In order to determine whether or not installing a wind turbine is economically viable for a property, landowners usually assess their wind resources with the use of anemometers. Anemometers are instruments used to measure wind speed over time. To help individuals who are interested in installing a small-scale wind turbine on their property and to determine the wind resources in Arkansas, John Brown University with funds from the Arkansas Energy Office and the Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program will implement a second year of Anemometer Loan Program throughout the state.
The program loans individuals with good wind potential sites, a 34m tower with the necessary instrumentation and equipment to measure wind speed and wind direction on their land for a period of 1 year.
Anemometer data can help farmers, ranchers, businesses, developers, and homeowners determine if there is enough wind energy at their site to invest in a wind turbine. Each anemometer collects wind-speed data in 10-minute intervals. Such data can also aid wind-farm developers in determining whether an area is suitable for developing a large-scale wind farm. In addition, reliable anemometer data are used to validate the wind resource maps of Arkansas.
All Arkansas residents and businesses are eligible to apply. The anemometer equipment will remain at their site for up to 12 months. Due to limited availability of anemometer towers, only the most promising sites will be selected. Applications will be reviewed in July and August and the selection will occur during late August and September after corresponding site assessments. Several factors will be taken into consideration when evaluating each proposed site:
- Project Purpose/Goal
- Wind Resource
- Favorable Topography
- Favorable Land Use
- Site with GSM communication capability ( ATT coverage )
Details of these factors can be found on the anemometer loan application below. If you believe that a successful wind project is feasible on your land, we encourage you to apply. The program currently has 4 towers available. The Renewable Energy Program Staff and students and John Brown University will install the systems and perform the data evaluation during the measurement campaigns. There is no installation fee, nevertheless the land owners are responsible for permitting and purchasing a data plan with a cellular provider for data transmission to allow for remote transfer of wind data to our campus.
Instrumentation and Towers
All the equipment used in the installations is manufactured by Earth Turbines and NRG Systems in Hinesburg, Vermont (www.nrgsystems.com). Each system consist of a 34 meter tall tilt-up tower with cable guy wires, 3 cup anemometers, 1 wind direction vane, 1 temperature sensor, cabling and a data logger with communications capability. The 34 meter height is typical for small wind turbine systems with powers of 1-100 kW. The wind speed is measured using cup anemometers located at the 20m and 30m levels and a wind vane is used to monitor wind direction. These sensors are connected to a battery-powered data logger at the base of the tower.
Tower tubes consist of a combination of 3m (10') and 1.5m (5') sections of 152mm (6") diameter which slide together without bolts or clamps, then tilt up from the ground with a ginpole and winch. NRG towers are supported with cable guy wires in four directions at each guy level. The anchors are placed 60 ft from the base of the towers. Guy wires are anchored with standard screw-in anchors. No cranes or concrete foundations are required but installation of the auger or bolt anchors may require some hand excavation.
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Anemometer Loan Applications - 3rd Year
We will be accepting applications for a new round of installations set to be released in the Spring of 2012. The application window opens November 1, 2011 until January 15, 2012. To apply for an anemometer system, please click on the appropriate link below to fill an application online. Print the filled form and attach a cover letter and the required photos of the proposed site and mail it to the Attention of Fernando Vega, John Brown University, Renewable Energy Program, Box 3048, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761 by January 15, 2012.
View/Download the Anemometer Loan Application Form
For questions about the Anemometer Loan Program please contact:
Fernando VegaJohn Brown University
Director RE Program
2000 West University
Siloam Springs Arkansas 72761
J.D. LoweryRenewable Energy Programs Coordinator
Arkansas Energy Office, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201