Programs to include interdisciplinary and educational outreach opportunities
With the help of a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Frostburg State University is now on its way to becoming an important center of research and community and University-wide collaboration in the study of smaller-scale solar-wind energy as a renewable source of power.
The FSU Department of Physics and Engineering recently secured external funding from the MEA that will allow the University to build a demonstration system with a 35-45 ft. wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels to supply energy to a small building on the FSU campus. The purpose of the project: to develop interdisciplinary curriculum and educational outreach programs that will explore the possibilities of harvesting wind and solar energy in Western Maryland. Additionally, FSU will also administer the Maryland State Anemometer Loan Program, which supplies anemometers (wind meters) to residents interested in installing them on their properties.
Dr. Oguz Soysal, chair of the physics and engineering department, will direct the new project, which will include important hands-on research opportunities for faculty, staff and students across a variety of disciplines and possibly a Renewable Energy Symposium and Exposition at the University in spring 2007. The program will also enable Frostburg to develop first-hand experience with technical, economic, and environmental and administrative issues residents might face through the construction and operation of wind power systems.
“I call it the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said.
Soysal also envisions several significant long-terms goals of the project, including founding an FSU Renewable Energy Center to sustain project outcomes and disseminate expertise on wind and solar power and developing case studies that evaluate economic assessment, social reactions in the community and technical knowledge in the management of the systems.
Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, President of Frostburg State University, commented that research into renewable energy resources such as wind turbines, solar energy, clean coal technology, hydrogen and many others are critical to the future of the nation.
“We must no longer exclusively rely upon fossil fuel, and research is critical to better understand the potential of residential wind turbines. I am grateful to Dr. Soysal for bringing this demonstration project from the U.S. Department of Energy to FSU,” he said.
For more information about FSU’s solar-wind energy project, please contact Dr. Soysal at (301) 687-7079 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about FSU, contact the Office of Admissions at (301) 687-4201 or visit the university’s Web site at www.frostburg.edu.