Cal Maritime Keelhaulers
Our team is competing to learn as much as we can about the renewable energy industry. Participating in the Collegiate Wind Competition under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy on a subject we are interested in is an incredible asset as we prepare for a career after the competition. Everyone on the team has an opportunity to apply their skills more creatively than in a typical course. Preparing for the competition is more like a job than just a project. Time management, project management, financial consulting, and CAD design are just a few of the skills that we have all had the chance to greatly improve as a result of this competition.
This year, the turbine design team is focusing on a redesign of the model wind turbine from last year. They have found ways to lower the cut-in wind speed and increase efficiency. Additionally, they are improving the documentation during the design and testing process to help future teams.
The siting and project development team aims to expand the prior team’s plan for an 80-megawatt wind plant to a complete 100-megawatt plant. This includes the successful arrangement of turbines on allotted land, procurement of optimal parcels of land for wind plant placement, assessing all capital inputs and outputs of a wind plant, and contacting local government agencies for advice on policy and financial incentives.
The small size and intimacy of our school offers a distinct advantage for our team. This creates an environment where ideas are more easily presented and considered. Most of our team has worked together before as well, so we easily collaborate with one another. Our school’s long history in the competition and active alumni also give us the ability to learn from mistakes made by previous teams.
One distinct hurdle our team encountered was the learning curve involved in each step of the project. Each member of our team had to learn everything about their role, and many were unfamiliar with what they were being assigned to do. Whether it was turbine design or finances, we needed time to teach ourselves how to tailor our skillsets toward the requirements of the Collegiate Wind Competition. Key members of our team did not join until midway through the year, and the siting and project development lost faculty support going into the second semester.
Collegiate Wind Competition Objectives
Our team members are looking forward to in-person industry exposure and networking. There is also something invaluable about being able to openly discuss technological developments, challenges, and development strategies directly with professionals in the wind industry.
This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.