Photos show the tower's location behind Cannon Laboratory
(above) and highlight the attached sensors that will
provide data (below). The tower will help UD tap into the
strong mid-Atlantic wind resource. Photos by Lisa Tossey
The University of Delaware is continuing with plans for wind power generation on its Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del. On Friday, May 9, it completed installation of a temporary tower outfitted with electronic gear, which scientists say will provide data to help them determine specifications for a land-based wind turbine to be placed on the campus.
“We are enthusiastic about taking advantage of this renewable resource, which not only will allow us to be more environmentally friendly, but also will provide us with new research opportunities,” said Nancy Targett, dean of the UD College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES).
The 150-foot tower is fitted with sensors and data recorders that provide information about local wind speeds and durations. Instrumentation is placed at four different locations on the tower to collect data at multiple elevations. The information from the devices will help determine the type and size of the wind turbine that could supply the campus with cheap, clean, and dependable energy.
The college is working with Ontario, N.Y.-based Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. on gathering data from the tower and the related study, which is expected to take approximately 10 months. During a visit to the Lewes campus earlier this year, company representatives surveyed the area to determine the location of the temporary tower — a small field behind Cannon Laboratory, which easily accommodates both the tower and its guy wires. The monitoring tower’s location does not indicate positioning for a turbine that might eventually be erected on the campus.
The wind initiative was inspired in part by the work of CMES researchers, who have found that the mid-Atlantic coast has a significant wind resource. In addition to assessing the wind resource at the Lewes campus, the college also is studying other aspects of the project, including the economics of wind power, the government regulatory process, and community engagement.
This land-based project is not connected to current discussions about a proposed wind farm off the Delaware coast.
For more about CMES, visit www.ocean.udel.edu.