chalker wrote:There are some REALLY good insights and comments in this thread so far. Instead of replying to each of them, I'd like to share some general comments to hopefully steer the conversation. I'd also like to request suggestions on specific, concrete changes to the rules wording.
1. This is a Physics committee event. Hence our general philosophy is that the theoretical and practical portions of the event should contribute equally to the score. What that specifically means is that we don't do tiering in Physics events (as that would make the practical portion outweigh the theoretical portion).
I think the way the event played out, this balance between the theoretical and practical portions was not realized in practice. I am OK with using Power (square function of Voltage) as the metric, but I think normalizing the score with the top team getting a 50 causes a distortion. Most turbine designs are only capturing a very small amount of the energy in the wind, and small differences (compared to the amount of available energy) in their performance are getting exaggerated. So a team may be capturing 2% (score of 50) of the energy and another 1.5% (score of 37.5) of the energy. There is no such scaling on the written part, and even achieving a 5 pt difference would be hard.
A couple of options:
1) An easy thing to do would be to normalize the written score also. So if the top team had a 35/50 and the next team had a 30/50, the scored would be 50 and 42.85. This would make it a little more balanced.
2) Instead of normalizing wrt to max power score in the event, normalize to some target power level (Betz limit, or best turbine power generated at this year's national, etc.). So then as in the written part, no one may get a 50 and your score would be dependent on how good your performance is compared to best possible performance.
Another thing that might help is if the equipment was standardized...box fan type, motor/generator...so that designs can be optimized to known conditions.