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November 28, 2007

FSU professors measuring alternative energy output

FROSTBURG - Frostburg State University professors Oguz and Hilkat Soysal have been collecting output data from the wind turbine and solar panels installed at the FSU Braddock House.

"Currently, we are collecting data and developing a mathematical model to estimate the power output of a residential system based on the available solar and wind potential," said Oguz Soysal. "We will finish this part of the study by the end of April."

The two-kilowatt solar panels were installed in June. Between June 8 and Nov. 20, the solar panels produced 1,130 kilowatts, said Soysal. The average daily generation has been 6.630 kilowatt hours.

"A typical house consumes around 20 kilowatt-hours a day," said Soysal.

The 45-foot wind turbine began to generate electricity Sept. 7. In October, the wind turbine generated 33 kilowatt-hours, and from Nov. 1 to 17, 44 kilowatt hours were generated.

"During a couple of days in October, the wind turbine could generate up to nine kilowatt-hours per day, which is quite significant for the 1.8-kilowatt size of the wind turbine," Soysal said.

The output from the wind turbine is pretty much what Soysal expected it would be.

"The experiment we are doing shows us the efficiency of the system. Once we develop our calculation model from the data obtained, we will be able to figure out how much energy can be produced at another location with given wind profile," Soysal said.

The purpose of the demonstration system is not to generate a great deal of electricity, but to create a real-life example to analyze the performance and efficiency of a residential hybrid system, said Soysal.

"I'm very encouraged by the early results of this study and I am pleased with any efforts to move us toward more sustainable sources of energy," said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. Smaller wind turbines and solar panels will be purchased to provide hands-on experience for the participants of the WISE certified training program.

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