Alternative Energy Technology program offers weather updates at the click of a button
Today’s weather is more than just a conversation starter for students in NAIT’s Alternative Energy Technology program: it’s essential information used in their day-to-day, hands-on learning. These students now have access to up-to-the-minute, localized conditions, thanks to the polytechnic’s new weather website – a project that was more than two years in the making.
Data for the website comes from three meteorological stations at NAIT’s Main Campus. The equipment and online portal are maintained and used by the Alternative Energy Technology program to teach students about sustainable and renewable energy. For example, students can now calibrate and monitor equipment based on very specific, localized weather information, available to them on their smartphones.
While the primary intention of the website is to be a learning tool, anyone with an Internet connection and web browser can access it. Up-to-the-minute weather information is presented in easy-to-understand tables and graphs. In addition to Alternative Energy Technology, the weather data is used by other NAIT programs, including Biological Sciences Technology and Geomatics Engineering Technology. The website does not include weather forecasting.
• Three meteorological stations at NAIT’s Main Campus collect a variety of real-time data from locations on the roofs Buildings X, D and C.
• This data includes temperature, dew point, humidex, pressure, solar intensity, humidity, precipitation, wind chill, wind speed and wind direction.
• The meteorological suites include a barometer, precipitation gauge, as well as anemometers, pyranometers, data loggers and more.
• Current weather conditions and historical data are posted to http://www.nait.ca/weather/.
• The website automatically updates every five minutes.
Jim Sandercock, chair, Alternative Energy Technology program
“NAIT’s meteorological stations and website offer localized, real-time data, as well as historical weather information. It’s easy to access and understand. This project came together as a result of a collaborative effort between several NAIT programs and departments.”
Tim Matthews, technologist, Alternative Energy Technology program
“NAIT has its own microclimate. Data we were previously gleaning from more traditional weather stations wasn’t giving us a look at what was happening right here at NAIT. We needed to bring it closer to home.”
NAIT Alternative Energy Technology: http://www.nait.ca/program_home_76007.htm
Images to accompany this story are available for download at www.flickr.com/nait.
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With more than 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.