Wind Applications Center
MSU joined Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Boise State University, South Dakota State University, and Colorado State University as the first six Wind Application Centers in the nation. In January 2010 an additional five states joined the WAC fold: These new Wind Applications Center partners are located at Appalachian State University (North Carolina), James Madison University (Virginia), Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, and at the University of Alaska.
Current WAC News
Wind Turbine Trainer
Three M&IE students supported wind energy education through their senior design project during the Fall 2010 / Spring 2011 academic year: Cameron Kennedy (ME), Kyle Hoyt (MET), and Alex Adams (ME) were tasked with creating a low-cost, high resolution desktop-scale Wind Turbine Trainer for use in alternative energy education and outreach by the sponsor, the Montana Wind Application Center, The project provided many challenge to these three students as they researched turbine performance, designed their system, and fabricated a complex working prototype. The completed trainer is now available for use in various classroom and demonstration venues, and new laboratory experiments have been implemented by the 2011WAC interns to ensure this device serves its intended function in Montana State University's alternative energy curriculum.
Wind Applications Center Facility
In June 2009 the Montana WAC crew moved into a new facility on MSU's campus. We are now located in Faculty Court #22, on the south east corner of the campus right next to MSU's Sky Stream Turbine - two blocks from the MSU-Bozeman Engineering campus.
Wind for Schools (WFS)
Wind for Schools is a parallel program with a primary objective to engage rural American in wind-related projects. By facilitating installation of small wind turbines at rural K-12 schools, the WFS program provides a knowledge base for alternative energy. While the actual amount of electrical energy delivered to the primarily rural school facilities is relatively small, the educational benefits are great. The Montana WAC supports various aspects of this project, including providing student intern manpower for site selection and installations, providing technical support to the WFS host schools, and developing/coordinating a web-based monitoring system so that host school wind turbines performance data is available to the public via web-link. Through this program the public can obtain better understanding of capabilities, limitations, applicability, and other details associated with wind-generated electrical power. Please visit our Wind For Schools Program page for more info.
Kidwind Challenge is a new and growing national competition designed by Kidwind.org founder Michael Arquin. The purpose of the competition is to teach students grades 6 - 12 about wind energy through scale-model turbine blade design-build competition. Seven states participated in the 2011 national competition, and the Montana Wind Application Center is currently working on bringing this competition to Montana. WAC interns have completed fabrication of portable wind tunnel to support a statewide Kidwind challenge competition. Read here for more information on the construction and characteristics of the KidWind Tunnel.