Tanana Community Provides Unique Opportunity for Visiting Researchers

Tanana Community Provides Unique Opportunity for Visiting Researchers

Last week, ACEP led a community tour to the Yukon River community of Tanana.

Visiting Arizona State University research engineers Nathan Johnson, Nathan Webster, Samantha Janko, and Shammya Saha joined ACEP’s Mariko Shirazi, Jeremy Vandermeer, Heike Merkel and Amanda Byrd, along with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center’s Robbin Garber-Slaght, for a tour of the community’s biomass energy-heated facilities, including a new community greenhouse.

The ASU engineers’ research focus is on modeling power generation and distribution in remote communities served by microgrids including prototyping systems with private sector partners for rapid deployment at the 5-150 kW scale. They visited Alaska to learn more about remote communities here, visit with ACEP and CCHRC researchers, and discuss possible future collaborations.

While in Tanana, all of the researchers led renewable energy-focused activities with students at the K-12 Maudrey J. Sommer School. ACEP and CCHRC researchers led wind power demonstrations where students designed wind turbine blades and tested their designs for power generation. ASU researchers led demonstrations based on renewable energy microgrids.

Tanana is a remote community accessible by aircraft and, since completion of a road, by a combination of vehicle and boat. It is 130 air miles from Fairbanks, making a one-day community visit possible.

 ACEP's Heike Merkel discusses blade position for optimal wind generation with a student from Tanana School. Photo by Andrew VanDivier and used with permission from Tanana School District.