Wind Turbine Lab
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Museum of Science
In 2009, the Museum of Science installed a rooftop Wind Turbine Lab with five different types of small-scale turbines to expand its Green Initiative, a commitment to reducing its environmental footprint. The view from the Museum's garage roof in the image above shows (left to right): Proven 6, Swift, Skystream 3.7, five AVX1000s, and Windspire Extreme Wind.
Wind turbines generate electricity without creating pollution; wind as a "fuel" is clean, renewable, free, and available world-wide. The Museum's Wind Turbine Lab has experienced no issues with noise, vibration, ice throw, flickering shadows, bats, or other environmental problems, and just one bird strike in two years. Our neighbors like them, too.
The lab feeds live data to the exhibit Catching the Wind, where visitors learn about our wind turbines and energy technology. The lab is also an independent, real-world test facility for small-scale wind turbines in an urban environment, providing solid data and project experience for professionals, universities, government, and consumers. As such, it is not scaled to power a significant fraction of the Museum's electrical load; however, the turbines are grid-connected and the Museum does use their energy. Annually these wind turbines produce 60% of the electricity needs of an average Massachusetts home.
As a visible expression of sustainable energy at the Museum, the lab is a beacon for strong public interest in wind turbines. Its history demonstrates the importance of measuring the wind regime on site, understanding what each turbine can produce over time, and weighing the engineering retro-fit costs of roof mounting against simpler ground installation. Wind power can be considered among other sustainable energy options, including conservation measures and use of other renewables.
Conference on Small-Scale Urban Wind Turbines
On May 18, 2010, the Museum hosted a professional conference providing firsthand accounts of the extended project team's experience planning, installing, and operating roof-mounted wind turbines in an urban environment. Download conference proceedings below
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