Wind Energy Proposal Earns Campus Sustainability Grant

In an effort to expand the Maryland Educational Solar Array (MESA), Project Director and ECE staff member Bryan Quinn was awarded a $12,500 Sustainability Fund grant for his proposed Sustainable Energy Teaching Initiatives Lab (SETIL) to develop wind-based power generation. The grant will allow Quinn to add two vertical axis wind turbines to the existing MESA lab. The facility’s goal is to provide students with hands-on experience in the design and use of alternative energy generation and utilization.

A collaboration between the members of the Honors Program, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering serve as a foundation for this effort. Two cross-disciplinary courses are being developed and experiments are being designed that will exhibit how to maximize efficiency, estimate power consumption and predict the performance of differing power systems. Additionally, the facility is being used to train members of the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders and Maryland Sustainability Engineering on photovoltaic systems operations and installation.

The University Sustainability Fund is supported by the campus student sustainability fee and provides funding for projects that promote social, economic and environmental sustainability and positively impact the student experience at UMD. The Fund supports projects that increase the share of renewable energy produced on campus, increase the energy efficiency of our facilities, reduce the amount of waste created and material resources used on campus, encourage sustainable behaviors, and integrate sustainability into teaching, research, and service at UMD.

Published March 5, 2012