Electrical Engineering Students engage on Educational Expedition to Kikagati Hydro Power Plant
As part of Kabale University’s obligation to provide quality Education that involves physical hands-on and on-site learning for its students, the Department of Mechanical Engineering organized on November 8th, 2023 a one-day study tour for the third and fourth-year students to Kikagati Hydro Power.
They were led by Eng. Michael Nnamdi Irechukwu a specialist in Electrical Machines from the Department of Electrical Engineering, the students were welcomed by experienced professionals from the power plant witnessing the working mechanisms of the plant. They observed how water is captured and cleaned to remove the water hyacinth, the turbines, generators, and control systems, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the plant’s operations.
The students actively engaged with plant engineers, eagerly posing questions and participating in discussions about the plant’s design, maintenance, and its role in providing clean energy to the region. The trip facilitated an interactive learning environment that encouraged critical thinking and analytical skills development among aspiring electrical engineers.
The students were guided to the control room, a pivotal hub where the entire power generation process was meticulously monitored and evaluated. Within this room, they were given an overview of the daily electricity generation output, observing the specific figures indicating the amount of electricity generated daily. Additionally, they were shown the critical procedures for rerouting power, highlighting the protocols for line cut-offs and isolation necessary in the event of any electrical faults or interruptions in the system.
This immersive experience gave the students a comprehensive understanding of the sophisticated monitoring mechanisms essential for ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted power supply.
The field trip was a remarkable opportunity for students to bridge theoretical knowledge with practical applications for example, at some point the students were able to see with their naked eyes different transmission wires that take electricity to Tanzania and Ntungamo.
These transmission lines are often independently separated from the others to ensure easy an effective isolation in case a particular line gets faulty that is to say in case there is a power blackout in Tanzania, it should not affect power transmission in Ugandan lines and vice versa.
“This experience was incredibly enlightening,” one student was overheard saying as she boarded the bus back to the University.
The visit concluded with a debriefing session, where students reflected on their observations and the practical insights gained during the trip. Eng. Michael Nnamdi Irechukwu expressed his gratitude to the Kikagati Hydro Power Plant management for their warm welcome and willingness to facilitate an enriching educational experience for Kabale University students.
The trip, organized as part of the university’s commitment to providing practical exposure to its students, aimed to augment classroom learning with real-world experiences by providing invaluable insights into the functioning of hydroelectric power generation systems, aligning with the curriculum’s focus on sustainable energy solutions.