Second Wind helps Dartmouth students bring sustainable development to remote African region

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Humanitarian Engineering Project uses donated Nomad wind resource data logger to evaluate wind resources in Tanzania’s Kigoma region.


Second Wind is helping a group of Dartmouth College engineering students bring sustainable development to a remote region of Tanzania.

Second Wind has donated a Nomad 2 Wind Data Logger to the Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering Project (DHE) to help determine whether winds in Tanzania’s Kigoma region can drive a wind turbine consistently and productively. The turbine would provide electricity for tasks such as pumping water and charging cell phones and batteries for residents of Kigoma, an inland region of Tanzania bordered by Lake Tanganyika and consisting mainly of small villages that aren’t on electrical grids.

“Western Tanzania doesn’t have much in terms of recorded wind data, and the terrain is variable throughout the region,” said Molly Wilson, one of the student volunteers. “We are assessing wind velocity as well as direction, and are also quite curious about the seasonal variations as data from some areas show strong seasonal correlations coinciding with the rainy and dry seasons.”

DHE will use local knowledge and the small body of existing wind data to select a prospective turbine location. Students will deploy the Nomad on the site for four to six months to aggregate data from wind measurement instruments. DHE students will collect the data and use it to decide whether to go ahead with wind turbine construction.

The wind turbine builds on DHE’s ongoing efforts to help the Kigoma region develop a sustainable economic base. In the program, engineering students design appropriate technology solutions as part of their classwork. Student volunteers implement the solutions in the field. DHE’s first project in Kigoma was developing a cookstove that uses fuel more efficiently, emits fewer pollutants, and can be built by Kigoma residents from local materials. Other projects include an improved coffee stove for drying coffee beans with less fuel, and a composting latrine.

“Wind is by far the most practical energy source for a region that’s trying to become more self-sufficient while lowering its impact on the environment,” said Matt McLoughlin, Second Wind’s director of tower system sales. “The Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering project is at the forefront of a very practical kind of sustainable development based on local needs and local resources. Giving the students experience with state-of-the-art wind measurement technology is also a valuable benefit of this project. We’re very glad to support them with the Nomad donation.”

The Nomad 2 wind resource data logger compiles data from all industry-leading sensors and sends it to users through a wide range of remote communications options, including SkyServe Wind Data Service. Second Wind surpassed its 10,000th shipment of the Nomad data logger in 2010. The units are deployed on seven continents, from the Arctic to Antarctica, with each unit compiling data from as many as 20 weather sensors.

About Second Wind

Second Wind develops wind measurement systems that make wind power pay off for consumers, investors and the environment. The company’s technology provides wind farm developers with the bankable wind data they need to plan, finance and operate highly efficient wind generation facilities. Second Wind’s systems are making wind farm development profitable in 50 countries on seven continents. Second Wind’s systems include Triton®, the wind industry’s leading remote sensing system, Nomad® 2 wind data logger systems, the ProMast™ 60, a 60-meter meteorological mast and the SkyServe® web-based data service. For more information about Boston-based Second Wind, please visit

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