Penn State chosen for DOE's inaugural wind competition

Curtis Chan
April 15, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has been named one of only 10 universities to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition, the agency announced April 11.

Over the next year, student teams will be challenged to design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. The 10 teams will compete head-to-head in spring 2014 at a site to be announced later.

Susan Stewart, a research associate in aerospace engineering and architectural engineering, advises the Penn State team.

According to the DOE's press release, teams were chosen based on their commitment to the project, organization and project planning, fundraising and team support, curriculum and integration, and collaborating and testing.

Each team will design and construct a prototype wind turbine, develop a business plan and engage in a debate contest as part of the overall competition.

The students' prototype wind turbines will be tested in a wind tunnel under specific conditions and judged for performance, operational safety, component durability and system reliability.

Each university's business plan will be evaluated on market deployment feasibility, creativity, concept cost and other criteria.

Teams will debate one another on current wind market drivers and issues, and will be evaluated on their understanding of the questions posed to them, their communication of potential solutions and their ability to promote constructive dialogue.

At the end of the contest, the team with the best overall score will have its wind turbine featured at the DOE’s headquarters near the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The contest is sponsored by the department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Last Updated May 02, 2013