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179th Airlift Wing kicks off wind study

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Troy Cramer
  • 179th Airlift Wing Environmental Management
The 179th Airlift Wing has kicked off a six-month study to measure wind speed and wind direction as part of our alternative energy initiatives.

On Sept. 15, a 65-foot Anemometer Tower was placed between buildings 300 and 422. This location was selected and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and airport due to the distance from the active runway and radar tower site. At the base of the wind tower will be a small gray box, also known as a data logger, that will continuously measure and record the wind speed and direction for the next 180-days.

Mansfield Lahm Airport sits at the highest elevation in the state of Ohio and has the second highest average sustained wind speeds only behind areas located on Lake Erie. This makes the 179 AW an ideal location for the placement of a wind turbine system. At the completion of the wind study, the 179 AW will evaluate the data as part of a Feasibility Study, to determine the potential return on investment and long-term viability of the project.

One possible option for a wind turbine, which is well suited for airport operations, is the WindCube™. The WindCube™ is a large turbine surrounded by a metal shroud that is approximately 30-feet by 30-feet in size. The shroud helps to channel more wind into the turbine blades increasing the overall wind speed. The 179 AW is pursuing the installation of dual WindCube™ system, capable of producing 60 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power both buildings 300 and 422, according to Lt. Col. Stu Killian, Base Civil Engineer.

The 179 AW is also studying two other alternative energy projects, landfill gas to energy and solar power. Both of these feasibility studies will be wrapped up in the next two to three months. Stay tuned for regular updates on our large scale alternative energy initiatives.