The Engineering Department at CFCC is developing a renewable energy lab. Our current focus is on Photovoltaic Panels (PV or solar electricity), Wind Energy, and PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Fuel Cells. Since 2003 the lab has been studying how these resources are used for providing utility grade electricity, and how they can be used for low emission economically competitive vehicles. Our lab currently uses a 600 Watt PV array on a passive tracking system, and the next phase is the addition of a 1kW wind turbine. The power generated is feeding the school's power grid (grid-tie), and has a battery bank (120Ahr @ 24VDC) for backup power in the lab.
The short term goal of the Electronics Engineering Technology program is to integrate the RE labs into existing courses, and publish system data in real-time online. We also have a long term goal of offering a certificate or degree program in renewable energy system design, and installation.
A NIST calibrated Davis Weather station publishes real-time data to the Internet and helps with energy calculations and efficiency labs. The CFCCREL web camera has also been integrated with WeatherUnderground.com
This site is maintained by the Electronics Engineering Department at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina.