P16462: Wind Energy Base Station


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

When one considers the alternative energy form of wind power, turbines are generally the first thought. However, these power generators are large, requiring the use of strong materials and sturdy bases in order to avoid falling under the stresses they create. Because of this, the size of these turbines creates a high cost of installing and maintaining the large design.
Siemens Wind Farm

Siemens Wind Farm

An alternate approach is to use a tethered glider attached to a generator. The main components of such a system are a glider, a base station and a tether. The glider would travel around in a circle while attached to the tether, acting as the tip of a conventional wind turbine. As the glider travels around, the tether, which is attached to the generator, is released and retracted to produce energy. The glider design also has the potential to generate a greater amount of energy when compared to conventional wind turbines as it is not limited in the altitudes it can reach.

The main advantage gained by using this method is that is uses significantly fewer materials. Some companies are currently exploring this method of harnessing wind power (see sample technology concept below) and generating good results. Another advantage of such a system is that it can be used in a large variety of environments, such as in the ocean. The glider method allows for a smaller base to be built and wind power to be harnessed from remote locations.

Ampyx Technology Concept

Ampyx Technology Concept

This project is meant to prove the validity of a flight path proposed by graduate student Glen Gavi. The flight path mimics the rotation of a vertical axis wind turbine (flying parallel to the ground). Energy generation will be added by a later team should the tests show favorable results. Preliminary results were promising but a catastrophic plane crash set the project back.

R.I.T Energy & Motion Lab

R.I.T Energy & Motion Lab

Project Name
Wind Energy Base Station
Project Track
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Project Number
Project Family
P15462 and P14462
Start Term
Fall 2015
End Term
Spring 2016
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik: echeee@rit.edu


Primary Customer
Mario Gomes: mwgeme@rit.edu


Sponsor (financial support)
RIT - Kate Gleason College of Engineering


Team Members

Team P16462

Team P16462

Member Role Contact
Sarah Collmus Base Structure Lead - Team Leader sec4486@rit.edu
Laura Arciniegas Power Transmission Lead - Facilitator lma9306@rit.edu
Kevin Collins Bridle Design Lead kcc1157@rit.edu
Aleksandr Kim CAD Drafter - Project Manager aik2347@rit.edu
Michael Ostaszewski Reel System Lead - Publisher mjo2843@rit.edu
Kevin Larkin Controls Lead kjl8414@rit.edu
Sukmin Lee Electronics Lead - Publisher sxl8673@rit.edu

Team Norms and Values

Click here for a detailed list of team norms and values

Table of Contents


Project Flight Log

Imagine RIT Poster

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


Dr. Hanzlik for guiding the team; Dr. Gomes and the Energy and Motion Lab at Rochester Institute of Technology for the project idea, resources, and sponsorship.

We also would like to thank the many RIT subject experts, the employees in the RIT Machine Shop, and our consulting pilots Phil Nguyen and Michael Baumgarten.

Thank you! This project would not have progressed without you.