MANHATTAN – Seventeen teams from eight schools competed in the ultimate wind energy learning experience Friday, April 6, at Kansas State University. Sterling High School’s team placed second and has qualified to advance to a national competition. The top two teams in both the high school and middle school categories qualified to compete in the national KidWind Challenge at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower 2018 conference in Chicago May 8-10.
The winning Kansas middle school team was Oxford Middle School, followed by Solomon Jr/Sr High in second place. Hope Street Academy of Topeka took top honors in the high school category followed by Sterling High School.
Prior to the competition, each team built its own wind turbine using their knowledge of wind-generated energy. On April 6, the turbines were put to the test in a 48 by 48 inch wind tunnel for 60 seconds at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 m/s.
Wind turbine performance was only 40 percent of the score. Teams also had to demonstrate wind energy knowledge (15 percent), and discuss their wind turbine design and documentation with a panel of judges (40 percent). A bonus for wind turbine efficiency (5 percent) rounded out the scoring criteria.
Participating schools included Buhler High School (one team), Chase County Middle School (three teams), Hope Street Academy (three teams), Oxford Middle School (one team), Paola Middle School (three teams), Riverbend International School (two teams), Sterling High School (one team), and Solomon Middle School (three teams).
Judges for the event were Lynn Retz, Kansas Corporation Commission Energy Director; Bruce Snead, Kansas State Engineering Extension Department Head; Michelle Milburn, Stanion Electric Clean Energy Program; and Jacob Meyer, president of the Kansas State University Wildcat Wind Power Team.
KidWind Challenge was sponsored by the Kansas Corporation Commission, Kansas State University, U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Laboratory, EDF Renewable Energy and NextEra Energy Resources.