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 Technology, 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 6 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, we have successfully designed and constructed the ASU BEReL (Biodiesel Education and Research Laboratory) that provides renewable energy inputs, recycles side streams, and minimizes waste and pollution.

The larger ASU Biofuels and Biomass Initiative continues to grow 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.

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 is 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 is experimenting with a variety of emerging technologies to achieve this goal.

The project began in the fall of 2006 with the building of a greenhouse test site with three greenhouses. During the winter of 2006/07 innovative greenhouse technologies were tested and shown to be effective, specifically liquid foam insulation (LFI) and the Earth Charger (EC) heat storage system. In April, 2007, the project was awarded $75,000 in an EPA P3 Sustainable Design Competition to follow up on the first phase of work. During the academic year 2007/08 the bioshelters team plans on improving the test site systems and testing them more fully, as well as developing a foam equipped commercial prototype greenhouse, retrofitting and testing an existing greenhouse in production at a local organic farm, and holding an international workshop with other researchers, advocates and potential end users.

ASU Renewable Energy InitiativeASU Renewable Energy Initiative

The ASU Renewable Energy Initiative, a student-led referendum to create a fund for renewable energy projects on campus, received overwhelming support for clean energy with 82% of the voting student body favoring this $5 student fee increase. The recent vote for renewal received 93% support in the Spring of 2007. 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 CenterASU 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/

QEP Global Learning

department of technology and environmental design

Program Resources

    Western North Carolina Renewable Energy Initiative
    ASU Sustainable Energy Society
    ASU Renewable Energy Initiative
  • ASU Energy Center 
  • NCSEA 
    North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association 


Dr. Dennis Scanlin
Program Coordinator