Wind power represents a booming renewable energy sector that will continue to grow rapidly in coming years as energy consumption increases. We are excited to identify a market opportunity and new technology that have the potential to further advance this industry.
The design of our turbine is still in development, but our team has identified a potential market that lends itself to a mid-sized turbine that is hardened to tolerate harsh winter climates. This turbine will be fairly conventional in that it will be a three-bladed horizontal machine; however, it may incorporate a rather novel transmission technology that is scalable, reduces cost, and increases reliability.
Our game plan has been divided into sections of priority. The first half of the fall 2017 semester was dedicated to developing a team operational structure and the second half involved formulating a number of unique business approaches, all in the manner where decisions were made through a fair and democratic process. Throughout the semester, different generator and rotor designs have been developed. During the spring 2018 semester our team will identify a single market target and fully develop an associated business plan. The team will also complete fabrication of components and assembly of the turbine and load system, and perform comprehensive testing of our turbine. Our siting team has identified the regions to consider for siting of a 100-megawatt wind farm within the prescribed radius of our university, and they will conduct a comprehensive siting analysis of the most promising of the regions they have selected.
Our team’s strength comes from the diversity of our team members. Our team consists of members from multiple disciplines which allows for unique solutions to complex problems. We consist of 30 members that have split into subteams within our overall team. We believe this to be an ideal number for a Collegiate Wind Competition team for the structure we have developed. This number of team members allows for work to be split among them while not overloading any one team member. This system ensures that there is enough attention to detail and that no rule or regulation is accidentally overlooked.
A main hurdle our team must overcome is time management. We want to ensure that we are utilizing our team wisely and effectively to guarantee that we complete the deliverables on time. If there is an accidental oversight for the deliverables we have additional time allotted so that the issue can be addressed well before the deliverable deadline.
COLLEGIATE WIND COMPETITION OBJECTIVES
Our team is hoping to gain an eventful and beneficial experience from attending and competing in the Collegiate Wind Competition. We are excited to have the opportunity to compete and are eager to come up with and present a unique solution to the challenges that have been given to us. We also hope to learn about professional opportunities in the wind industry.
We have designed a team structure to include a subteam of students whose sole purpose is to conduct wind resource assessment within our immediate community. This subteam and its members are in charge of attending town hall meetings in the Rockingham county area, and continuously updating the community through social media. We are excited to develop a strong support network of followers interested in our progress and providing support.
This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.