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IEEE BlueCrest Student Branch went on educational trip to Akosombo Dam on 23rd September, 2016


Members of IEEE BlueCrest Student Branch embarked on an educational trip to Akosombo Dam, Ghana’s first hydroelectric dam. This trip was the result of the members’ eagerness to know more about the electricity generation in the country, the way the power grid works and the ways and means to reduce the power outage in the country.  Students learnt about the history of the dam, the way the dam works, the method of power generation, the relationship with GRIDCO and ECG. Issues such as disaster management, smart grids and scalability were also addressed by the guide. The students were provided with lunch and returned back home after a successful learning trip. The trip was fully sponsored by BlueCrest College.

The bus set off from the school’s campus at around 8:30am with 31 members on board. Mrs. Eva Esther Shalin, Student Branch Counsellor accompanied the students. Members had a wonderful time as they interacted with each other and discussed variety of topics from technology to politics. 

The first stop was at the Adomi Bridge.  Students walked down the bridge. From there it took thirty minutes to get to Akosombo. After the formalities of entrance fees and head count was done, the tour guide took the team to the Dam Site.

The members were educated on the history of the dam, working of the dam, power generation, disaster management, safety, maintenance, smart grids and scalability. The river has turned into the largest man-made lake in the world.

There are six entry gates that take the river through six tunnels creating pressure turning the turbines and generating power. The dam was opened twice to let out excess water in the year 1991 and 2010 since that was these were the years Ghana experienced heavy rainfalls. The turbines have shafts siting on it which contains 52 rotating magnetic poles. The pressure from the river hitting the turbines causes the turbines to turn as well the shafts containing has a generator. The magnetic poles in the generator turn and produce magnetic flux that touches the copper windings inside the generator producing electricity at 14.4 kilo volts. This is stepped up by “Step-up transformers” since the power is too small to be used. The generators step it up to 161 kilo volts.

On their way out of the dam, they saw one of the oldest turbines resting on metallic stands. This has been put there by VRA so visitors and tourists have a look at what sits in the river to generate power since it impossible to be seen in the dam. The students enjoyed tasty Banku with Tilapia and Jollof with Chicken. At 4:00 pm students were back in school campus to continue with their lecture sessions.

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