Smart students make waves with bright idea

The boys pose with their special turbine trophies and MP Mike Penning
The boys pose with their special turbine trophies and MP Mike Penning

FOUR schoolboys aged just 17 have successfully designed a device which could be implemented internationally for the renewable energy business.

On Friday the four AS students from JFK School in Hemel Hempstead received special awards for completing a six month project as part of the Engineering Education Scheme.

Rory Roche, Callum Shipton, Xavier Jameson and Sean Power worked with Renewable Energy Systems (RES) in Kings Langley, utilising their keen maths skills, to design a device to help cut costs when companies are trying to find suitable locations for wind turbines at sea.

Currently measuring devices are placed on fixed platforms, an expensive proposition with a price tag of around £8 million.

A cheaper alternative, at a fraction of the cost, is to place devices on buoys but unfortunately these are moved around by the waves.

These are fitted with a laser to measure wind speeds.

The quartet was tasked with designing an unpowered device to compensate for the movement of the waves.

They spent more than 160 hours working on a device, liaising with engineers at RES, and spending time at Hertfordshire University, before submitting a 15,000 word report and giving a presentation to five engineers on their design.

Sean said: “It’s been a great opportunity to work with engineers and apply the maths we learn at school to a real life problem.”

Maths teacher Justin James said: “I’ve overseen the Engineering Education Scheme at the school for five years and this is the best team we’ve ever had.

“They’ve done really well, applying real purpose and innovation to a solution that will hopefully be implemented internationally.”

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