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Monday, 15 December 2008

Second Life Wind Farm

Though the facilities at the former Shimmer Island are in a state of redeployment as I install everything on a new SIM, to be announced soon, my work in Second Life still continues. One of the courses I teach is OOP (Object Oriented Programming), and for the project this year, I decided to task my students with writing an application that would calculate the energy in Watts that could be extracted from the wind by a turbine. I started with a lecture on the basic physics involved, and then presented them with a formula, the idea being that they would be able to assimilate the various values (attributes) and any associated calculations into appropriate classes, and generally this has gone well. The next stage will be for them to code and test this in Java. Once the applications are working I will then send them of in a research kind of way, to place their devices, in an imaginary kind of way, at various locations across the UK for which average wind speeds are readily available, should be good. Then I thought, how about getting them to create a wind class that emulates the way in which wind can vary over time, as indeed it does. Then I thought, the wind blows in SL, so why not get them in-world and have the experience of design / modelling? Of course the Java code will have to be translated into LS, but as I found this is not a major problem really. Anyway I placed my own working version on a small islet kindly provided by Tony Lusch at Greenwich Maritime, thanks again for that Tony, and now its just a matter of waiting for the turbine crop to grow. If you would like know how my students get on, then why not pay us a visit over the coming month or so at

Bye for now Skipper Abel

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