Foundation-Sponsored Wind Turbine Provides Renewable Energy

University of Minnesota hydrostatic wind turbine

Students at the University of Minnesota have developed a hydrostatic transmission for a wind turbine that will provide renewable energy for third-world communities. The project was funded by a teaching grant from the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, along with support from the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) and Innovative Engineers.

A team of nine mechanical engineering and electrical engineering students modeled, designed, fabricated, and tested the hydrostatic transmission in a custom one kW wind turbine. It consists of a variable displacement axial piston pump directly coupled to the wind turbine rotor and a variable displacement axial piston motor, located at ground level, coupled to an electric generator through a synchronous belt drive.

Hear the students talk about their project.

Read about the wind turbine.

Click here to learn about other projects. To learn how your company can get involved with other Foundation initiatives, contact Carrie Tatman Schwartz at

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