Electrical design of a wind turbine for the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

John Gardner


In order to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and progress towards clean, renewable energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), our sponsor, hosts a Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) for undergraduate students to investigate innovative wind energy concepts and solutions. Additionally, it provides a means for undergraduate students to gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine and its electrical interface to perform according to their customized market data-derived business plan. This year’s theme requires each competing team to be able to power small electronics. The CWC incorporates a business, mechanical, and electrical aspect. Our team took on the task of designing and constructing the electrical interface between the wind turbine and small electronics. The approach used in the design utilizes the AC voltage produced by the generator, rectifies it to a DC voltage, steps it up to 5V, and controls the electrical torque seen by the wind turbine to maintain the mechanical torque and rpm at the rated power. We expect our test results to show that our design is feasible in powering small electronic devices by providing a constant 5V at a minimum of 10W.

This document is currently not available here.