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 Collegiate Wind Competition challenges undergraduate students to design a wind turbine based on market research, develop a business plan to market the product, build and test the turbine against set requirements, and demonstrate knowledge of current and emerging issues facing the wind industry. The objective of the Competition is to prepare students from multiple disciplines to enter the wind energy workforce.

The inaugural Competition took place in 2014 at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Annual Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada and was generously supported by General Electric, Vestas, AWEA, and Blattner Energy. Over 150 students from 10 institutions across the country took part 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 is to design, construct, and develop a plan to market a wind-driven power system, which includes an off-grid load supplied by the wind-driven power generator. The load must meet the following requirements:

  • Represent useful work in an off-grid environment
  • Transportable to the Competition
  • Pass a clean and safe test in the Competition environment
  • Provide a visual indication of the power generated by the wind-driven power system.

The Competition consists of three multi-faceted elements. The technical element requires teams to design and build a unique wind-driven power system, develop and present the technical designs to a panel of judges, and test the wind system against pre-determined criteria in an on-site wind tunnel. The second element of the Competition is the creation and presentation of a market research-supported business plan used to develop the team’s technical product into a marketable wind power system. This plan is presented formally to a panel of judges and informally pitched to a public audience. The final element of the Competition aims to familiarize 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 well-researched deployment strategy. Read more about the Collegiate Wind Competition and how to submit a proposal for the 2016 Competition.

More Information

WINDExchange hosted a webinar where 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.