Having just arrived this afternoon at WINDPOWER 2014, I knew from the start that I wanted to swing by the Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition. Ten teams from universities across the country have brought their best to Las Vegas, offering up competing wind turbine designs, but this isn’t just an engineering test.
One team explains their design
Competitors must have a business model, requiring the work necessary to launch their potential product as the “real thing,” not just a school project. As I walked between the booths, watching students eat dinner and work on some complex part at the same time, I could tell that everyone who’d made the trek to Las Vegas this week was serious about this competition – and wind power.
One of the two wind tunnels used to test the turbines
Tomorrow (Tuesday 5/6) each team will be testing their turbine design from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday will require teams to present their business case for their design, with public pitches (2:30 p.m.), a reception (5:00 p.m.), and the final awards ceremony (5:30).
Stay tuned to the AWEA Blog for updates on the DOE Collegiate Wind Competition tomorrow and Wednesday!
Be sure to check out the Wind Energy Foundation’s Emily Jorgensen’s recent blog on the competition.