Year 9 Geography Field Trip

In December 2010, Year 9 Geography went on a field trip to find out more about where our energy comes from at present and to explore the many possibilities for future energy production. Here are some of their reports of the day.

The day had come-14th December 2010. It was the day we had all been waiting for. We set off on a trip to Kilroot Power Station and Greenmount Agricultural College.

Our first stop was Kilroot Power Station just outside Carrickfergus and on the shores of Belfast Lough. We took a highly informative guided bus tour around the outside of it. I was interested to see the large pile of coal and the shipping area. We then ventured into the training room where we looked at a diagram of the power station. We were told that it is a fossil fuel burning power station and that it supplies one quarter of Northern Ireland’s electricity. We moved on to a massive room which contained the generators, turbines and furnace.

It was very loud and also very dangerous, so we were equipped with a helmet, safety goggles and ear plugs. I found the vast size of the turbine amazing. Our final stop was the control room which was filled with buttons and controls. One of the employees told us how the station worked. The only problem was that the power station polluted the environment.

In contrast, we then went to Greenmount to learn about renewable energy resources which do not pollute the environment.

A man from the campus gave us a talk about these, although it was long and a bit too complex for me. After this, we went to see some examples of renewable energy.

Our first stop was a small scale wind turbine which didn’t work due to the small wind speed. Then we moved onto the biomass burners which burned wood chips and other plant material. Our final stop was up to the farmyard where we found solar panels. They use the sun’s energy to heat the water for the cows.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and found Kilroot highly informative. My favourite part of the trip was probably seeing the turbines and generators in the power station. I would really encourage other year groups to go on this trip.

Peter Barfoot 9D

Geography Field Trip

On Tuesday 14 December a bus full of eager Rainey pupils headed off on their first Field Trip accompanied by their Geography teachers.

The day consisted of a visit to Kilroot Power Station on the edge of Belfast Lough near Carrickfergus finishing off with a trip to Greenmount Agricultural College near Antrim.
On arriving at Kilroot Power Station our tour guide came on board and we initially toured the Power Station by bus due to its immense size.

The station generates approximately a quarter of Northern Ireland’s electricity from a dual coal/oil fired plant. The plant is owned by the AES Corporation and is the only coal fired plant left in Northern Ireland.

After the bus tour we continued by foot and wearing our safety gear of helmets, glasses and earplugs we entered the control room, the hub of the Power Station and proceeded into the plant room to view the generating process in this huge, noisy area with its massive furnaces and turbines.

Our next destination was Greenmount Agricultural College where we endured a very very long talk about renewable energy.

It was interesting to note, however, that the wind turbine at Greenmount is not providing sufficient energy as it is located in the wrong area – a low down, built up area with little wind. The highlight of the day was when we all had to wear plastic wellies over our shoes!!!

This was to stop the spread of any disease whilst we were viewing the solar panels outside the milking parlours which are used to heat up the water tanks in the milking parlours. Unfortunately, today being a very icy cold December day they, too, were not working at their best. We finished off the day by paying a visit to some four-legged friends – the cows at Greenmount!

Thanks must be given to all at both Kilroot Power Station and Greenmount Agricultural College for giving Rainey pupils a very interesting insight into the topic of renewable and non-renewable energy in Northern Ireland.

Hannah Monaghan 9D