DOE Collegiate Wind ChallengePika Energy’s president, Ben Polito, is one of the three engineering design judges for the inaugural Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition happening in Las Vegas May 6 and 7, the site of this year’s AWEA Windpower Conference.

In the competition, teams design, build, and test a wind turbine to perform according to a customized, market data-derived business plan. Among the goals of the competition are to foster student interest in renewable energy, and to launch collegiate programs that ensure future involvement in renewable energy.  This competition has drawn teams of students representing multiple disciplines from 10 institutions located throughout the country, from Massachusetts to California.

Prior to this week’s conference, Ben reviewed and scored the 20-page design documents submitted by each team. While on site, each team will be scored on its business plans as well as on market issues presentations. The judges will listen to team presentations and ask clarifying questions in one-on-one sessions. Following these presentations, each team will test their design in a wind tunnel.

“This is a great opportunity to get the bright minds of the next generation excited about renewable energy,” says Polito. “The competition measures all aspects required for success, including a solid turbine design and the right business approach. It has been an honor to be selected by NREL for this competition, and to have a chance to work with these dedicated students.”

About Pika Energy

Pika Energy, Inc. is a Westbrook, Maine-based manufacturer of direct current (DC) power electronics, including the Pika Energy Island™ system. All Pika Energy products are powered by the REbus™ DC nanogrid. Pika Energy’s products provide grid-optional clean power that enables buildings to collect, store and self-consume energy from solar and wind sources. Learn more at www.pika-energy.com.