Going green and conserving energy was the goal of two students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville who, during their latest project, made golf carts that run on wind power.
Driving around in a golf cart, you do not really notice how much energy you are using, but it can be significant. That was what inspired TAMUK engineering students Dennis Guleiof and Jonathan Gorman to come up with a way to save a little energy while taking a cruise.
"We constructed a wind turbine system to charge the campus cars with," Guleiof said.
Using batteries to convert energy, they made a small wind turbine that powers the golf cart.
"The more wind, the better. The quicker to charge the batteries," Guleiof said. "We typically take two-three hours to charge one club car with the current system."
The new wind turbine system for the two golf carts could also save the school some money as well.
"This has the potential to save about $2 a day, which turns out to be about $1,000 a year," Gorman said.
As you can imagine, the school is very excited about the project.
"We definitely want to be aware of our impact on the planet and our environment in South Texas," said Brynn Landerholm, assistant coordinator of sustainability at TAMUK.
In the meantime, the students hope that one day they will be able to power all of the golf carts on campus with green energy.
"We eventually want to expand the system, adding more turbines and possibly adding solar panels," Guleiof said.
Guleiof and Gorman have other projects in the works, including working with the City of Kingsville on a wastewater plant project.