Study visits are a core component of the Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels Energy MSc programme – and a unique opportunity to get out of the lecture hall and gain first-hand experience of real industrial solutions in power generation, mining, boiler construction, waste managing, energy storage and more.
You don’t just read about applying engineering principles and good practice in the development of high-quality industrial systems – you get to experience them in action. The visits combine insights and teaching in engineering, economics and management to give you a complete perspective on modern industrial systems.
Each visit gives you the chance to engage with the potential hosts of your internship and thesis – and even a possible employer.
You will visit 10 different facilities during your first year in Poland, and one during your second year in Portugal.
The current programme of study visits is as follows:
Bełchatów lignite mine: fossil-fuel extraction
Known for its size, modern approach to technology, and its commitment to environmental protection, the Bełchatów lignite mine is responsible for approximately 20 per cent of electricity in Poland. The study visit to the Bałchatów lignite mine gives you essential insights into the economic and environmental factors of fossil fuel extraction.
Bełchatów Power Plant: renewable energy from biomass combustion
The Bełchatów power plant is one of the world’s largest brown-coal power stations, and is responsible for 15 per cent of production capacity in the Polish power industry. Visiting the Bałchatów power plant gives you greater understanding of the complexity of the large power industry, and the scale of the challenge in transitioning from fossil to renewable fuels and the potential impact on the economy, labour market and environment.
MetalERG: renewable energy from biomass combustion
MetalERG specialises in the production of a wide range of metal elements and is a large-scale exporter of biomass boilers and heaters. During your visit to this small but extremely vital and innovative company you have the chance to see how modern solutions are applied to production processes and gain perspectives on the implementation of renewable solutions in the energy mix.
MASTER Sp., z o.o.: waste management and waste-to-energy systems
MASTER specialises in municipal waste disposal, waste management, selective waste collection, collection of hazardous waste, alternative fuels, production of electricity and heat from landfill biogas, and environmental education. Master’s facilities are some of the most advanced, fully automated plants for the treatment of waste and will enhance your knowledge of waste management systems and their role in a sustainable power sector.
Guido Mine: coal mining
At 320m below the surface, this underground museum is the deepest visitor mine in Europe. On the site of the Guido mine, which was operational from 1855 to 1960. Visiting the mine gives you the chance to see how the coal mine worked – and to work as a miner for a few hours. You’ll also see evidence of the environmental consequences of mining as well as links to other parts of the economy and the labour market.
Spalarnia: waste management and waste-to-energy systems
This waste-to-energy plant project in Krakow was developed to thermally treat residual waste while ensuring compliance with applicable regulations and directives, and is the most advanced waste-to-energy system in Europe. During this visit you explore the advantages and disadvantages of waste incineration, how it compares to other waste-management methodologies, and its impact on the energy mix and the wider economy.
Łagisza Power Plant: fossil fuel-based energy generation
The Łagisza power plant is used to generate both power and heat, and is an example of the most advanced technology for generating energy from coal combustion. During this visit you can identify the differences between old and new technologies in this field, as well as examining the progress in environmental protection in the fossil fuel based power industry.
Amec Foster Wheeler: boiler technology and design
Foster Wheeler Energia Polska is dedicated to developing boiler technology to the highest standards using the latest engineering advances. During this visit, you will learn about the modern design process for power boilers – which are supplied to the Łagisza power plant (above). Together these visits give you unique insight into the entire boiler development process, from design to installation and operation.
Porąbka-Żar pumped-storage power plant: energy storage
The Porąbka-Żar power plant has been an important source of peak load and grid stability in the Polish power system since 1979. During this visit you’ll learn about the importance of energy storage and its role in the implementation of renewable energy as a starting point for considering the connection between renewables and industry, and the potential economic impact renewable energy sources.
Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal: research in thermal process and fossil fuel technologies
The mission of the Institute foe Chemical Processing of Coal is to deliver innovative knowledge and technologies that support carbo-chemical, power-generation, mining and waste-processing industries to ensure the efficient use of fossil, renewable and alternative fuels. This is your chance to visit the most advanced research centre dealing with different thermal process, and explore the opportunities and threats to the environment presented by using fossil fuels.
Alqueva Water-Energy Nexus Project: hydropower plant
The Alqueva project is designed to integrate the management of strategic water reserves for multiple purposes – including the generation of clean energy. Its five core components are: the Alqueva dam, the Alqueva hydroelectric power station, the Pedrógão dam (Alqueva counter-dam), the Pedrógão mini hydroelectric plant, and the general irrigation system. During this study visit you will learn about state-of-the-art energy generation from hydro systems.