Section 450: Green Engineering – Harnessing the Wind

Project: Design a renewable wind energy system to power a north campus community demonstration project


An unavoidable consequence of using fossil fuel (usually coal) for electric power production is the creation of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas primarily responsible for climate change. 

There is much public discussion of the need to migrate from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. But how? That’s where engineers come in. 

This section introduces students to the engineering profession by exploring the engineering challenges to using renewable energy as a “green” alternative to fossil fuels. Students learn concepts of renewable energy, culminating in a team-based term project to produce a device that scavenges wind energy to perform a task. In producing a complex device, which requires some knowledge of atmospheric science, aerodynamics, mechanics, and electrical engineering, the students are exposed to an interdisciplinary approach to engineering projects.