Ten collegiate teams from around the United States took part in the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2014, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, with more than 150 students across the country worked to design, test, and build a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that could be used to power small electronic devices.
Over the course of three intense days at the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference, the teams put their wind turbines through rigorous performance testing, developed carefully-crafted business plans, and pitched wind industry leaders on the market opportunities for their turbine designs. Pennsylvania State University earned the highest cumulative score to become the overall winner of the inaugural competition. The team's winning turbine received the honor of being displayed at Energy Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Rounding out the top three finishers were the University of Kansas, in second place, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, in third. In addition, the following schools were recognized as top finishers in the following categories:
- Market Issue Presentation: Pennsylvania State University
- Business Plan Development: University of Kansas
- Turbine Design and Testing: University of Kansas
Pennsylvania State was also selected as the People's Choice winner—the audience's pick for the best business pitch presentation.
WINDExchange hosted a webinar during which 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.
In 2015, seven of the original ten teams reunited to compete at the National Wind Technology Center to participate in an additional engineering competition. Returning teams included the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Colorado School of Mines, Pennsylvania State University, California Maritime Academy, Boise State University, Northern Arizona University, and Kansas State University.
This year, Boise State University was named the winner of the competition. Cal Maritime placed second and Penn State, last year's champion, finished third and also won the surprise challenge.
The following 10 university-led student teams were selected through a competitive process to compete in the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition:
- Boise State University
- California Maritime Academy
- Colorado School of Mines
- James Madison University (Virginia)
- Kansas State University
- Northern Arizona University
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Kansas
- University of Massachusetts Lowell
The following is a list of the participating judges in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2014.
Engineering Design Review
- Ben Polito, President and Co-Founder of Pika Energy
- Charles Newcomb, Director of Technical Strategy at Endurance Wind Power
- Trudy Forsyth, Managing Director of Wind Advisors Team
- Justin Kaster, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Cleantech Open, Midwest Division
- Bruce Eastman, Chief Operating Officer of Inovus Solar
- Ralf Sigrist, Attorney-at-Law/Consultant
- Fara Courtney, Founding CEO, U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative
- Larry Flowers , Consultant, G4Wind LLC (retired Deputy Director, AWEA Distributed and Community Wind)
- Rich Vander Veen, President of Mackinaw Power LLC
- Haley Estes Roberto, President of Harvest the World Network
- Troy Patten, President and CEO of Northern Power Systems
- Mike Derby, Wind Energy Research and Development Program Manager at U.S. Department of Energy
- Keith Longtin, General Manager of Wind Products at General Electric
The U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition is grateful for the generosity of the 2014 sponsors to support a successful event and a positive experience for teams. Thank you to our 2014 sponsors!
The recognition of sponsor organizations does not constitute or imply any endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of their messages, missions, activities, products, or programs. The U.S. Department of Energy does not monitor, control, or directly fund the activities of the identified organizations.