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Wind turbine boosts energy program

Wind Turbine curriculum added to Energy Conservation programs

By Robyn Wiggill, Times Staff Reporter
On December 4, 2012

Nov. 9 marked the completion of The Center for ECAM's energy portfolio. ECAM stands for Energy Conservation and Advanced Manufacturing. The building opened in 2007, and houses many sustainable energy-related technologies and their associated courses.
The ribbon cutting of ECAM's first wind turbine was held at the ECAM building on the Oak Creek Campus at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.
The public, along with students, faculty, advisory committee members, politicians, and administrators from MATC, MSOE, Marquette, UW-Milwaukee and other partners of ECAM were invited and attended the ribbon cutting.
Dr. Evonne Carter, Oak Creek's vice president, opened the ceremony by welcoming everyone to the event and introduced Dr. Michael L. Burke, president of MATC.
Burke spoke about the key role that MATC plays in fields of renewable and sustainable energy, and then he introduced Dr. Joseph Jacobsen.
Jacobsen, director of ECAM, explained the renewable energy projects that MATC has completed thus far and some future projects. Jacobsen said ECAM's renewable energy portfolio consists of a geothermal heat pump, two solar thermal systems and several photovoltaic systems. He also said that there is a weather station on the roof of the ECAM center.  
Jacobsen then invited all attendees outside to experience the cutting ceremony.
 The ceremony was finished off with a demonstration, given by Jacobsen, inside the lab showing the digital version of the wind turbine and other equipment. The wind turbine was manufactured by Wind Spot, and took a week to install.
Power engineering and energy engineering technology students and instructors as well as Werner Electrics, Grunau Company, Pro Electric and Johnson Controls Inc. were involved in the project.
The wind turbine stands 47 feet tall; the blade is 8 feet while the pole is 39 feet tall. The turbine generates 3.5 kWh with a cost of  $60,035.
There are currently 17 new energy courses, which are sponsored by many partners of ECAM. Partners include the United States Department of Energy, The National Science Foundation, the Wisconsin Technical College System, the Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium, We Energies, Mazak, Johnson Controls Inc.  and Power Test Inc., to name a few. The building has been referred to as housing the largest equipment and curriculum in the U.S.
Programs offered in the ECAM building include Power Engineering and Boiler Operator, Sustainable Facilities Operations, Energy Engineering Technology, Quality Engineering Technology, HVAC, Environmental Controls Technician and more.  
All these programs will incorporate the wind turbine into their content. The fall 2013 semester will mark the beginning of two new courses, Wind Power I (introduction) and Wind Power II (applications), both of these courses will use curriculum and instruction based on the wind turbine, both supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The ECAM building focuses on educating students for jobs in safe and clean environments, using high-tech and efficient equipment, many of these jobs are also well paid.
Even though there are no more wind turbines currently planned, ECAM is now focusing on earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Oak Creek campus.
ECAM is also looking into installing a micro grid (a small-scale intelligent grid system) which will add combustion energy generation, transmission, distribution and control.
To get involved with ECAM projects sign up for one of their of sustainable energy certificates. Learn about the environment, about energy and mostly earn an education with a skill set that is directly transferable into a real job that has multifaceted rewards.   


 


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