Monday, December 21, 2009

Windspire Coming to BCS!

On December 15, 2009 the Birmingham School Board was asked to approve a donation of a Windspire wind turbine to BCS. The school board is receptive to the donation and will be asked to officially approve the project at the January board meeting. Many people have worked hard over the course of the past year to bring the turbine to BCS. It is now close to becoming a reality!

The Windspire wind turbine is a low-cost, low-noise, attractive wind power appliance for use in urban, suburban, rural and remote locations. Manufactured in the U.S. by Mariah Power, Windspire turbines are propeller-free, vertical-axis designs that feature patented technology that maximizes energy conversion from wind into electric power, regardless of changing wind speed and direction. The Windspire portfolio includes a 1.2 kW version (coming to BCS), a special High Wind version and a 230V European Grid version. The Windspire has been featured in Fortune, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and on “20/20”, CNN and NPR. For more information, visit

Why is it coming to BCS?
Mariah Power has donated the windspire to BCS. The company
was looking to donate a turbine to an educational organization and
John Carlos, a BCS parent, mentioned that his daughter’s school may
be interested. Neil Campbell, BPS Executive Director of Operations, and
Mr. Carlos worked with local contractors to have most of the material
and work donated. The cost to the district has been minimal.

Where is the Windspire going?
The Windspire will be placed in the bus turnaround on the west side of
the building. The location was decided on two factors. One, the district
mandated that all city ordinances be followed and two, the Windspire
needs to be in an area free of wind barriers to work properly. These two
factors place the Windspire in the back parking lot. This will not disrupt
games such as basketball, four square or other activities that our students play during recess. While they will have to play around the structure, there is still plenty of room for them to continue their recess activities.

How is the power generated from the Windspire and where will the power go?
The Windspire wind turbine generates power when wind blows against its vertical airfoils causing them to spin. This power is then converted to AC electricity. While the technology behind the Windspire is complex, the basic premise is simple: the stronger the wind the more power it will generate. The power will be directly feeding the electrical grid in the BCS engineer technology lab and will also power tools in the lab to help with small projects and experiments.

BCS- Preparing our Leaders for the Future
Our staff and students will use the Windspire to learn about wind power and how we can use it to promote clean energy. The Windspire comes with a wireless monitor that will allow the students to see the exact amount of power it is producing. The students will be learning from the Windspire and will be participating in activities and projects that will prepare them for the future. The BCS Green Committee comprised of students, staff, and parents, will be clean energy ambassadors as they continue to promote environmental friendly choices.

See the Windspire work!

Wind Energy Information

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