Janaya Brown

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Abigail Mechtenberg

Empowering Ugandans to Power Uganda: Analysing the Mechanical Properties and Various Impacts of Novel Weaved Wind Turbine Blades

The goal of this project is to provide information about novel Ugandan wind turbine blades. More specifically, this project intends to provide supporting information to the viability of hand-weaved wind turbine blades by analyzing the mechanical properties of the material and comparing these properties to those of materials commonly used for wind turbine blades. These blades are the result of the joint collaboration of Notre Dame’s ESDD research team and its partner researchers and collaborators in Uganda.

This project will provide technical information regarding the blades mechanical characteristics in three areas. The areas are the flexural and tensile properties as well as the Betz’s efficiency curve of model turbines with hand-weaved blades. In union with this last area, this project plans to build a wind tunnel with partners at Makerere University for testing models too large to transport to the United States. In addition to these technical areas, the project will also investigate the economic, environmental, and social impacts involved with hand-weaving the blades with local materials.