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LDCC Instrumentation students tour Entergy Power Plant

LDCC Instrumentation students tour Entergy Power Plant

Article written by Mark Ketchell, LDCC Assistant Professor of Instrumentation.

An excerpt from LDCC’s overall mission statement reads, “In concert with our business and industry partners, Louisiana Delta Community College will expand modern equipment for our students and placement opportunities for our professional technical programs completers.” Under the leadership of Division Chair Charles Stevenson, instructors in the Industrial Technology Division are encouraged to work with our Industry Partners. This may include guest speakers in the classroom, participation in Advisory Boards, Recruiting events, and visits to manufacturer’s facilities.

On Wednesday, May 1st, Students from the Industrial Instrumentation program on the Monroe campus were hosted at Entergy’s Ouachita power plant in Sterlington. After a brief safety presentation, they viewed videos on how a CCGT Turbine system functions, how efficient the system is, how cooling water is used, and how, through the use of technology and wise use of resources, Entergy is reducing its carbon footprint while continuing to provide the region with it’s growing energy needs into the future.

The group was then led to the shop area where more experienced Entergy personnel trained some of their new technicians, and problems with equipment were diagnosed and repaired. This area housed transmitters, positioners and other equipment very much like what students train on in LDCC’s lab.

After this, the group toured the control room and saw “the Board”, where operators can view Electrical output, fuel flow, water temps, and all pertinent information about how all systems at the power generating plant are running.

We were fortunate to have visited during a time when one of their turbines was being rebuilt. Students could see the inside of a GE Turbine, viewing all the stationary and rotating fins that make these systems so efficient.

Lastly, students saw the transformer “yard,” where the nominal 13,800 to 18,200 volts generated by the plant were transformed to just over ½ million volts for transmission on the power grid. This is discussed in great detail during our lectures and has been the subject of several documentaries, including “The Current Wars” – which details the controversy between Westinghouse (Tesla) and Edison. This led to the decision to adopt AC power for our grid, rather than DC.

Events such as this tour enlighten students, allowing them to see for themselves that what we discuss in class and train on in our labs is exactly what is in use at local factories and manufacturing plants. Additionally, our partners see that students are being prepared with the technical knowledge and hands-on training to install, repair, calibrate, program, and run equipment in their operations.

“It’s a win-win situation”, says Mark Ketchell, Assistant Professor of Instrumentation. Students receive training and opportunities to meet with the employers they may go to work for, while Employers see that LDCC is providing them with well-trained graduates, ready to join the workforce.

We appreciate our Industry Partners and will continue to work with them to provide our students with the best education possible and opportunities to translate those marketable skills into a career and help drive the regional economy.

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