Wind Turbine Team at Virginia Tech
The Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) offers a unique multidisciplinary engineering, siting, and business challenge unlike any other competition. Given that renewable energy and wind power are set to play pivotal roles in the future of power production, competing in CWC is an excellent way to be introduced to the field. The competition also gives us an opportunity to meet students from around the county who are also interested in wind energy.
The Wind Turbine Team at Virginia Tech is building a wind turbine to test in the CWC wind tunnel and developing the financial analysis of a (hypothetical) 100-MW wind plant along Wills Ridge in Floyd County, Virginia. The team is split into four subteams to more effectively tackle these tasks: drive and tower, blade, power systems and controls, and siting and business.
Our game plan is simple: maintain our strengths and improve our weaknesses. Our team finished first in technical design last year largely due to our meticulous, evidence-based decision-making, which we hope to continue moving forward. We also learned many valuable lessons from our shortcomings and hope to overcome them this year.
The team’s diversity and experience are two of our biggest strengths going into this year’s competition. Our team is made up of students from an array of engineering and business disciplines who offer unique ideas and perspectives to our toughest challenges. We are also lucky to have so many members returning with multiple years’ experience on the team, ready to incorporate lessons learned along the way.
One of the biggest hurdles facing our team this year is stepping up to fill the gaps left by our amazing members who graduated last spring. They put our team in a position to be successful and we hope to continue their commitment to excellence in all aspects of the competition.
Collegiate Wind Competition Objectives
After finishing fourth place overall in last year’s competition, we hope to build off our success by improving our turbine performance in wind tunnel testing and continuing to do well in the project planning and technical design portions of the competition. We’re working to win first place overall!
This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.