutch electric trains have become 100% powered by wind energy.
So, does this mean it is the end of nuclear energy? what does the deflt reactor do, does it have any application? is it in use? does it generate power? It is inside the campus, what if there is a meltdown?
At the same time, not all universities have its own reactor:p
These were the few questions that popped up before the visit to the reactor. The student visits to the reactor is very limited due the security reasons. The visit was organized by EUROAVIA, it is the European Association of Aerospace Students at TU Delft. Usually, there is a limit to the no. of students that are permitted inside the reactor(around 20). The spots usually fill up quite quickly and most of the students appear to be on the waiting list. I registered in 2016 and was on the waiting list, which brought down my chances to visit the reactor, eventually I din’t make the list. I attempted to give it try again in 2017, was lucky enough to confirm a spot :p
This particular event is highly recommended and hugely popular among the TUD students, but, it is organized only once in an academic year.
So, around 20 students gathered in front of the reactor at 12:30 sharp. After a quick security check and collection of visitor badges, we entered the site for a presentation.
Once there, we were introduced to the history, the working and the applications of the reactor plant. After which we were given instructions about the reactor core visit. We were divided into two groups and the visit officially began. Not before each group got its own Geiger-Mueller (GM) tube, or a radition detector. (Safety first guys!!)
It is an open pool-type research reactor, using MTR-fuel assemblies and low-enriched Uranium-235 as fuel. Well, they don’t produce electricity, but the radiations that are emitted are used for wide range of studies including quick battery chargers, nanocarriers for cancer therapy and material sciences. Therefore, the risk of the meltdown is very insignificant as the reactor doesn’t produce electricity and a mechanism is also put in place to easily dispose the source without causing a catastrophe. This experience of getting close the reactor core is quiet something (trust me on this!!), most of us were in awe and few of us were lost within the atom, nucleus , matter and the radiation. The bluish emission around the core is due to the particles flowing through the medium of coolant (distilled water). Queries regarding the matter and Anti matter were also raised. Amongst these serious discussions, wild references to the Avengers were also made, HAHA :p
We completed the tour in 2hours. At the end of the tour, everyone were scanned for radiation before leaving the core premises. Finally, some warm chocolate was served while having some last minute discussion with the scientists before we dispersed from the site.
Overall, I would highly recommend this visit, it is informative and quite an experience, well, you can’t get so close to the reactor core anywhere else, can you??
more about Euroavia: EUROAVIA
more about Reactor Institute Delft (RID) : Reactor Delft
“Ice skating is not just a sport in the Netherlands. It is part of the local history, art and culture.”
Winters in the Netherlands is sort of a perfect Sine wave. The good and the bad cancel each other out to give that fantastic balance in life. The longer nights, traffic disruptions and the cold never deters the Dutch from going about their normal buisness during the winters. The most intersesting part of the Dutch winters is the Ice skating. You will notice that the social life and family ties in Holland will truly come alive during this season. Everyone from a young to the old are seen in the ice skating tracks, it’s a pure metaphor for pure fun and freedom.
At TU Delft, you can join ‘Effe Lekker Schaatsen’ (ELS) to experience ice, skating and much more!! A rough translation means, “Just go for some nice skating”. It is an speed ice skating club in Delft. It consists of over 150 memebers, mostly consisting Dutch students.
During one of those conversation with the members about Ice skating, I was told that it is very normal for all the Dutchies to learn skating during their childhood, but only few pursue it very seriously to reach some level of professionalism in the sport. ELS also offers the opportunity to participate in marathon skating competitions. In the off-season period, ELS organizes other endurance sports activities such as cycling, in-line skating and marathon running. The number of enthousiastic international students who become facinated by this typical Dutch sport is on the rise and if you are a student in Delft, you should definitely try ELS.
Whether you are a newbie to ice speed skating or an advanced skater, you’ll fit in at ELS. It is true atleast in my case :p, It was actually my first time with the skates and trust me, this sport really needs some serious skills, for me it was mostly trying to find balance and try to improve the speed without falling. My personal advice is to fall on the ice during your first session, it sort of gives you a confidence booster 🙂 It is okay to fall, that is how you will learn this sport. There are trainings provided in different levels. The ice skating activities are mostly active from October till the end of March. The training sessions take place at the ice rink ‘De Uithof’ in the Hague.
The gang usually gathers every friday evening at 7pm in Delft and bikes to Hague for practice. I must be honest and confess that i love biking in the Netherlands. There is something about biking in groups, you can only realize it when you experience it :p . Usually, the practice ends at around 9pm, after which the gang holds a meeting over some hot chocolade. Finally, around 9:30pm everyone disperses and we bike back to Delft in groups.
For more information on the club and its activities, visit: https://effelekkerschaatsen.com/english/
Also, This would be my last blog for 2016, Happy new year 2017 everyone!! See you next year 🙂
“Something that is undesirable but must be accepted”
Power system with Sinusoidal analysis is a well-known and well-understood concept. In the last few decades, there seems to be a sudden rise in renewable intergration to the power grid. This has lead to increase in non-sinusoidal waveforms, which has great impact on the power system.
The amount of power transfer in the system is a measure of power factor. Power factor is the ratio between the active power consumed to the apparent power. The remaining part of the power is called the “Reactive power”. The measurements of apparent power(kVA) and non-active power (kVAr) might contain errors when voltage waveforms are distorted.
Now, what is this necessary evil?………”Reactive power“?
What is reactive power?
You would have seen examples of beer illustration, where the foam part is reactive power part and the consumable part is the active power part.
Let’s understand using another analogy.
Suppose, you are at a very crowded bar with only one bartender/waiter. You order your favorite brewed beer. Now face it, your beer doesn’t come alone, it comes with a glass mug (Reactive power). You consume your beer (Active power) and return the mug to the waiter. To supply this beer from the brewing station to your table, we need the waiter (Transmission line). The waiter’s duty is to supply beer to the customers, he needs to carry as many glass mugs as possible. This is best made possible, when the weight of the mugs are decreased. If the weight is increased, the contraints on him also increases (Burdening of transmission lines).
So far so good?……LOL. The above is a fantastic analogy for Sinusoidal systems.
During the course of Electrical sustainable energy, a student can do an Internship (15 ECTS) or choose to do free elective courses at the campus. In this blog, I will be sharing my internship experience and also discuss the advantages of doing an internship instead of the classroom courses.
Electrical engineers work in a very wide range of industries and the skills required are quite broad. These range from basic ohms law to the management skills required by a project manager. The tools and equipments that an engineer would use also varies accordingly, ranging from a simple voltmeter to a top-end analysers to sophisticated design and manufacturing software packages. I would consider my internship to be an application of scientic knowledge obtained at TU Delft, whose primary goal is to provide better solutions for engineering problems faced by the world.
Part of Royal Lovink Industries B.V, Lovink Enertech started to manufacture power cable accessories in 1919. Lovink Enertech Specializes in the development, production and supply of innovative and reliable medium Voltage Cable accessories, liquid Silicone Cable Joints and Terminations. The company’s goal is to realize uninterrupted electricity supply using reliable and easy-to-install cable accessories, which also shows in the company’s logo, “we connect your power“.
Lovink Enertech has extensive and modern test facilities at its disposal, such as a high-voltage and material laboratory and an external test eld. The most important customers are utilities, industries and other private contractors.
The company is located at Terborg (45 min by train from Arnhem).
There has been increased integration of renewables into the grid, especially in the europe. This has paved way to revisit the idea of a complete/partial DC power grid. Lovink Enertech also wants to explore the possibility of using its existing AC cable systems in MVDC grid. Therefore, as my project, I dealt with the analysis of refurbishment of existing MVAC cable accessories (joints and terminations) under MVDC conditions.
If you are a international student like me, you will actually gain a lot from doing an internship in the Netherlands, such as:
- The ability to gain international experience along with the knowledge and skills you will learn on the job.
- A chance to network with professionals working in another part of the world.
- Learn more about what it takes to be successful working in another country.
- Increases your marketability as an internship abroad adds great value on a resume.
- A chance to get a job offer working in another country.
Because you will be working with local employees (and quite possibly few employees who don’t speak English and converse ony in Dutch), you have the opportunity to learn from the people you meet in the workplace and outside it. Almost every job posting, regardless of industry, highlights cross-cultural skills and sensitivity as a key requirement. Apart from this, you can brush up/ learn Dutch from talking to the locals, you get to travel and explore different parts of Netherland.
I started applying for internships in March/April. I would suggest future interns to start searching for opportunities
from the month of December itself.Lovink Enertech is a perfect company to work in the field of High Voltage Engineering. It is always hard to get accustomed with the new working culture in the first few weeks. But, overtime the feeling just goes away.
I would also advise the interns to start searching for the rooms as soon as the internship is confirmed. The search could be through agencies or simply using the facebook groups. Make sure you move to your new accommodation way before your start date. And also try to sublet your place in Delft, through Facebook or through DUWO, in parallel.
Why should you do an Internship?
Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in your field. In Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Embedded Systems, we do an internship at a company as part of our free electives. The course code is EE5010 on Blackboard.
Start searching for an Internship: If you plan to start internship in the summer, it is ideal to start searching and applying online from March/april itself.
Discuss with the Professors and Phds working in your field about the internship oppurtunities —> Start applying online —-> once confirmed, Finish the compulsory formalities with TU Delft to begin your internship —-> if you are moving, search for a place online, make contracts/registration etc. —->Finish an internship for 3months(15 ECTS) —> Make report, submit to the internship office —> After their review, you get your credits for Internship.
In case you are not able to find an Internship in a company, don’t panic, you can always do a extra-project at the university itself. Unpaid internships may be easier to get but may also pose problems if making money is necessary, especially during the summer.
Discuss with your master track coordinator and your thesis professor to see if the internship fits into your ISP.
What are the takeaways ? I have tried listing out few of them,
1. Chance of employment increases.
Doing any internship program means you have an oppurtunity for future employment at the same company or you could get some awesome references.
2. Platform to implement your knowledge and skills.
Practical knowledge is way too different from book-ish knowledge. Doing an internship gives you grounded experience of what your studies might look like in a work environment.
3. Strengthen your CV.
It’s obvious that with more experience, you will have a better CV.
4. Increased networking
An internship gives you the opportunity to increase your network, expand your professional branding, and having probably one or two personal ambassadors that would be glad to help you when you need them.
Nu, Ik ben stagiair bij Lovink Enertech B.V.
Go intern……, go get an experience of your lifetime :p
Delft never seizes to amaze me. This time with the hour-long floating parade through the canals of Delft.
There was loud music, huge crowd gathering, people with their own picnic tables/chairs along the canals of Delft. One thing that amazed me was that, everyone from small kids to the elderly seemed to enjoy watching or participating. I cycled along the canal and it was a wonderful atmosphere.
Check out these videos, I made…..
Each year, there is a beautiful Varend Corso in Delft and surroundings, usually in the first week of August. The event showcases the best fruit, vegetables and of course, flowers in the region.
This year around, we were fortunate with nice weather and thousands and thousands of people found a place to sit to watch the hour-long floating parade.
As part of the course , we visited the control room of TenneT at Arnhem. Once there, we were introduced to the operational challenges faces by the transmission system operators (TSOs). We also discussed few case studies, after which we finally visited their control room.
The dynamic developments (especially the increase in RES) in the electrical power system is creating continuous challenges for the sector, including system operators.
The European Commission has agreed on ambitious energy and climate policy targets which require integrating around 50% renewable energy generation in the European power system by 2030. The constant debates world-wide on climate change, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, environmental sustainability give a very strong political direction that is influencing the structure of the energy sector, and consequently of system operators. The goal of a resilient Energy Union is to give EU consumers – households and businesses – secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy.
In real-time, system conditions can suddenly change creating operational risks or disturbances that have to be managed adequately, despite the significant uncertainty. In the end, power flows are ruled by laws of physics, and do not obey market design rules or geographical borders, and consequently Transmission System Operators (TSOs) have to cope with the unscheduled flows, which may require coordinated solutions like multilateral remedial actions to guarantee network security.
System operators, not only TSOs but also Distribution System Operators (DSOs), face significant changing conditions with the increasing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), the volatility and growing competitiveness of the free electricity market, the integration of new technologies and the need to increase flexibility and control capabilities into the operational context.
Several challenges from system operations perspective in the current and future electrical energy system, where flexibility, integration and sustainability play a significant role, were discussed during the lecture.
We discussed the case studies of:
- 4th November 2006 – blackout in Germany. we were introduced to the detailed sequence of events that lead to the eventual blackout, the challenges faced during blackouts, several failed attempts and why they failed, the solutions to restore power system and preventive measures to be taken to avoid such blackouts.
- Impact of solar eclipse – Since greater percentage of RES in service is PV, Solar eclipse would cause a sudden change in generation and eventually disturb the normal working of the grid. Around 89GW of solar power installed as in the synchronous region of Continental Europe. The impact was astonishing, decrease of 20GW within 1 hour and increase of 40GW after the maximum impact of the eclipse. TSOs successfully maintained the normal state of the power system during the eclipse. They implemented several methods like:
Higher reserves (e.g. German TSOs procured double amount), Special operational concept for activation of reserves and emergency reserves (Germany), Close control of the ACE (faster than 10 to 15 minutes), Strategic use of pump storage power plants, Cancelation of planned outages, Reduction of HVDC capacity, reduce dependency between synchronous areas,TSOs raised awareness: informed market players and DSOs.
Solar Eclipse Impact Analysis Reporthttps://www.entsoe.eu/Documents/Publications/SOC/150219_Solar_Eclipse_Impact_Analysis_Final.pdfFinal Report System Disturbance on 4 November 2006https://www.entsoe.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/_library/publications/ce/otherreports/Final-Report-20070130.pdf
One of the new courses introduced in 2016 was Electrical power system of the future.
- Grid Architecture Development by dr.Ana Ciupuliga from TenneT.
Reliability Offshore and Onshore T&D grids by i r. Bart Tuinema.
Market Coupling, Flow Based Cross Border Exchange by i r. R o y Besselink.
Operational challenges by RES for system operations by dr.Susana Almeida de Graaff
New principles of design and operation for HVDC grids by ir.Kees Koreman
Dynamic stability at high RES penetration by ir.Mario Ndreko
In one of the lab practicals, we were fortunate enough to work on the recent project proposals of TenneT. Based on TenneT’s mission 2030 initiative, we had an assignment on grid architecture planning. More details about this project can be found in the link given below: reuters.com/article/us-windfarm-island-tennet
We also had an industrial visit to TenneT at Arnhem, The Netherlands as part of the course work. More details about this trip in my next blog. Stay Tuned !!
TU Delft has the second-largest High-Voltage Laboratory in Europe.
The test facilities include a 4 MV impulse generator and AC sources as large as 1.5 MV. Tests are conducted for industry. Recently, a contract was concluded with a Dutch energy supplier for research into, among other things, improved diagnostic procedures.
One of the profiles you could follow in Electrical power engineering is High Voltage Engineering. Core Subjects that deal with HV Lab work:
- ET4103 High Voltage Constructions – Study behavior and calculation of electric fields where field calculation methods are critically reviewed; Understanding and producing breakdown mechanisms in typical insulating materials such as vacuum, gasses, liquids and solids; Application of dielectrics by combining their different properties;Combination of dielectrics in field grading constructions; Knowledge rules for permissible field strengths for use in design.
- ET8020 Diagnostics for High Voltage Assets and Lab – diagnostics of HV components; understand the processes of insulation coordination and quality insurance by maintenance strategies
- ET4111 High-Voltage DC – The behavior of electrical insulation changes drastically when we apply dc voltage instead of ac. For the electrical engineer to make a reliable design or test for a dc insulation construction the difference in behavior should be perfectly understood.
The most interesting part of choosing this profile is the practicals. Right from designing our own bridges, calibrating them to testing in both destructive and non-destructive way, HV lab has everything installed for you. Working with High voltages upto mega-volts; is trust me, both exciting and interesting. Safety is the main objective while working in the HV lab, Lab instructors have the final say w.r.t safety, when testing/experimenting .
I still remember the orientation session, where we were to verify the principle of Faraday cage. Few of us volunteered to sit inside the cage for this experiment. There was excitement on everyone’s face, yet I noticed few worried and scared faces. Don’t worry, even you would get to do this during your orientation if you follow this profile.
A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure used in order to block electric fields. It is formed by conductive material or by a mesh of such materials.
Well, most of the times, High voltage laboratory becomes the venue for Lunch lectures, Orientations and Sterkstroomdispuut’s Christmas Lunch. (Check out the pictures by clicking on the link below)
“With its relentless reinvention, creativity and ‘anything goes’ attitude, Berlin is more of a state of mind than a city.”
During the excursion, we visited three different plants of Siemens in Berlin and one complete day was dedicated for exploring the historic city of Berlin
More photos here:Berlin Siemens
The journey started off on a Saturday evening from Delft central station. We boarded the bus to Berlin from Rotterdam station and the duration of the journey was around 10.5 hours.
Sunday morning we dropped our luggage at the hotel-H2 Berlin near Alexanderplatz and dispersed quickly to explore the historic city of Berlin.
- A symbol of division during the Cold War, the landmark Brandenburg Gate now epitomises German reunification.
- The part of the Berlin Wall, which extends for 1.4km along Bernauer Strasse and integrates an original section of Wall, vestiges of the border installations and escape tunnels, a chapel and a monument.Multimedia stations, panels, excavations and a Documentation Centre provide context and explain what the border fortifications looked like and how they shaped the everyday lives of people on both sides of it. There’s a great view from the centre’s viewing platform.
- Holocaust memorial is almost a football-field-sized memorial by American architect Peter Eisenman consists of 2711 sarcophagi-like concrete columns rising in sombre silence from undulating ground. We had free access to this maze at any point and could make a journey through it :p
- Fernsehturm de Berlín: In the 1960s, the GDR government arranged to have the TV Tower built at its current location, with the aim of demonstrating the strength and efficiency of the socialist system in mind.Today the Tower defines the silhouette of Germany’s capital city – a symbol of the reunified Germany, just like the Brandenburg Gate.
More photos here:Berlin Siemens
Overall, we visited three different plants of Siemens at Berlin
1.Siemens Schaltwerk Berlin
2.Siemens Messgerätewerk Berlin
For the detailed information of what we did at Siemens, Stay Tuned :p