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Winds offer students good view of turbine action

Posted by on Friday, December 21, 2012 in Energy, Land Use, News, Research, Sustainability Project.

[Originally posted by Vanderbilt School of Engineering]
Students from the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt trekked about three miles from campus to the School of Engineering’s wind-solar alternative energy site to see a wind turbine in action atop Love Circle hill in Nashville.
“The turbine was in full swing, catching strong late October winds,” said Amrutur Anilkumar, professor of the practice of mechanical engineering and director of the showcase wind and solar facilities. The site was created in collaboration with the school and Metro Water Services.
Three faculty members and 24 students got a complete run down of the turbine siting, energy estimation, facility design, installation, operation and other engineering issues tackled in the context of setting up the site. “The visit complements their lesson plans on renewable energy and the students clearly had spent time reviewing the information on the VU/MWS Renewable Energy Showcase website,” Anilkumar said.
Anilkumar said the small but efficient and quiet 3kW (kilowatt) turbine was chosen based on the proximity of homes on Love Circle, neighborhood aesthetics and noise. Love Circle hill is one of the highest points in Nashville and the wind speeds at the hill are high enough for wind power generation, especially during the months November through April.  The solar panels will be most effective in the May to September months.
The main purpose of the project is to examine the feasibility of alternative energy production through solar and wind facilities, and the expectation is that about 30kWh (kilowatt hours) of power will be generated on a daily basis. 30kWh is the average daily consumption of electrical power per household across the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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