Ohio National Guard News

179th Airlift Wing kicks off wind study

Story by Lt. Col. Troy Cramer, 179th Airlift Wing Environmental Management
Ohio National Guard photos

Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport in north-central Ohio

A 65-foot anemometer tower, capable of measuring wind speed and wind direction, was erected Sept, 15, 2011, at the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport in north-central Ohio. The project is part of a several monthlong study by the Ohio Air National Guard's
179th Airlift Wing environmental management office to explore alternative energy initiatives.

65-foot anemometer tower

Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport in north-central Ohio

detail 65-foot anemometer tower

MANSFIELD, Ohio — The 179th Airlift Wing has kicked off a several monthlong study to measure wind speed and wind direction as part of the unit's base alternative energy initiatives at the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport.

On Sept. 15, a 65-foot anemometer tower was placed between buildings 300 and 422 at the base. This location was selected and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and airport due to the distance from the active runway and radar tower site. At the base of the wind tower is a small gray box, also known as a data logger, which continuously measures and records wind speed and direction.

Mansfield Lahm Airport sits at the highest elevation in the state of Ohio and has the second highest average sustained wind speeds, only behind areas located on Lake Erie. This makes the 179th Airlift Wing (AW) an ideal location for the placement of a wind turbine system. At the completion of the wind study, personnel at the 179th AW will evaluate the data as part of a feasibility study to determine the potential return on investment and long-term viability of the project.

One possible option for a wind turbine, which is well suited for airport operations, is the WindCube™ — a large turbine surrounded by a metal shroud that is approximately 30 feet by 30 feet in size. The shroud helps to channel more wind into the turbine blades, increasing the overall wind speed. The 179th AW is pursuing the installation of a dual WindCube™ system capable of producing 60 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power both buildings 300 and 422, according to Lt. Col. Stu Killian, base civil engineer.

The 179th AW also is studying two other alternative energy projects — landfill gas to energy and solar power. Both of these feasibility studies are scheduled to be completed within the next couple months.