Student-Made Windmill Blade Outdoes Manufacturer

Student-Made Windmill Blade Outdoes Manufacturer

Students throughout northern Alabama competed in the inaugural Switch Blade Competition on Thursday 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 Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, came up with the idea while experimenting with a windmill used for military operations in Afghanistan.

Students from Alabama A&M University, Columbia High School, Hartselle High School and the University of Alabama in Huntsville received a $500 stipend to fund their project.

The Switch Blade Competition is a great example of how we’re trying to make the quest to 100 percent clean energy in Huntsville fun,” said Daniel Tait, chief executive officer, Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy. “Students get to engage with some of the toughest problems we need to address as a community while gaining hands-on experience with real equipment being used by the U.S. Army.

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Congratulations to the UAH Green Wind Power Available at Low Speed, or GWPALS, team! They were the winners of this first inaugural Switch Blade contest.

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