Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College
wind, turbines, energy, micro-wind turbines, sustainably
Wind can be a helpful tool to reduce reliance on non-renewable forms of energy production, such as coal or other fossil fuels. With the use of wind turbines, this energy can be harvested and turned into electricity. Excluding each individual turbine's efficiency, the two most important factors for power production are the sweep area of the blades and wind speed. Often times, sweep area can be maximized in more remote locations, such as a desert, as the size is not as much of a constraint. This benefit comes at the cost of more difficult maintenance and energy loss due to transmission losses such as wire resistance. As an alternative that might be available to users in urban areas, I explored the potential feasibility of locally installing smaller wind turbines on the University of Vermont campus. This model would reduce resistance energy losses, installation/maintenance costs, and would utilize otherwise wasted wind energy already available on campus. To explore the viability of such an installation, wind speeds would need to be recorded using an anemometer. Through using NRG #40C Anemometer, along with a data logger, I measured the wind speed over a two-week period from a location on the top of Votey Hall. While realistically a full year of data is needed to make an accurate prediction, the small subset acquired can act as a guide for further research in a more in-depth study. Making general assumptions, it can be concluded that micro wind turbines would not be a financially beneficial investment for the University of Vermont. However, it is important to note that a simple financial analysis does not take into account external costs, such as the impact on the environment. Reliance on wind energy would reduce that impact as it ultimately reduces our carbon footprint.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Nolan, Christopher Michael, "Micro Wind Turbine Viability at the University of Vermont" (2020). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 357.