Student Team Competes in Marine Energy Competition
A team of students from Cal State San Marcos recently competed in the fourth Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC), which endorses new marine energy ideas for capturing the power of the ocean.
The CSUSM team of Thomas Handzel, Miguel Lopez, Fares Alhabardi and Alin Hanna competed in the event that’s hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and took place May 7-9 in Washington, D.C. They are a multidisciplinary group of upperclassmen majoring in electrical engineering, software engineering, physics and business.
Their faculty mentor is Hamed Nademi, an assistant professor of electrical engineering. Nademi has been working on wave energy converter applications since 2020 and has built the Marine Energy team at CSUSM. He runs a Sustainable and Interactive Technologies & Energy (SITE) lab focusing on renewable energy integration, microgrids, transportation electrification and marine power grids.
The same student quartet also was selected as one of 20 teams nationwide in the 2024 MECC. They are among only three groups from California State University.
The CSUSM team focuses on exploring the feasibility of supplying power from wave energy to the Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad. Using a prototype made with a 3D printer, the students conducted tests in the kinesiology department’s surf pool, which has the capability to generate wave profiles with various speeds. The experiments allowed the team to ascertain the functional behavior of the wave energy converter to refine the design variables, values and dimensions.
The team’s next step is to build a metal-based prototype with a generator and power electronics converters to generate DC and/or AC power for non-grid or grid-connected applications. It will receive a $20,000 grant from the Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the 2024 competition.
The team also includes three senior students (Miguel Molina, Jessi Angeles and Victor Gomez) who are part of the first cohort to graduate from CSUSM's electrical engineering program. They have been working on hardware development of a power electronics converter to provide electricity from ocean waves compatible with a wall power outlet.
Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist
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