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Welcome to the Center for Wind Energy at JMU

The Center for Wind Energy (CWE) at James Madison University (JMU) focuses on research, education, and outreach to advance wind energy deployment by providing wind-related services to local governments, state agencies, landowners, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and academic and educational communities. These services include wind resource assessments, economic modeling, education & outreach, energy policy analysis, assessment of technical specifications, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis, all to support the strategic deployment of wind power throughout the Commonwealth. The Center for Wind Energy has been a leader in the advancement of wind energy in Virginia since 1998.

With the assistance of undergraduate and graduate students, CWE focuses on research projects with national, regional, and local implications. We strive to provide educational and technical opportunities, support, and resources to foster the advancement of sustainable energy in Virginia.

The Center for Wind Energy offers summer internships to students interested in renewable energy, and has provided advisement and guidance for capstone projects within the College of Integrated Science and Technology. To learn about internships at CWE or capstone projects contact Dr. Jonathan Miles at 540-568-3044, or milesjj@jmu.edu



Facilities

The CWE has an off-campus suite of offices at 1401 Technology Drive where meetings are held, and where the Center inventory of outreach and educational resources are kept. Also at this site, the Center maintains a ~ 4,000 square foot research laboratory area, the “high bay.” It is home to meteorological tower equipment (including two SoDAR units), a Russell's Technical Products environmental chamber, a K.H. Steuernagel Solar Simulation System, an array of infrared imaging and detection equipment, wind tunnels used for educational purposes, and various systems that support instrumentation, measurement, and testing.

Image of Tech dr location

Residential scale and model turbine displays are also housed in this space.

In addition the CWE maintains a small dedicated laboratory in the ISAT building on the JMU campus that serves primarily undergraduate and graduate students and is equipped with workstations used for wind analysis. These workstations are equipped with industry-standard modeling and analysis software packages including Windographer, Garrad Hassan's Wind Farmer, WaSP, and ESRI ArcGIS. The PLC-controlled Lotus Wind Turbine Trainer also resides in the 131 lab.




Small Wind Training and Testing Facility

image of ttf facility from library window image of Powerwise interactive dashboard

The Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF) has been up and running since June of 2012. Thanks to the Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University, hundreds of college and K-12 students have toured the facility and learned about integrating wind and solar energy into their everyday lives.

The SWTTF will provide an independent testing capability in the region. The nearest small wind testing facility to JMU is situated at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Virginia does not presently offer a capability for testing of small wind turbines; however, such a facility will be very useful to characterize and field-test new technologies, attract small wind manufacturing to Virginia, and to provide students at four-year, two-year, and K-12 levels as well as the established and developing installer base the opportunity to learn the skills associated with testing of wind power technologies. 

   image of ttf facility   weatherbug logo image is link to ttf camera  

 SWTTF Equipment and Facilities

  • Bergey XL-R 7.5 kW turbine
  • Rohn 120-ft lattice tower
  • System hybridized with 750W of solar PV 
  • Interior and exterior lighting is hi-efficiency LED
  • SWTTF systems can operate in either grid-tied configuration or "off-grid" (coupled with battery bank)

The SWTTF is equipped with a robust suite of measuring and monitoring equipment including:

  • Suite of 6 anemometers, 4 wind vanes, and two 3-D sonic sensors installed at three elevations
  • Campbell Scientific CR1000 Data Logger and extended data storage
  • WeatherBug Professional weather station with camera
  • All systems are web-interfaced

Future Facility Updates

  • PowerWise online dashboard displaying building energy usage and turbine and solar generation
  • Meteorological tower used for installer training
  • 2 tilt-up turbines Skystream Turbines for installer training

To arrange a tour of the facility contact Remy Pangle, 540-568-8768, panglerm@jmu.edu. Download TTF Tour Flyer.




ISAT Solar Array

image of isat solar field from isat building

On the Hillside of East Campus, the ISAT Solar Energy Array is producing appriximately 11.25 kW of energy when the sun strikes the panels. This facility has 15 arrays each with fifteen 50-watt, thin-film solar panels. This facility is connected directly to the JMU electric grid.

In 2016, modifications to the monitoring system have begun, potentially allowing the facility to test different brands of solar panels and record production data. Upgrading to modern solar panels could quadruple the output of this facility.