Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

Ten Years of Projects in Alternative Energy, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency at SIPI (2007 – 2016)


Submitted to the:

New Mexico Academy of Science

Nader Vadiee, Ph.D., Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI)

The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute's (SIPI) renewable energy program seeks to establish renewable energy technology hardware on and around the campus, which will supplement and create the educational resources to teach renewable energy courses at its campus. Under the program, SIPI will design, install, operate, and maintain photovoltaic, wind and solar hot water systems to be located at the SIPI campus and educate and train Native American students in renewable energy technology.

SIPI's vision is to establish a Renewable Energy Program whose goals are:

· To prepare students both for technical careers in renewable energy technologies and for their pursuit of advanced studies in renewable energy engineering and technology;

· To demonstrate and provide examples on SIPI's campus of the practical uses of renewable energy technology for its students, its faculty, and the community at large; and

· To employ renewable energy technologies to produce useful and environmentally benign energy on the SIPI campus, while simultaneously providing students with the opportunity for hands-on experience with these systems.

These goals were advanced first, through the installation and use on campus of commercial renewable energy systems and second, the integration into SIPI's curriculum of course on renewable energy science, engineering, and technology.

SIPI developed an innovative academic program designed to provide educational opportunities in the burgeoning field of renewable energy and green building. This led to the development of two courses: renewable Energy I and Renewable Energy II.

Since fall 2007, SIPI has conducted and completed the following “Community-based” research and development projects, in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The projects all have included education and community outreach components. There is a lot of excitement and interest on the part of our Native American students in energy efficiency and renewable energy fields of education and research, especially those with the aspiration and commitment of going back to their communities and improve the economics and jobs. It is our firm belief that energy efficiency (EE) technology implementation and training come first and take precedance over the renewable energy (RE) technology implementation and training.

Some of the past and on-going projects in EE and RE are as follows:

1 - Wind Turbine Design – Vertical and Horizontal Axis – Argonne National Lab. – Indian Energy Program- National Championship for SIPI team

2 - Biofuel Technology- Alga to Bio-diesel Process - Argonne National Lab. – Indian Energy Program – National Championship for SIPI

3 – Energy Audit for the existing building on the SIPI campus – AIHEC grant

4 – Jemez Pueblo Solar Power Plant – Feasibility Study- AIREI – AIHEC grant

5 – Jemez Pueblo Hot Springs Utilization- Feasibility Study – AISES Grant

6 – Solar Tracker based on GPS information – NM EPSCOR

7 – Watershed Visualization Table – NM EPSCOR

8 – Photo Luminance System Design and LED Technology – University of New Mexico sub-award and AIREI-AIHEC grant

9 – Smart Lighting Design for the Engineering ICMARS lab. – UNM CHTM center and AIREI-AIHEC grant

10 – Solar Decathlon – SIPI-UNM Collaboration

11 – NextEra Energy Company is planning to build a Solar Farm on SIPI Campus.

12 – Special Topics Course-ENGR 290, focused on SACADA system and Smart Grid, will be offered on campus by the NextEra Energy experts.

Download this abstract here

SIPI Report for NREL.pdf

SIPI-Next Era Energy Joint Projects - 20KW Solar farm for research and education purposes

Updates on the status of the SIPI-NextEra Energy solar farm projects: Next Era Energy is the world largest utility company, based in Florida. They are very active in the areas of solar and wind energy systems.

They are ready to move forward the following four projects :

    1. Fixing the tracking solar parking/shade structure on the east side of the S&T building .
    2. Installing a 20-25 KW solar farm near the Mars Yard Lab. and connecting it to the Mars Yard (Building # 125) for training and educational purposes. Building #125 will demonstrate a stand-alone solar system with storage capability and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
    3. Using the two above testbed systems to offer a Special Topics Course – ENGR 290 on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition “ SCADA “ systems and smart grids.
    4. Providing $20,000 funding to Engineering programs to be spent om students scholarships.

Next Era Energy company, will pay all the costs associated with the above projects. There is a SIPI team of 3-4 students who will be working on this project as their ENGR 280 – Engineering Internship courses. Cody Yazzie,a SIPI engineering student is assigned as the team leader. Please stay tuned for more updates.