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Wind Energy Engineers

The Job

The wind turbine is the modern, high-tech equivalent of yesterday’s windmill. A single wind turbine can harness the wind’s energy to generate enough electricity to power a house or small farm. Wind farms, also called wind plants, are a collection of high-powered turbines that can generate electricity for tens of thousands of homes. In addition to development on land, wind projects are also being developed offshore. 

Companies are constantly seeking ways to make wind turbines more reliable, efficient, and powerful while keeping costs manageable. Wind energy engineers are hired to design wind farm collector systems and to research and develop the specifications for wind farm layouts. They analyze the properties of wind energy systems to determine their efficiency and areas in which they can be improved upon. 

Wind energy engineers test the hardware and electrical components of wind energy technologies and systems, including wind turbines. They may work in research and design or for wind energy systems manufacturers. They test wind turbine rotor blades and assess new wind energy technologies for their aerodynamic properties, production feasibility, noise levels, and other aspects, making notes on their research and findings. Wind energy engineers also create models for wind farm layouts, which include access roads, crane pads and paths, collection systems, substations, switchyards, and transmission lines. 

Wind energy engineers use many different software programs in their research and design work. Some examples include analytical and scientific software such as MathWorks MATLAB and WindSim; computer-aided design software like Autodesk AutoCAD and Bentley Systems' Microstation; development environment software such as Microsoft Visual Basic and FORTRAN; map creation software like ESRI ArcGIS software and Geographic Information System (GIS) software; and object- or component-oriented development software like C++.

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