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

Photo of four members of the winning 2014 Collegiate Wind Competition team from Pennsylvania State University posing in front of their winning small wind turbine prototype. Wind and Water Power Program Manager, Jose Zayas and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, David Danielson stand on either side of the teammates.

Jose Zayas, Wind and Water Power Program Manager, and David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, pose with members of the winning team from the 2014 Collegiate Wind Competition: Pennsylvania State University. Photo from U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition challenges undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to design and construct a wind turbine to set specifications. The students investigate innovative wind energy concepts; gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform according to a customized, market data-derived business plan; and increase their knowledge of wind industry barriers.

2014 Collegiate Wind Competition

The theme of the inaugural 2014 competition was to design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. The competition consisted of three primary contests designed to reach students from various academic disciplines and to provide them with engaging, real-world project experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.

A principal contest involved testing each team's prototype wind turbine in a wind tunnel under specific conditions. Each team's business plan to develop and market their turbine was also evaluated against pre-weighted criteria. The third event of the competition involved oral presentations that were delivered in an open forum, whereby each team demonstrated its grasp on market drivers and deployment acceleration opportunities affecting the wind industry. Teams were judged not only on the strength of their arguments, but also on the depth, logic, and style of their deliveries.

In 2014, Pennsylvania State University took home top honors with both the first place prize and People's Choice award. University of Kansas and University of Massachusetts came in second and third places, respectively. The next Collegiate Wind Competition is expected to be held in 2016. Check back for more information or subscribe to the WINDExchange newsletter.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Wind Energy Foundation facilitated the inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition. Other key partners included  the American Wind Energy Association, KidWind, and the Distributed Wind Energy Association. Sponsors of the 2014 Collegiate Wind Competition included General Electric, Vestas, Blattner, and the American Wind Energy Association.

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