Renewable Energy Engineering- the Life of a UGE Intern



Hey you, future intern (or employee or casual reader or member of the UGE fan club),

After spending the last 5 months at UGE, I’m happy to be able to give some feedback on my experience in this blog! Below, you will find an article I wrote for my home university in France. If you really don’t feel like reading it entirely (right now), I won’t blame you (openly). However, it will give you a few hints of what I understand is happening to the industry UGE is now leading, and what I actually did within its walls (thrilling behind the scene opinions coming!).

To put it in a nutshell:
• don’t come to UGE: if you like boring environments, if you like being told what to do all the time, if you don’t like green energy, ifyou don’t like the color green, if you don’t like cheese cake!

• come to UGE: if you like working freely after you’re given some advice, if you like socializing with your colleagues, if you likeworking in an international environment, if you want to improve your English, if you want to improve your Chinese, if you likeworking in the center of a big city, if you like the color green, if you like cheese cake!

I hope this helps, don’t hesitate to contact me if needed!

In recent years the volatile nature of oil prices, concern over energy security and climate change has led to an increase of clean energy demand. Consequently, the wind turbine technology has become a growing area of interest and research has been lead around the world for its ability to generate sustainable energy. The wind resource has the significant advantages to be free and non exhaustible. Moreover, the process of converting the kinetic energy of air into electricity does not release wastes. Wind power is expected to make significant contributions to electricity generation in the coming years. With continuous developments, advances can be expected to make wind turbines more efficient and economically viable.

The industry is growing on different scales. People usually notice the one hundred meter high turbines which are being used to provide megawatts to widespread grids. Urban Green Energy made a different bet. The teams are focused on promoting small scale energy generation with adapted solutions to any kind of needs: from a single off grid installation providing electrical dependency to a remote site, to a huge campus eager to offset its electricity bill with several aero generators. The company creeds are to analyze the energy requirements of customers, design, produce, test, sell, help the installation and follow up withthe power production of the turbines.

As a student in his last year of master’s at the French Institute for Advanced Mechanics (France), I was given the opportunity to spend 5 months as an intern in the engineering department of the company. I got involved in the different types of tasks which are usually part of the staff jobs: research and development of new or existing models, through pure design, mechanical analysis, modeling and rendering, but also assessment of locations, installation verifications on site, technical support after installation via phones or emails etc. All of those tasks enabled me to learn about the turbine specifications andunderstand the logic of their designs, but also how a small company such as UGE works to develop a worldwide market on a global scale. A significant proportion of my work was related to the service of providing energy rather than only to the design of the products to generate it. I understood UGE’s goals are to offer a renewable, reliable and cheap energy access rather than mere components. It is exciting to note that it is exactly what happened tothe industry of computers a few decades ago…

This experience certainly gave me the opportunity to learn a lot from a technological point of view, but I think it also helped me to develop my communication skills in an English speaking environment, and with people from different origins. I feel like I gradually developed a more professional and efficient attitude, which I hope will prove helpful in my future activities! I also got a good insight of what are the differences between a job in a small company and a job in a big research center. In the first case, the tasks are not all scientific and are more related to the customer satisfaction, the atmosphere is more dynamic and entertaining (especially in a company mostly run by young people). The projects can be demanding and the interaction with the different market stakeholders and the implied deadlines can be stressful. All those factors tend to improve the team morale and enhance mutual assistance. Moreover, it is a thrilling process to be in contact with the different departments of the company, from the people who identify a possibility, to the actual sale and installation on a site.

 

-Niels Peyre, Engineering