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Student-Designed Windmill Blade Outperforms Manufacturer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Apr. 23, 2015) — Students throughout northern Alabama competed in the inaugural Switchblade Competition April 23 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Each team was required to redesign the blades of a windmill to adjust to the low power wind conditions of Alabama. Senior Systems Engineer Bill Pannell, from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, came up with the idea while experimenting with a windmill used for military operations in Afghanistan.

To continue reading the full article, please visit: http://www.army.mil/article/147041/

Wind Power Competition Draws Student Teams

When Bill Pannell was considering how to redesign a windmill used for military operations in Afghanistan, he never thought his idea would start a statewide competition among high school and collegiate students.

Pannell oversees the energy lab at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center within the System Simulation and Development Directorate.

“I have a small Army windmill that puts out about 300 watts of electricity in high winds, but not much in low winds. So, the idea is to have students design and build better windmill blades, to create more electricity in low winds,” he said. “I call it Switch Blade because the students will switch out the Army windmill blades with their blades, then compete in a wind tunnel test. We will measure who produces the most power/energy within three minutes.”

To read the full article please visit: http://www.theredstonerocket.com/around_town/article_222ecef6-e375-11e4-81cf-1b012901c1f2.html

Hartselle High School Engineering to Compete in Switchblade

Hartselle High School Engineering to Compete in Switchblade

A group of nine Hartselle High School engineering students will be competing against four other teams April 22 in the Switchblade Competition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Shelby Center.

Team BladeRunners is redesigning and manufacturing the blades of a wind power system originally used for military operations in Afghanistan. The winning team will be the one with the most efficient blades tested in Alabama wind conditions. The contest is sponsored by the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, Avion Solutions, UAH and U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

To continue reading the original article, please visit: http://www.hartselleenquirer.com/2015/03/23/hhs-engineering-to-compete-in-army-contest/