Advanced Energy in Action
Step outside and see advanced energy in action with Great Lakes Science Center’s wind turbine and solar array exhibits. These energy-producing exhibits effectively demonstrate the use of advanced energy technologies in our region.
Soaring 150 feet into the air, our landmark wind turbine is a working example of how wind power can create energy. The wind turbine provides approximately seven percent of the Science Center’s annual electrical needs. Related indoor exhibits detail Cleveland’s connection to the earliest history of wind turbine technology and NASA Glenn Research Center’s role in modern developments.
WindWorks, the permanent art installation surrounding the wind turbine, utilizes art to educate and inspire while demystifying wind power and its potential for our region. The installation features two concrete pathways placed so the turbine’s shadow aligns twice each day with the pathways. On the spring and fall equinoxes, the shadow precisely matches the outline of the paths at solar noon.
The turbine was made possible through a collaboration with The Cleveland Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, Parker Hannifin Corporation and the Lubrizol Corporation. The turbine contains Parker Hannifin components and Lubrizol products to help it operate effectively and efficiently. Both of these local companies, who are at the forefront of wind technology, use the wind turbine to monitor performance of their materials, to test those materials and to make changes when necessary to improve performance.
Our 300-foot solar array canopy located at the main entrance features 156 photovoltaic panels that provide enough power to light all of the Science Center’s exhibition space for one hour. During the course of a year, the solar array produces an average of 100 kWh per day, the equivalent of the average electrical usage of four homes.
The solar array is made possible through funding from Cleveland Foundation, Ferro Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional partners include Panzica Construction, Doty & Miller Architects and GE Energy.