WiscWind has been devoted to participating in the Collegiate Wind Competition since 2015. With the need to reduce our carbon footprint, one of the most promising alternatives is wind energy. As a team, we hope to aid WiscWind in both its goal to succeed in the competition and its mission to provide clean energy alternatives. The competition allows us to build important professional skills and to promote renewable energy to the greater community.
Our multidisciplinary engineering team has come together to redesign and optimize our team’s prototype wind turbine from the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition. There were several basic features of the design from last year that we are incorporating into our turbine this year, but we are making tweaks to make the turbine more efficient overall and better handle the safety and durability tasks.
Our siting team is building off a successful 2018 siting challenge victory by taking a deep dive into understanding the economics and finances of a typical wind plant to prepare a detailed analysis for the 2019 competition.
To iterate our design from last year’s competition, we have been working to optimize each part of our turbine as an entire team, meaning input from both the mechanical and electrical teams. This way, we limit the problems that can occur with energy transfer of mechanical to electrical power. As a team, we have begun testing early in the semester to get a better idea of how each change in the design influences the turbine.
Our technical design team has returning members that have helped solve many of our challenges in preparation for the 2019 competition. The electrical and mechanical students on this team aim to work more closely with one another through the iterative design process. Our siting team has a few returning members from last year, allowing them to hit the ground running while preparing the financial analysis of the 2018 site design.
This year, our team has had some trouble with busy schedules. With the size of our team, we’ve only had a handful of truly all-team meetings. Throughout testing, we have also struggled with the weight of our generator. We have reached out to local faculty for assistance and advice moving forward in our design process.
Collegiate Wind Competition Objectives
We plan to reach and exceed the competition targets by remembering our key goals throughout the design process: we are not only generating power but doing so at the expected wind intervals, keeping safety and maintenance in mind in our design, and developing a turbine that is both durable and flexible for use in almost any environment.
This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.