Renewable Energy Webcam and Weather Data Collection System

The webcam installed by students to see the latest live action on the Wellsville campus and community is temporarily down due to construction of the new Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center and will be reinstalled by students in the near future. This camera is an Axis 233D camera mounted on a 100 ft wind turbine tilt up tower. The tower has a weather data collection system allowing users to manage information collected on wind speed, direction, and run. Solar information on Radiation (UV), potential production energy, and available time, humidity, wind chill, rainfall and rates, as well as much more information all specific to the Wellsville region are collected and recorded for student use. The information is currently managed through a dedicated student learning center where it is displayed in a public area of the electrical construction and maintenance electrician's building on the Wellsville campus.

The camera overlooks the Wellsville School of Applied Technology Campus owned by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. It is powered from batteries which are recharged by a wind turbine and solar photovoltaic panels.

The electricity is produced by the wind turbine (wild AC voltage) and the PV panels (12 volt DC) and converted into stored energy in the battery bank.

students installing a wind turbineThe wind turbine is a Whisper 200 a 1kW (1000 Watt) producing horizontal axis wind turbine specifically designed for battery charging and off-grid use. The PV panels are Unisolar 42 Watt amorphous-type panels which are mounted atop a single axis tracker mount which allows the panels to follow the sun's path throughout the day. The electrical energy produced by the solar panels is controlled to the battery bank through the use of a Blue Sky Solarboost controller which assists in maintaining proper battery charging. The system has supplemental Utility Grid 120 volt AC power available to the control equipment for servicing and testing purposes (though not required).

The camera is mounted approx 85 feet above the ground and the tower itself is tiltable (up and down) allowing us to access any of the equipment for servicing, maintenance, and most importantly, training within our PV and Wind training programs.

The equipment has been installed by Alfred State students enrolled in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program under the guidance of Jeffrey Stevens and Glenn Brubaker. Stevens, an associate professor, teaches basic electrical theory and residential code, and is the principal contributor to the solar photovoltaic renewable energy program development and training for the college. Brubaker is an assistant professor who teaches motor control and PLC classes and is the principal contributor in Alfred State's renewable energy wind training and program development.

Both solar and wind, as renewable energy resources, are being taught as integrated components to current curriculums as well as in supplemental workshops and training to the general public. You can contact the Center for Community Education and Training (CCET) by phone at 1-800-4-ALFRED or 607-587-4015 for upcoming courses.

This equipment was funded through support of NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Administration) and also Arc (Appalachian Regional Commission) Area Development Program, both including renewable energy equipment and training grants. Both organizations have committed resources to assist Alfred State in the development and expansion of renewable energy programs and their integration into the current programs taught at Alfred State to fill the ever-growing need for Workforce Development in New York State, as well as the Eastern United States.

Roy Butler of Four Winds Renewable Energy, who is a certified NABCEP Installer of both Wind and PV systems, provided the technical guidance and oversight for the tower and equipment installation. Additionally, the project was also afforded the expertise and guidance of the Alfred State Technology Services staff who supported and assisted in the camera provision, installation, and adjustments. The camera system would not be in place were it not for their assistance.

There were many cooperative partners who assisted in the design and installation of the project. A special thank you is extended to: Craig Clark, executive director of the Wellsville campus and dean of the School of Applied Technology; Tom Dawson and Dale Burns, Alfred State Technology Services team; Roy Butler, Four Winds Renewable Energy; Glenn Brubaker, Jeffrey Stevens, and the support staff and members of the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program; and everyone who provided countless hours of time and energy to make this project possible. This is a fundamental milestone for Alfred State's Alternative Energy Training Laboratory efforts, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission.