Windmill Project

The 2009 Materials Science Technology students have completed their capstone project, a windmill and have placed it on campus on top of the boiler room between Mountlake Terrace Hall and Seaview Hall. A big thank you to facilities for organizing this location!

The windmill was created entirely by the students. They came up with the basic concept, designed the windmill, made tooling, and then built the windmill, all in a 15-week period using the skills learned from the Materials Science Technology Program! During this project the students also learned valuable teamwork and project management skills allowing them to complete this complex project on-schedule in such a short time period. In addition, this project has encouraged the students to apply their knowledge of materials science and composites to the creation of renewable energy sources.

One of the most creative parts of the project are the beams used to build the base structure. The students wanted to continue with the renewable concept inherent to a windmill, so they decided to build the structure from bamboo, except they covered the bamboo with carbon fiber in a process called 'filament winding' to increase the strength of the beams.

The windmill blades are also made from carbon fiber. These relatively large parts were each fabricated using a process called vacuum infusion, where the students place the carbon fiber into a mold and then pull the resin that holds the fibers together through the fibers with a vacuum. Although large, each of these composite blades weighs about 5 pounds.

This project supports the Edmonds Community College's sustainability initiative that seeks to improve the operational efficiency of the campus and to prepare students for the emerging sector of green collar jobs.