Feature Story

Creating an energy failsafe

The winning Air Force Academy capstone competition team poses for a group photo.

Boeing

The winning Air Force Academy capstone competition team poses for a group photo.

Solar panels. We see them more and more as cities, businesses and homes are using them to harness the power of the sun. But what if you had to also figure out how to control and conserve that power to be energy independent in the event of a power failure?

A team of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy did just that, and earned themselves the 2014 Boeing-sponsored Service Academy Engineering Capstone Project award for the third time in four years.

Boeing challenged the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy to figure out a way to become energy secure by the year 2040. The U.S. Air Force Academy's solution relies on a combination of solar power, fuel cell generation, and flow batteries.

Watch the video to learn more about the project.