CWC 2016 Tunnel Team

Project Description

The Collegiate Wind Competition of 2016 (CWC 16), sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE). The objective of the project was to design a highly competitive wind turbine, which fulfills the requirements outlined by the faculty sponsors and the DOE. The wind turbine competed against other teams from around the country at the CWC 16.


Produces Sufficient Continuous Power: The turbine must be able to produce 10W within 5 to 11 m/s

Withstand High Wind Speeds: able to withstand windspeeds up to 18 m/s

Design an Innovative Load: The bonus load needs to be creative and functional as well as act as a link to the Deployment team

Fit the Design within the Testing Space: The wind turbine cannot be larger than the area specified by the DOE for testing at competition

Quick Assembly and Disassembly: The team has approximately 5 minutes of setup time for the tunnel during the competition

Shut Down on Push Button Activation or Loss of Power: Must reach a 90% reduction in rpm at the wind speed used for testing



Tunnel Team ME

Tunnel Team ME has the specific responsiblity to design and build mechanical portion of the competition turbine. This includes the turbine structure and rotor, as well as select the generator to be used at the CWC 16.

Tunnel Team EE

Tunnel Team EE has the specific responsibility to design and create the electrical components that control the load, power modulation, and braking system.

- The electrical team is divided between 4 seperate subteams each with their own tasks to accomplish: Power Electronics, Controls, Software, and Load.

Power Electronics

Within the power electronics subteam, the team is divided between rectification and DC-DC conversion. The first aspect of power electronics falls with the rectification which is where the AC (alternating current) of the generator is converted into DC (direct current). The second aspect of the power elctronics team is the DC-DC converter. The DC-DC converter takes an input voltage and, based on the need, either boosts it to a higher voltage or cuts it to a lower voltage.


Controls for the turbine will consist of various pieces of hardware and software that will work together to control important parameters, such as turbine RPM and power output.


The purpose of the software team is to consolidate with both the controls team and the power electronics team to insure that the controls system and the power electronics mesh well together in order to have a well working system. Along side this the software team is responible for the master code of the system that will be used to control the wind turbine and load, if needed.


The load team is in charge of making an appropriate load that can make use of the power produced by the wind turbine. Alongside that, they are also of taking on a bonus challenge where they will use the power produced by the wind turbine in creative and unique ways, such as an input/output visual display.