The unusual double helix by the Lory Student Center may be considered a sculpture to some people, but it’s actually a wind turbine. This wind turbine is called a vertical axis wind turbine, and it’s another effort by Colorado State to increase knowledge about environmentally friendly sources of power.
The wind turbine, north of the Lory Student Center by the new Transit Center, is for educational and demonstrational purposes because it only produces a small amount of power. Its purpose is to power the time and temperature sign attached to it.
These new vertical axis wind turbines are beneficial because they produce power at lower wind speeds. However, the blades have a smaller surface area than a typical wind turbine, so it is limited in how much power it can produce, said Carol Dollard, utility engineer at Colorado State.
"The good thing about this type of wind turbine is that, because it’s vertical, it can take wind from any direction, unlike other wind turbines that must adjust to take wind from different directions," she said.
The wind turbine was imported from Europe because the turbines are not produced in the United States.
For decades, Colorado State has been trying to reduce its impact on the environment. Facilities Management is committed to projects that conserve water and energy to create a healthier and more sustainable campus and community.
The department is working on several projects to reduce this impact. Two such projects are energy-saving vending machines and wind power for students living in residence halls.
For more information on Facilities Management’s sustainability projects, visit http://www.fm.colostate.edu/sustain/.