UI Receives IAWIND Grant to Purchase Instrumentation for Small Wind Turbine11/30/2009
A University of Iowa researcher has received a $39,778 grant -- the first of its kind from the Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND) -- to purchase instrumentation for a small wind turbine to be used as a teaching device at the UI College of Engineering.
Pablo Carrica, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, said he will use the wind turbine, which was purchased in September 2009 using UI equipment funds, for teaching experimental methods and procedures.
"The turbine will be used primarily by the approximately 75 senior undergraduates who take the class Experimental Engineering each year," Carrica said. Other courses that will benefit from the project include Wind Energy, Fundamentals of Wind Turbines, and Wind Power Management. To record and view information, students will visit a Web site showing continuously recorded data in real time, along with data entered from various experiments.
"Unlike most other wind turbines, the UI turbine will have a mechanism to lower and raise the tower at will to allow easy setup of experiments in the removable blades, nose hub and nacelle (pointed instrument enclosure)," Carrica said.
Specifically, the Skystream 3.7 turbine with three fiberglass blades is rated at 2.4 kW and recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy for educational purposes. The turbine is scheduled for April 2010 installation at a location to be determined. In addition to serving as a teaching tool, the wind turbine will be linked to the area power grid.
"The turbine may help stimulate student interest in pursuing careers in wind energy in addition to better preparing students for potential employment in this growing area," Carrica said.
In April, IAWIND, a collaborative project led by the UI College of Engineering, received a $3 million, three-year grant from the Iowa Power Fund, part of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence. The grant enabled the collaborative project, begun in 2008, to continue helping the state attract wind energy companies and related industries in an effort to enhance Iowa's already high position as a U.S. leader in wind-generated energy. Last year, Iowa captured the No. 2 national position in wind energy generation capacity.