The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on April 11 announced the teams selected for the inaugural DOE Collegiate Wind Competition, which will take place in spring 2014. The Collegiate Wind Competition is a forum for undergraduate college students of multiple disciplines to investigate innovative wind energy concepts; gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform according to a customized business plan derived from market data; and increase their knowledge of wind industry barriers.
The 10 student teams selected through a competitive process are Boise State University, California Maritime Academy, the Colorado School of Mines, James Madison University in Virginia, Kansas State University, Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Alaska—Fairbanks, the University of Kansas, and the University of Massachusetts—Lowell.
The theme of the inaugural competition is to design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. A principal contest involves testing each team’s prototype wind turbine in a wind tunnel under specific conditions. Each team’s business plan and turbine will also be evaluated against other pre-weighted criteria. The third event of the competition will be a team-to-team debate relating to current wind market drivers and issues. The turbine from the college or university with the best overall score will be placed on temporary display at the DOE headquarters building in Washington, D.C. See the NREL press release.