The Iowa State University Collegiate Wind Competition team.

Back row, from left: Mat Wymore, Ray Peterson, John Ceriotti, David Jordan, Mark Schwarz, Cody Hornyak, Julienne Krennrich, Sri Sritharan
Middle row, from left: Scout Crow, Heather Vieger, Catrina Van Horn, Faiz Sukhairi, Nicholas David, Juana Castelli
Front row, from left: Ahmed Mohammad-Razali, Lauren Wibe, Kathryn Paszkiewicz, Taylor Mullen, Fazrul Nazrin


CyWind Competition 2018


Because we can no longer rely on nonrenewable energy sources. Wind energy production has increased a lot in the past 20 years throughout many countries, and for this reason we expect the industry to keep growing. In addition, wind energy is clean, cost-effective, and doesn't occupy much space. In the long term we think wind energy has huge potential and will make a huge impact on the environment and the economy. We want to help make this happen.


Our business model turbine will be portable, relatively cheap, easy to assemble and easy to store. We expect the height to be anywhere from 4 to 6 meters tall. It will be a three-blade horizontal axis system mainly meant to replace the portable generators usually used by RVs and camping tents. The prototype wind turbine is also a three-blade horizontal axis system, with its dimensions adjusted to fit within the given boundaries in the wind tunnel.


In the spring, the team will be divided into 5 main subteams: Siting challenge, blades, structure, electrical, and business. This coming semester we will assemble the prototype by mid-February (this will include initial electrical system, manufactured blades, and structure) so that we can start testing and optimizing. The siting challenge team will have selected their site and have their preliminary design by first day of March. We will all then focus on preparing a draft of the report, reviewing it and finalizing it, as well as practicing the pitches in front of different people.


We are an organized team and we have many resources at our school that we can use. Some subteams are stronger than others but overall we try to keep everyone on the same page (general meetings help a lot with this). We plan on improving the way we carry out this meeting next semester now that we have some feedback. 


The main hurdle is getting to the level at which other schools that have participated are at. This coming semester will be very fast paced and we will have to be very organized with our goals and our plan. We don't have much room for error. Another hurdle is the difference in classification of the members (from freshmen to seniors). There is a big gap in knowledge and experience between upperclassmen and underclassmen. 


What we are all hoping to gain is experience with wind energy systems and/or the wind energy industry. From the engineering side, most students want to learn about wind turbine design and manufacturing to be better prepared for a job in engineering. Some of us are hoping to get a job in the wind industry, and we think this is a good way to stand out and to prepare for the near future. The business majors share a similar story and want to build experience working with a group of people on a project, hoping this will improve their management skills (as well as communication skills) by starting a simulated company and promoting a new innovative product.


This semester we had three main outreach events. The first one was to be part of "sustainability day" on campus. In this event, we talked to students about wind energy and this project/competition. Our second event was "girls science exploration camp." We worked with science exploration club and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) to have a renewable energy focused activity/session to get girls (in grades 3 to 6) excited about wind energy. During this event we presented to them the basics of wind energy, we showed them some educational videos, and we did some activities. We also asked them questions and answered theirs. Lastly we participated in “Edwards Science Night,” and during this event we held some activities about wind energy for about 300 kids (from kindergarten through 6th grade) with their parents who attended the event.

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This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.