NAU Collegiate Wind Competition Team

NAU is pleased to host a team for the inaugural year of the U.S. Department of Energy's Collegiate Wind Competition. Our team consists of undergraduate students from NAU's Engineering, Business, and Environmental Sciences programs. They are working together to design, build, and test a wind turbine to perform according to their customized, market-data-derived business plan. The team will face off against 9 other university teams in May 2014 in Las Vegas, where the competition will be held in conjunction with the AWEA Windpower 2014 Conference. The teams will be judged by industry and policy experts on turbine design and performance, and their presentations on the business plan and wind energy market and policy issues.

This project provides students with the experience of collaborating with their peers from different fields and backgrounds around wind energy. This experience requires students to apply the skills gained in the classroom to real world situations, pushing them advance their skill set and learn about other aspects of wind energy development. 

 

Watch Video: CWC Promo Video

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These video instructions are located directy above a YouTube video. Hit the DOWN arrow key until you hear the words FLASH START. Once the screen reader is inside the FLASH OBJECT, hit the TAB key about 7 times until you hear PLAY BUTTON a second time. Hit the Spacebar key to play the video. You can then hit the Spacebar key again to pause the video. Feel free to hit TAB and TAB+SHIFT to listen to all the buttons in the FLASH OBJECT. Sometimes the PLAY button and the PAUSE button will be listed as an UNLABLED BUTTON.

 

Watch Video: A quick look at NAU's Collegiate Wind Competition Team

Video Accessibility Instructions:

These video instructions are located directy above a YouTube video. Hit the DOWN arrow key until you hear the words FLASH START. Once the screen reader is inside the FLASH OBJECT, hit the TAB key about 7 times until you hear PLAY BUTTON a second time. Hit the Spacebar key to play the video. You can then hit the Spacebar key again to pause the video. Feel free to hit TAB and TAB+SHIFT to listen to all the buttons in the FLASH OBJECT. Sometimes the PLAY button and the PAUSE button will be listed as an UNLABLED BUTTON.

Engineering the Turbine

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The undergraduate engineering students are challenged to design a micro wind turbine that is manageable and easy to assemble. They are required to design everything from the blades to the electrical components of this turbine. The turbine will be judged on performance, operational safety, component durability and system reliability.

"The most exciting aspect of this project, in my opinion, is to create a system that really works. The opportunity to make use of all the engineering skills I've learned over the last few years has been an exciting prospect, because it really gives a physicality to my major as a whole." - Charlie Burge, Mechanical Engineering Student

Planning for a Profitable Business

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The undergraduate engineering students have been challenged to develop and present a business plan for the product designed by the engineering students. They work allongside the engineering students to ensure that the design is cost effective to plan the operations of a profitable wind energy company. 

"I’ve learned very valuable things about both alternative energy, and starting your own business. The most valuable thing that came out of this class for me was the importance of communication between two completely different sections of this business. Communication from both sides is essential for a business to run smoothly especially with the creation of a new product." - Lukas Loehr, Business Management Senior

Navigating Market and Policy Issues

A subset of the team, including environmental science, political science, and engineering students are challenged to present on a market or policy issue critical to driving today's wind energy industry. Judges will be evaluating their arguments and the depth, logic, and overall presentations.

"I have already learned a significant amount about how the wind industry operates as a whole. I really enjoy investigating how policies affect every aspect of its development and success. Having the opportunity to dive into the topic of wind energy in the United States is very exciting, as is working alongside other students and professionals with similar goals and interests." Candice Giffin, Political Science and Environmental Sciences Senior 

Additional Info