Millstream students are pioneers in alternative energy

. October 16, 2012.

The tables will be turned at Millstream Career & Technology  Center  thanks to a $25,000 grant from Cummins, Inc. and local community partner Cummins Filtration.  Millstream students will become teachers as they take their knowledge of alternative energy into the business community.

Under the guidance of Paul Waldman, program instructor, students in Millstream’s Automotive Technology Program have already converted a standard pickup truck into a shiny green “EV” or “electronic vehicle.”  The Cummins grant will allow them to expand the EV to include other alternative energy initiatives including:

• Biodiesel fuel conversion – Students will “recycle” used cooking oil to fuel a portable generator that can recharge EV batteries on site.  This will extend the vehicle’s range and demonstrate valuable uses for waste products.

• Construct a trailer – This will make the EV into a portable laboratory allowing students and faculty to demonstrate a variety of green technologies and alternative energy sources.

• Biodiesel fuel generator – A quiet, portable generator will be mounted on the trailer to provide on-site battery charging.

• Solar charging panel – Solar cells will be mounted on the EV which will allow it to continually charge its low-voltage system used to power lights, wipers, fans and other automotive systems.

• Portable educational kiosk – Students will design and build the kiosk which will outline the history of the electronic vehicle and allow them to provide other on-site educational information.

• Wind turbine power generator – Yes, an actual wind turbine will be mounted on the trailer and extended on a 25’ telescoping tower.  The generator will be used to charge the kiosk batteries when sufficient wind is available.

Several Millstream classes and students will be involved in these projects.  The Engineering Program will help design the trailer and telescoping tower.  Welding students will fabricate the trailer and kiosk cabinet, and Information Technology classes will help design, program and network the kiosk.  Finally, the Automotive Technology classes will bring all the components together to provide ongoing “green” education to a wide audience.