Wind Power Generation In A Marine Environment

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

John Gardner


The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting the Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) between ten universities with a stated goal of “providing a forum for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to investigate innovative energy concepts, and increase their knowledge of barriers to the wind industry”. To that end, mechanical (ME) and electrical engineering teams have collaborated with the business group to fulfill the competition requirements. For the ME team this entailed designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform in accordance with competition defined engineering tasks, as well as customized market data-driven specifications. Market analysis indicated a desire within the sailing community for quiet, efficient turbines to power small electronics by generating a continuous 10W of power at wind speeds ranging from 5-14 m/s. With a market identified, the team researched and ultimately designed a turbine which adheres to these and CWC specifications. The design incorporates proven components such as a low noise rotor design, an efficient brushless generator, a dependable braking system, and rugged housing. The characteristics of these and other systems have been optimized in the design for deployment in a marine environment.

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