星期三, 1月 27, 2021
Home PV Project Harnessing nature: Wind and solar energy are within reach, say teachers

Harnessing nature: Wind and solar energy are within reach, say teachers

Morganton – Western Piedmont Community College professors are bringing alternative energy into the classroom.


                                                                 They’re also collecting facts

From left, Michael Daniels, Jim DeFries and Eric Hurley, coordinators of engineering departments at the college, stand beside four solar panels at the eastern site of Western Piedmont Community College. 

Adam Shull (The News Herald)

for when Burke residents will use it at home, says Michael Daniels, coordinator of the College’s mechanical engineering department.
Just outside Broughton Hospital’s former slaughter house, now part of the College’s eastern campus, sit four working solar panels and a wind turbine 45 feet high.


Engineering students of all stripes constructed and maintain the electricity-saving tools, Daniels says.
Students will use the wind- and solar-generated energy to power drills they’ll need to renovate the old butcher house, says Eric Hurley, head of building construction technology.


As well as a project to build new classrooms and offices, the experiments explore practical uses for alternative energy sources, Hurley says.


“This is the seed. We want to show students and the community that these sources can realistically be used as energy,” Daniels adds.
The turbine and panels can generate as much as 1,280 watts of electricity, says Jim DeFries, the College’s electrical engineering guru.
That’s enough to power a couple of TVs, computer, microwave and several light bulbs, he adds.


The experiments are about making alternative energy real, DeFries says.
“If people want to see it, wonder what you need to use it and how to use it, they can come here to do that,” DeFries says.
One immediate lesson learned is the startup costs of alternative energy, Hurley says.


The turbine and panels cost about $4,000 combined, he says.
The economic benefit comes later, though, as energy bills fall and stay low, he adds.
As product convenience and depleted natural resources increase, so will interest in the alternative sources, Hurley says.
Until then the trio of energy-saving engineers are generating interest in their own ways.


DeFries says the College hopes to hold an ice cream social at the eastern site, completely powered by wind and sunlight.
“We want the ice cream machine to run off alternative power,” he says.

Morganton – Western Piedmont Community College professors are bringing alternative energy into the classroom.
They’re also collecting facts for when Burke residents will use it at home, says Michael Daniels, coordinator of the College’s mechanical engineering department.
Just outside Broughton Hospital’s former slaughter house, now part of the College’s eastern campus, sit four working solar panels and a wind turbine 45 feet high.


Engineering students of all stripes constructed and maintain the electricity-saving tools, Daniels says.
Students will use the wind- and solar-generated energy to power drills they’ll need to renovate the old butcher house, says Eric Hurley, head of building construction technology.


As well as a project to build new classrooms and offices, the experiments explore practical uses for alternative energy sources, Hurley says.


“This is the seed. We want to show students and the community that these sources can realistically be used as energy,” Daniels adds.
The turbine and panels can generate as much as 1,280 watts of electricity, says Jim DeFries, the College’s electrical engineering guru.
That’s enough to power a couple of TVs, computer, microwave and several light bulbs, he adds.


The experiments are about making alternative energy real, DeFries says.


“If people want to see it, wonder what you need to use it and how to use it, they can come here to do that,” DeFries says.
One immediate lesson learned is the startup costs of alternative energy, Hurley says.


The turbine and panels cost about $4,000 combined, he says.
The economic benefit comes later, though, as energy bills fall and stay low, he adds.
As product convenience and depleted natural resources increase, so will interest in the alternative sources, Hurley says.
Until then the trio of energy-saving engineers are generating interest in their own ways.


DeFries says the College hopes to hold an ice cream social at the eastern site, completely powered by wind and sunlight.
“We want the ice cream machine to run off alternative power,” he says.

 


 

 

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