U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students from a variety of programs to offer a unique solution to a complex wind energy project. The Competition provides students with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the wind industry workforce.

The inaugural Competition at the 2014 American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Annual Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, received generous support from General Electric, Vestas, AWEA, and Blattner Energy. More than 150 students from 10 institutions across the country participated in the public event. DOE congratulates first, second, and third place champions Pennsylvania State University, University of Kansas, and University of Massachusetts, respectively.

Collegiate Wind Competition 2016

The 2016 Competition theme was to design and construct a wind-driven power system to supply electricity to non-grid connected device(s) for off-grid applications. This theme focused on effective electrical and electronic design of the wind turbine for efficient and safe control of the device, a load system that represents a real-world need and that can match the power being generated, and an overall safe and reliable mechanical and aerodynamic turbine design. The Competition consists of three multi-faceted elements, which the selected teams integrated into students' coursework and senior design projects:

  • The business element of the competition required teams to create and present a market research-supported business plan that was used to develop the team’s technical product into a marketable wind power system.
  • The deployment strategy element of the competition familiarized students with the siting, permitting, and planning process associated with deployment of wind power systems by requiring students to identify a project site for their power system; develop a plan to install their system, informed by siting constraints and expected challenges at that location; and present their deployment strategy in the context of their business plan.
  • The technical element required teams to design and build the unique wind-driven power system described above. Teams also developed and presented the technical designs to a panel of judges and tested the wind system in an on-site wind tunnel.

Read more about the Collegiate Wind Competition.

More Information

Energy Department Announces Collegiate Wind Competition 2016 Participants

WINDExchange hosted a webinar during which Dr. David Willis, Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Karin Wadsack, Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions, Northern Arizona University shared their experience participating in the 2014 event.