Redefining the Classroom

New station promotes alternative energy, efficiency at LSSU

Posted: June 10th, 2010

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Prof. Ron DeLap, 635-2135,

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University is home to a new solar and wind energy station thanks to a grant through Great Lakes Energy Service. The 2 kW station (1 kW each) was installed on June 9.

The installation was completed with the help of university facilities engineer Paul Trumbley and Swanson Electric of Grand Rapids.

ENERGY GRANT -- Thanks to a grant from Great Lakes Energy Service, LSSU faculty and staff have installed a 1 kW solar (five panels) and 1 kW wind energy station atop the Center for Applied Science on campus. The units will be used in the classroom in a number of ways. Supervising and participating in the installation from l-r are Paul Trumbley of LSSU's Physical Plant, Andrew Jones Ph.D., Josh Berry of Swanson Electric, Paul Weber Ph.D. and Ron DeLap Ph.D. Jones, Weber and DeLap teach in LSSU's School of Engineering and Technology. (LSSU/John Shibley)

GLES, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting alternative energy education and energy efficiency, made the grant available to educational institutions so that the equipment may be used in the classroom. Ron DeLap Ph.D., LSSU engineering professor, secured the grant for the station, which includes five solar panels and a single wind turbine. The equipment will be monitored through one of LSSU's engineering labs.

DeLap, who will be taking over as dean of the LSSU College of Engineering, Technology and Economic Development in July, said he plans to work with other LSSU faculty to develop a green energy class sequence that, once approved, would tentatively begin during the 2011-2012 academic year. The new station would form an integral piece of the class sequence.

Meanwhile, DeLap incorporated solar energy principles into his electronic circuits class (EGEE 375) during the spring 2010 semester. In addition, the LSSU School of Engineering and Technology is working with the School of Biological Sciences to get the Vermilion research site on Lake Superior powered through wind and solar energy. The new GLES system will help the group find out how much capacity will be needed to bring power to Vermilion.

Look for GLES on campus this fall when it brings a mobile classroom to campus for a visit in September. For more information on LSSU engineering classes, click here. –LSSU-