UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Annually since 2014, the Penn State Wind Energy Club has competed in america Division of Vitality (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competitors, taking house extra first place wins than every other group. With exhausting work, flexibility and new, inventive designs, they plan to do the identical this 12 months.
For the competitors, Penn State undergraduates — predominately from engineering majors — come collectively to design and handle a real-world mission associated to wind power manufacturing, gaining hands-on business expertise alongside the way in which. A lot of groups, chosen by the DOE, compete annually, with a ultimate demonstration in late spring or early summer time. This 12 months, they’ll current their ultimate mission nearly in June to a number of panels of judges.
Mark Miller, Penn State assistant professor of aerospace engineering and co-adviser of the membership, defined that college students lead each side of the mission, from mission growth and administration to technical design and monetary planning.
“The primary a part of the competitors is scored on mission growth, the place college students work on the format and design of a wind farm, which incorporates the monetary aspect, the bodily format, the useful resource utilization,” he stated. “And in parallel to mission growth, college students design a to-scale wind turbine with pc modeling software program that’s utilized in business and check it on website in wind tunnels. They create the entire engineered system together with the blades, generator and electronics. The competitors is exclusive in that perspective.”
Final 12 months, the group designed a small wind turbine that was examined in opposition to these of 12 different universities and developed a design for a wind farm in japanese Colorado. Penn State positioned second within the mission growth class and fourth general. Because of the pandemic, college students needed to rapidly pivot from a deliberate in-person occasion in Denver, Colorado, to a digital webinar format.
In earlier years, the group took first place in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019, and completed second in 2018.
This 12 months, the group is to analysis, design and construct a wind turbine “for deployment in extremely unsure instances, with a big diploma of unknown dangers and delays,” according to DOE’s specifications. Accordingly, the theme for this 12 months’s competitors is adaptability.
“College students use the identical instruments to design their mannequin as they’d to design a full-scale turbine,” Miller stated. “It’s really a lot tougher to design a small, energy-efficient turbine, because it takes taking note of the aerodynamics and rotor design. It’s a problem to make a small rotor work properly.”
As a part of the preparation course of, the group checks their turbine designs in wind tunnels on campus to make changes and enhance the system forward of the competitors. The group of twenty-two college students is damaged up into 4 sub-teams: aerodynamics, circuits and controls, generator and mission growth.
“The membership is superb preparation for the workforce as a result of it supplies direct expertise engaged on an engineering and enterprise mission,” stated Josh Forrest, a senior aerospace engineering main, info sciences and know-how minor and president of the Wind Vitality Membership. “Every side of engineering growth tasks are included within the competitors, giving us the chance to realize expertise in our most popular a part of the mission. Personally, I’ve gained helpful expertise in a management place and developed my group coordination and communication expertise.”
Satyam Patel, electrical engineering main and secretary of the Wind Vitality Membership, stated he loves working with a group, particularly on a mission that contributes to scrub power.
“Now we have to repeatedly be taught and evolve collectively to beat challenges, and this has been very true this 12 months throughout the pandemic,” Patel stated. “It positively helps us construct the crucial pondering and interpersonal expertise essential to achieve success within the workforce.”
Susan Stewart, affiliate instructing professor of aerospace engineering, is co-adviser of the membership. Along with Forrest and Patel, the competitors group consists of undergraduate college students Mohammed Aal Abdulla, aerospace engineering main; Josh Bannon, aerospace engineering main; Jackie Cheng, electrical engineering main; Eric Folmar, mechanical engineering main; Allison Karp, aerospace engineering main; James Leandri, pc science main; Sara Maholland, geography main; Shreya Manoj, power engineering main; Rosellen Martin, power engineering main; Ian McCoy, power engineering main; Akhilesh Mulgund, aerospace engineering main; Jeremy O’Connor, aerospace engineering main; Alejandro Pardinas, power engineering main; Dayanch Saparov, power engineering main; Eric Sarbacker, chemical engineering main; Brianna Shero, power engineering main and environmental engineering minor; Yuixin “Zoe” Shu, aerospace engineering main; Joseph Snider, aerospace engineering main; Avery Taylor, power engineering main; and Colin Welch, aerospace engineering main.