Universities across the country have been integrating renewable energy classes but Indiana Tech has gone one step further than most. They have installed a wind turbine on its Fort Wayne campus to help engineering students learn about alternative energy. The turbine is located next to the Zollner Engineering Center and a gift from the Steel Dynamics Foundation covered the cost of the equipment, installation and software.
The wind turbine tower is 120 feet tall and the blades have a diameter of 26.5 feet. The total height is 134 feet and is expected to generated between 700 and 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. This is approximately the amount of energy one average size household uses each month. The power produced by the wind turbine will flow back to the power grid and will be credited to Indiana Tech’s electric bill.
“This an excellent teaching tool for our students,” said Dr. John Renie, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “We’ll have real-time monitoring equipment so that students and others can see how much energy is being produced.”
Indiana Tech offers a bachelor’s degree in energy engineering, and the wind turbine on campus will allow firsthand study of wind power. The operation of the turbine also will have applications in the mechanical engineering and electrical engineering programs.