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UNI loans Mobile Power Tower to Iowa schools

April 2, 2012

Patricia Higby, energy education and outreach coordinator, Center for Energy and Environmental Education, 319-273-6012,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For four weeks, Cedar Falls High School (CFHS) will host a Mobile Power Tower, provided by Alliant Energy and the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE). The renewable education training system consists of a 30-foot tower with two solar panels, one wind turbine and an LED street light. Energy produced by the solar panels and wind turbine is stored in batteries and used to power the LED light.

"The Mobile Power Tower, which will be loaned out to schools across Iowa, provides hands-on experience with real-world equipment," said Patricia Higby, energy education and outreach coordinator at the CEEE. "The tower does not require a permanent foundation, is simple to assemble and does not need electrical integration with the school building."Mobile power tower

CFHS is the first school to host the tower. UNI industrial technology students, led by James Smith, assembled the tower.

Instruments on the tower can collect data on wind speed and direction, temperature, solar radiation, weather conditions and electrical performance. The information is sent to a website, so that the hosting school and any other interested schools can be involved. "This is a great way for students to learn about energy basics, solar and wind power and wind turbine siting," said Higby.

The next school to host the tower will be WACO Secondary School in Wayland. For additional information, visit or contact Higby at 319-273-6012 or