In the computer lab, electrical engineering researchers will evaluate performance and improve VAWT’s power delivery efficiency.

The Franklin wind turbine also provides steady, uninterrupted power via battery storage for up to ten hours.

Wayne State’s decision to use the Franklin Wind Turbine as an alternative to powering its own laboratories reflects the university’s ‘translational’ research mission and its commitment to integrate sustainable technology into virtually every aspect of our operations, said Dr. Ralph Kummler dean of the College of Engineering. Clean wind energy is emerging as a viable path along with other renewable technologies in addressing the global energy crisis. And for us in Michigan, it offers the potential to create skilled jobs.

David Koyle, chairman and chief executive officer of Franklin Wind Energy Group, said the Franklin VAWT provides significant savings as a superior investment in comparison to traditional power generation sources using fossil fuels. He explained that the Franklin wind turbine extracts more energy from an existing mass of wind than other turbines. This benefit is possible because wind is a variable and dynamic energy source, and the Franklin Wind Turbine design takes advantage of unique engineering features, which makes it a more efficient method for capturing wind energy.

This is an important first step in our plans to become the premier provider of leading edge small wind turbines in America, said Koyle, who is also an adjunct professor at Wayne State. We see these turbines being installed in homes and businesses as people realize they can have their own ‘little oil well on their roof’ pumping free renewable energy from the sky, reducing their energy bills and becoming energy independent. The cost of producing energy using fossil fuels is only going to increase, and our wind turbine will save customers a few cents every hour it is operating. As our company’s namesake Ben Franklin once said, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned.’ It all adds up to an eco-savvy investment and the right thing to do for energy independence.

Koyle added that President Obama’s recent legislation provides federal rebates of up to 30%. That savings, combined with other incentives like net metering, carbon credits, feed in tariffs, and state tax credits, makes small wind energy economically viable on a national level.

Franklin Wind Energy Group, located in Franklin, Michigan, invested in small wind technologies because we believe this is one of the most important growth sectors for creating jobs for Michigan, said Koyle. We are pleased that our partnership with Wayne State will help to promote our turbines as a principal source of energy production and consumption in our state.

Kummler concurred with Koyle about the value of collaboration. Supported by Wayne State’s excellent Facilities Management Team, our faculty has made tremendous strides in the area of efficient power transfer and delivery. That expertise, in conjunction with Franklin’s unique wind turbine design, creates an unprecedented opportunity for us to jointly demonstrate clean, potentially cost-efficient energy production, he said. This pilot project is a perfect example of how the academic-business model at Wayne State and the College of Engineering are working to promote leading-edge alternative energy technologies and economic development in Michigan.