Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wind Powered Radio

This is rad. Sometimes the Hippies out west think up something pretty cool.

Just kidding. they're not hippies. Boise State Radio 91.3 KBSJ runs three 7.5 kW wind turbines at over 8600 feet above sea level. [HAAT 752 meters] Propane fuel tanks and generator provide backup to keep them on the air when the wind dies down. Due to the transmitter site's exceptionally high elevation, the station also has an exceptional coverage area, for a 3700 water. It includes the distant Twin Falls, ID and Wells, NV.

KBSJ's use of alternative power came from cost considerations, not granola. The wind-generating system, with its 13,000-pound storage battery and voltage inverter, cost less than $300,000. This is much cheaper than an eight-mile spur from the nearest utility line.

The station is run by Boise State University and mostly runs programming from NPR. KSBJ provides a huge public service to The Nuclear Waste facility near Jackpot Nevada. Prior to their arrival in the community Jackpot had no local radio outlet for emergency information. Nuclear waste facilities sometimes have "incidents." When they do things like local radio can become suddenly very critical.