MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University students in the Jacobetti Center will soon be able to recharge their laptops with electricity produced by solar panels and a wind turbine. Michael Martin, NMU engineering technology professor, received two recent grants to support the project: $1,000 from the Wisconsin Energy Foundation and nearly $5,000 from the NMU Wildcat Innovation Fund administered by the provost’s office. “The solar panels and wind turbine have been on the Jacobetti roof for several years, but they have only been connected to monitoring equipment,” said Martin. “We lacked the infrastructure to make use of the electricity. The grants will allow Martin and students in the alternative energy minor to purchase and connect equipment that will control the energy and direct it to a laptop recharging station that they will install in the Jacobetti commons. Martin said the electrical distribution and equipment installation will happen in the next few months, but because the solar panels and wind turbine will be taken down this summer for the Jacobetti roof replacement, it might be October before the system is fully operational.
May 2, 2011