Facilities and Projects

North Carolina Small Wind Initiative (SWI)North Carolina Small Wind Initiative (SWI)

The North Carolina Small Wind Initiative (SWI) is a collaborative research and demonstration project supported by Appalachian State University Department of Sustainable Technology & the Built Environment, North Carolina State Energy Office, and the US Department of Energy. Growing out of several years of wind energy research, the SWI is assessing the performance of small wind technology in the region and is providing interested groups (ranging from utility companies to manufacturers, and landowners to state agencies) and with advice and information about small wind technology, wind resource assessment, potential energy production, and the economics of wind energy. The SWI is recognized nation-wide among the industry for its Small Wind Research & Demonstration Site on Beech Mountain, testing state-of-the-art turbine technology and demonstrating wind systems currently available on the American Marketplace. This facility features 7 small wind turbine systems suitable for residential, farm, or business applications and provides a truly unique hands-on training experience with educational workshops and seminars. http://wind.appstate.edu

ASU Sustainable Energy SocietyASU Sustainable Energy Society

The ASU Sustainable Energy Society (ASUSES) was founded in 1995 with the mission to educate, enlighten, and inform students and the community about renewable energy resources. ASU students, graduates, and staff are committed to this mission and are well-known in the local community for the club's free weekly workshops on topics such as photovoltaics (solar electricity), passive solar building design, wind energy, micro-hydro, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, permaculture, fuel cells, solar cooking, solar food dehydration, and solar water heating. http://asuses.appstate.edu/

Collaborative Biodiesel ProjectCollaborative Biodiesel Project

The EPA-P3 funded Collaborative Biodiesel Project at Appalachian State University has been a student-led effort to demonstrate a closed-loop biodiesel processor, and create a research and educational facility to teach about biodiesel production and use. Through Phase I and Phase II grants, students have successfully designed and constructed the Biodiesel Education and Research Laboratory that provides renewable energy inputs, recycles side streams, and minimizes waste and pollution.

The larger Biofuels and Biomass Initiative at Appalachian continues to grow and evolve organically out of the Phase I and Phase II efforts. Our open-source philosophy has allowed us to become an approachable conduit of information for renewable fuels and technology. The success of this project has had far reaching effects and created a positive environment for further funding including the Biodiesel Research Facility at the Catawba County EcoComplex

Our goal with this Initiative is to continue to provide unique opportunities for research, education, and community outreach in the growing field of Biofuels while promoting renewable and sustainable production technologies. For more information please visit the below URL. http://biodiesel.appstate.edu/

Affordable Bioshelter ProjectAffordable Bioshelter Project

The Affordable Bioshelters Project has been a student directed project with the goal of developing solar greenhouse systems that pay for themselves in five years. The goal of the bioshelters team is to redefine the solar greenhouse, to make its success in energy savings something that is affordable for the farmer. The team has experimented with a variety of emerging technologies to achieve this goal including liquid foam insulation (LFI) and the Earth Charger (EC) heat storage system.  The project was awarded an EPA-P3 phase II grant to continue efforts in making greenhouses more affordable.  This project provided the foundation for greenhouse-related work currently underway at the NEXUS facility at the Watauga County Landfill site. 

ASU Renewable Energy InitiativeASU Renewable Energy Initiative

The Appalachian State University Renewable Energy Initiative (REI) is a student-led referendum to create a fund for renewable energy projects on campus. The purpose of this fund is to demonstrate ASU's responsible stewardship of this mountain community with the installation of renewable energy production technology on campus to increase both awareness and use of clean energy. The REI taskforce is comprised of ASU students, faculty and staff. This committee researches potential projects to utilize this pool of student fees. To learn about completed and current projects, visit the website by following the link below! http://rei.appstate.edu/

ASU Energy CenterAppalachian Energy Center

The Energy Center was formed in 2002 as an applied research group at Appalachian State University to provide research support for ASU faculty, staff, and the State Energy Office of North Carolina. Housed within the Appalachian Regional Development Institute, the ASU Energy Center explores energy issues as related to building science, renewable energy, public policy, and economic development with most notable accomplishments including authorship of the North Carolina Energy Plan. Partnering with leaders in the state, the Energy Center maintains working relationships with: The N.C. Fuel Cell Alliance (NCFCA); the Renewable Energy for Economic Development (REED) Alliance; The A&T University Center for Energy Research Technology (CERT); and The NCSU Solar Center. Most recently in the news, the ASU Energy Center sponsored the first Zero Energy Home in North Carolina, by contributing program coordination and technical support for this innovative and affordable passive solar Habitat for Humanity House in Hickory, NC. http://energy.appstate.edu/

Program Resources


Dr. Jeremy Ferrell
Program Coordinator

QEP Global Learning