Green engineering students build super efficient wind turbine
Mechanical engineering student Yue Yang remembers when she became interested in the field of engineering. "One day, I found my grandfather's hand-drawn sketches and they were amazing. As a mechanical engineer, my grandfather would turn these designs into products that would help people in their daily lives. That was the point when I decided to enter engineering. I wanted to see my designs working in front of me."
Yue and fellow Faculty of Engineering students Georges El-Hage, Alex Stefanescu, Charles Blouin and Chris Doth form the interdisciplinary group Green Engineers. Together, they are developing a new wind turbine concept with their industrial partner Trias Innovations. Unlike conventional turbines currently available, the Green Engineers' design provides greater efficiency, cleaner power and enhanced monitoring for the small wind industry.
To prove the feasibility of their dual contra-rotating rotor, the Green Engineers have entered it into a number of competitions, including the Technology Venture Challenge, a prestigious Eastern Ontario business plan competition, where they received the People's Choice Award. To develop their networking expertise and gain real-world exposure, the Green Engineers also entered the Ontario Centres of Excellence competition and trade show in Toronto, where they won for Best Student Project. Finally, the Green Engineers entered the 6th International Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CIDO) Conference in Montreal, where they won for Best Student Design Project.
Following their competition success, the Green Engineers team is now focussed on conducting research and development at the Faculty of Engineering's fluid mechanics laboratory. This fall, they will enter more competitions and begin constructing a 10kW prototype for field testing, with the ultimate goal of commercializing an efficient wind turbine for the small wind industry.
By Scott Blurton
Published: November 2010