Full Scale Wind Turbine

Full Scale Turbine 

Project Summary

One of PSUWEC’s activities this upcoming year will be designing and manufacturing a fully-functional horizontal axis turbine comprising of a passive blade pitch system and an axial flux generator. Full of engineering challenges, students will be required to use their analytical, problem solving, and interpersonal skills to work within teams to develop the necessary components for the system. Every member dedicated to the project must be willing to put 3-7 hours a week outside of the classroom once the engineering aspect is underway. The teams (listed below) will all consist of brainstorming and developing new ideas, prototyping, and machining/manufacturing the final component.


Generator Design/Machining

Suggested Majors: Electrical, Mechanical, and Industrial


  • Calculate electrical properties of different sized generators
  • Set molds and wind coils
  • Test different load resistances in wind tunnel to maximize efficiency
  • Minimize moment of inertia of previous year’s design

Turbine Structural Analysis/Manufacturing

Suggested Majors: Mechanical and Industrial


  • Design to comply with Simple Model 500 safety factors and load requirements
  • Perform hand calculations and FEA in Solidworks to verify loading of various wind conditions
  • Design prototype for manufacturability at a cost effective budget
  • Communicate and incorporate subsystems into manufacturing practices


Suggested Majors: Electrical, Mechanical, and Computer Science


  • Develop an effective control system using software development and hardware design
  • Work closely with Structures and Blade team regarding yaw system
  • Ensure safe electrical practices with load dissipation and circuitry
  • To perform sorcery and make the impossible work

Blade Design/Manufacturing

Suggested Majors: Aerospace, Mechanical, and Industrial


  • Generate and test efficient blade geometries to fit the specified design envelope
  • Develop yaw mechanism on tailfin
  • Communicate with vendors regarding carbon-fiber blade manufacturing