Cal Maritime is one of ten schools participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition. The event challenges undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to design, build, and test a wind turbine to perform according to a customized, market data-derived business plan.
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity in the U.S., and the industry requires a skilled workforce with talented people from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. The Energy Department’s competition engages students in a project that provides real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Over the next year, students teams from the 10 universities across the country will design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. The competition culminates with a trip in the spring of 2014 when the teams will compete head-to-head.
The participating teams were chosen through a competitive process which required them to demonstrate commitment to the project as well as organization and project planning, fundraising and team support, curriculum and integration, and collaboration and testing.
Each team’s prototype wind turbine will be tested in a wind tunnel under specific conditions and scored for performance, operational safety, component durability and system reliability. Business plans will be evaluated as well.
The team with the best overall score will see their turbine featured at the Energy Department’s headquarters near the National Mall. Sponsors of the program include the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Cal Maritime’s team members are Sasha Barnett, Alec Calder, Glenn Fuller, Eric Johnson, andGerald Spencer from Mechanical Engineering and Ian Medina, Grace Paranjape, Ramiro Parocua, Jennifer Ramos Ortiz, and H. Morgan Seel from International Business and Logistics.