Project Description

Contact: Tom Rohrer - Environmental Studies; GLISS Director

The Great Lakes Institute for Sustainable Systems at Central Michigan University received a Michigan Department of Energy grant that paved the way for CMU students to conduct research on two different kinds of residential scale wind turbines. The turbines have been installed at Union Township Hall in Mount Pleasant and are the first wind turbines to be placed in the area.

Prior to the turbines being installed, CMU students gathered 20 years worth of wind speed data from airports throughout Michigan to determine if the wind turbines might be effective in mid Michigan and worth the cost of their installation. Currently, the students are taking readings of air speed and combining that with the power generated by the turbines to determine their efficacy.


Awards

Central Michigan University senior Brittany Mouzourakis won the President's Award for Student Research for her project, "Wind Turbine Technology: Feasibility and Application in Union Township." She was one of only three students to receive this honor for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Mouzourakis assessed the feasibility of wind energy technology in Union Township by analyzing wind and kilowatt hour output data from a Skystream wind turbine.

On a larger scale, her research will help determine whether Mid-Michigan is a viable geographic location for wind turbine investment based on average wind speeds and the amount of energy generated from the wind turbines. By using computer programs and statistical computations to determine the efficacy of wind turbines, she developed an appropriate policy recommendation for the community.  She also calculated the financial analysis of investing in a wind turbine using financial tools such as net present value of savings, return on investment, and payback period. 

Mouzourakis received the $500.00 monetary award April 20 during CMU's annual Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition. She conducted the research during the fall 2010 semester for her Honors Senior Research Project (HON 499). She will graduate in May with a major in International Business (Japanese) and minors in Legal Studies and Environmental Studies.