Gateway Technical College erected a windmill Wednesday.
Well, the correct terminology is "vertical axis wind power appliance – a Mariah Power Windspire," and it was installed at CATI, the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation in Sturtevant. The Windspire will become a learning tool for students, as well as a way for the college to reduce the amount of electricity it buys. It cost $9,390.
The 30-foot wind vertical wind turbine was erected to the north of CATI, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., and will be used to demonstrate the capabilities of energy monitoring and management. Instructors and students will use computer software to monitor the unit, which has applications in some engineering programs, and will also serve as a test station for Gateway’s wind torque program. The turbine will generate an estimated 2,550 kilowatt hours annually, based on the region's estimated wind speeds.
“Gateway is committed to link training programs with ‘green’ technologies,” said Gateway president Bryan Albrecht. “Wind training and energy management are areas the Windspire will add real-world experiences for our students."
The Windspire generates electricity with vertical airfoils which rotate around a center shaft. The vertical design allows it to operate silently in changing wind speeds and directions.
At left, Sam Hampton and Josh Strueding of Electrical Systems and Services, Sturtevant, installing the wind turbine.