Renewable Energy Club heads to the Geothermal Collegiate Competition
The Renewable Energy Club will be heading to the Geothermal Collegiate Competition sponsored by the Department of Energy May 4. This will be the first competition the club has attended since its founding in fall 2019.
The student-led LU Renewable Energy Club aims to teach its members about different renewable energy options. Some of these options include solar, wind, geothermal and kinetic energy.
Thomas Eldredge, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and supervisor of the club, said the club helps students build skills in the area of clean energy and gives them a chance to use these alternative energy sources in real world applications.
Dr. Jung-Uk Lim, a former professor of engineering, started the club but left Liberty the semester after. Mechanical engineering major Emilie Hatton stepped up to lead the club with professor Eldredge’s supervision.
Club members have the opportunity to design projects utilizing these alternative energy options. They then submit their designs for competitions. Because this is the club’s first competition, members are both excited and nervous.
“This is our first semester that we have been able to enter a competition or anything,” Hatton said. “So, yeah, (it’s) very new but very exciting.”
The club will submit a geothermal heat pump to the competition. This device pumps water warmed through the heat of the earth. The purpose for the project is to make a renewable and ecological energy source that can be used instead of sources like coal or fuel.
“We got good feedback on our progress submission, which is what let us be a finalist,” Hatton said. “And so I think that was really encouraging to the team, to see that even though it kind of felt like we were new and didn’t know what we were doing, we’re definitely on the right track.”
While students said they would love to win, this first time around will be more of a learning experience. They aim to take what they learn from this competition and apply it to future endeavors.
Hatton said that the future looks bright for the club. She plans to continue her leadership role next year, and recruit others to join the club. For more information on the club, contact email@example.com.
Asher Notheis is a News Reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @ashernotheis.