Dismas House: Micro-Wind Turbine Feasibility Study

Student Researchers:

Anthony Capuano majors in Mechanical Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering.  He is a member of the WPI varsity baseball team.

Rachel Cody majors in Chemical Engineering and minors in English. She is President of Theta Mu Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity, and a member of the Varsity Field Hockey team.

Andrew Kenyon is a Mechanical Engineering student. He is the Social Committee Treasurer and highly involved in his fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta.

Project Sponsor and Project Description:

Interest in renewable energy, for both commercial and domestic purposes, has increased as the supply of fossil fuels decreases worldwide. These effects are felt locally in organizations, including businesses, homes, and educational institutions. The Dismas House of Massachusetts, being a non-profit, is one such organization. The Dismas House mission is “to reconcile former prisoners to society, and society to former prisoners, through the development of a supportive community”(Dismas House). As part of an initiative to become more self-reliant, the organization is seeking to reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and allocate more financial resources to their mission. A potential solution for Dismas House is the implementation of a micro-wind turbine.

Dismas House includes three locations in Worcester: 30 Richards Street, Dismas House Family Farm and The Father Brooks House. The organization has researched various methods to reduce energy costs among the properties, and has already implemented methods to reduce costs at each location. Currently, the locations are using oil and pellet stove combinations to heat their buildings. The organization has also reinsulated to become more energy-efficient and to reduce heat loss from buildings. All three locations have implemented solar panels that have the ability to generate energy credit. Dismas House is now considering wind energy to provide a cost effective choice for supplying power.

One option for power generation is to install a micro-wind turbine built from reusable materials to provide wind energy in place of fossil fuels. By installing a micro-wind turbine Dismas House shows social responsibility from an energy perspective. The micro-wind turbine will contribute to a further shift towards alternative energy throughout the organization. Not only can wind energy be efficient, but it can also be cost effective. Implementing a wind turbine will add to the electricity generated and energy credit earned by Dismas House.

Dismas House

Dismas House

Dismas Farm

Dismas Farm

Goal:

The project determined the feasibility of installing an affordable micro-wind turbine on Dismas House property. There were three objectives.

Objectives:

1. Examine the proposed sites to determine the optimum site location with respect to wind speeds, environmental impact, and social influence.

2. Review funding opportunities to aid in feasibility and implementation of a micro-wind turbine.

3. Identify favorable characteristics of micro-wind turbines and evaluate models based on feasibility and economic options.

Final Report:

Micro-Wind Turbine Feasibility Study for Dismas House of Massachusetts