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Grant Allows ECE’s MESA to Investigate Other Sustainable Energies

Grant Allows ECE’s MESA to Investigate Other Sustainable Energies

In an effort to expand the Maryland Educational Solar Array (MESA), Project Director and ECE staff member Bryan Quinn, applied for a Sustainability Fund grant in 2011-2012. His proposed lab, The Sustainable Energy Teaching Initiatives Lab (SETIL) was awarded a $12,500 grant to develop wind-based power generation. The grant will allow Quinn to add two vertical axis wind turbines to the existing MESA lab. The facility’s goal is to provide students with hands-on experience in the design and use of alternative energy generation and utilization.

Collaboration between the members of the Honors, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Civil Engineering serve as a foundation for this effort. Two cross-disciplinary courses are being developed and experiments are being designed that will exhibit how to maximize efficiency, estimate power consumption and predict the performance of differing power systems.  Additionally, the facility is being used to train members of the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders and Maryland Sustainability Engineering on photovoltaic systems operations and installation.

The University Sustainability Fund is supported by the Student Sustainability Fee and provides funding for projects that promote social, economic and environmental sustainability and positively impact the student experience at the University of Maryland. The Fund supports projects that increase the share of renewable energy produced on campus, increase the energy efficiency of our facilities, reduce the amount of waste created and material resources used on campus, encourage sustainable behaviors, and integrate sustainability into teaching, research, and service at UMD. The Fund is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority subcommittee of the University Sustainability Council.

March 5, 2012

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