NAU HCC 2024

About the Project

Northern Arizona University’s mechanical engineering capstone team is competing in the 2024 Collegiate Hydropower Competition. The competition is structured around siting a non-powered dam (NPD) that has the potential to be converted into a hydropower dam to address the United State’s clean energy goals. The competition features a siting challenge, design challenge and a community connections challenge. The siting challenge is where potential sites will be evaluated and eventually chosen based on the challenge requirements for power generation between one and ten megawatts. For the design challenge, an overall conceptual design of the full powerhouse will be modeled. Finally, the community connections challenge will connect the team to the hydropower community, students, and the local Flagstaff community. Members of our team have traveled to Clean Currents 2023 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, and gained valuable connections with professionals in the hydropower industry. The mechanical engineering team and the electrical engineering sub-team have utilized various software such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s NPD Explorer and ArcGIS Pro software to map out potential dam sites. Additionally, our project aligns perfectly with the broader HCC and federal government's goal to attain a carbon-pollution-free power sector by 2035.With this, we aim to efficiently create sustainable electricity while assisting local communities by repurposing existing infrastructure.

The competition regulations are outlined in the U.S. Department of Energy's Competition Rules Document

Hydroturbine Model from Expo