College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

John G. Fabijanic, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department


The Cal Poly Wind Power club is anticipating joining the annual Collegiate Wind Competition in the year 2021. This competition hosts schools from all around the country, who meet and compete against each other by testing the wind turbines they have made throughout the academic school year. Tasks included in the competition test the wind turbine’s efficiency, power generation, overall design, and stability in extreme conditions.

Cal Poly is planning to implement a formal balancing system to support their 2021 wind turbine. Our senior project team undertook mitigating mass imbalance in the wind turbine; mass imbalance occurs when the center of mass of a rotating object does not lie on the axis of rotation. Our project’s original goal was to develop a balancing system to minimize mass unbalance in the wind turbine’s rotor assembly and optimize power collection while keeping the turbine safe to operate. While we were able to develop this mechanism and provide design documentation to the CPWPC, we were unable to balance the competition wind turbine.

In this report, we discuss the preliminary research conducted regarding wind turbine rotary systems and rotational imbalances. Furthermore, we will break down our understanding of the project and our approach to completing it, as well as our ideation and down-selection processes. Then, we will detail our plans to cheaply manufacture and accurately balance the wind turbine. Finally, we will outline the next steps needed to thoroughly verify the final design, as well as officially balance the completed 2021 wind turbine.