TECO Serves as Real-Life Classroom for UH Undergrads

Two groups of undergraduate mechanical engineering students from the University of Houston visited TECO in October, bringing with them great questions and an appreciation for seeing engineering principles at work.

“All of them had studied basic diagrams and simplified cycles, but to come here where they could see, feel and hear it, really helped them expand their understanding of what they learned in school,” said TECO’s Mycah Jewell, senior project engineer. Mycah hosted the groups and gave them tailored tours that matched their needs.

One group was studying advanced thermodynamics and opted to visit a “real-world application” – TECO – to fulfill their course work. The students learned of TECO through a classmate who had been a TECO intern. Mycah showed the group around the plant and explained how TECO uses various thermodynamic cycles – Brayton, Rankine, combined cycle, vapor refrigeration, etc. – in its operation.

The second group found out about TECO through an internet search. These students were taking a senior level design class and were designing a small modular, portable concentrated solar plant. Since their design focused on the Rankine cycle, Mycah emphasized that process and its related equipment – boilers, HRSG, condensate, feedwater, steam turbine drivers and condensers – and explained how TECO is different from a conventional power plant.

The students are looking ahead to graduation and evaluating where they might fit into the energy industry. TECO wishes them all well and is pleased to have been a resource for their engineering studies.

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