Wind energy data supports education, interest in wind technology
A new website gives visitors access into the world of wind energy data. The website provides students and industry representatives current and historical data from the four wind turbines at Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in eastern Wisconsin.
“Students can dig through the data to learn the impact of temperature on output,” explained Doug Lindsey, dean of the Energy Education Center at LTC. Scientists and high school science students can also access the information for their research and studies.
The website, funded by a research grant from We Energies, collects data on weather conditions, energy in kilowatt-hours, minimum, maximum and average power output. The site also shows current, monthly and annual outputs from the turbines located on the LTC Cleveland campus. In addition to the wind data, the site also provides data on the college’s solar panels.
While the primary purpose of the wind turbines is to provide educational opportunities for students of the Wind Energy Technology Program, the energy produced by the four turbines also helps offset the college’s energy use, saving about $23,000 annually. The four turbines vary in size, type and manufacturer. Together, they produce nearly 200,000 kilowatt/hours of energy per year, enough to power about 18 homes.
Impact of the equipment is not limited to geography. LTC shares the wind energy technology with students from Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC), Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), which optimizes the impact of the technology and the taxes that support it.
“The students from other colleges complete general education and electromechanical coursework at their home college and then travel to Lakeshore for an eight-week summer boot camp,” explained Amy Kox, NWTC associate dean of Energy and Sustainability.
“We would not have these turbines without generous support from local utilities,” Lindsey added. “Some funds also came from Focus on Energy, a state program funded by consumers who wish to support renewable energy development.
Firms such as Kettle Moraine Renewable Energy, GE Wind, Capital City Maintenance, Endurance Wind Power and Avanti seek graduates of the program for jobs like wind turbine technician, installation technician, wind farm maintenance manager, wind turbine mechanic and more.
Several other Wisconsin technical colleges have wind turbines on their campuses, including: Nicolet College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Madison College, Waukesha County Technical College, Northcentral Technical College and Gateway Technical College. Lindsey hopes to collect data from these turbines in the future for a more comprehensive view of the state’s wind energy.
The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is a leader in sustainability practices and programs. Nearly 370,000 individuals access the technical colleges for education and training each year.
Source: Lakeshore Technical College